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Nick Korniloff, Art Miami Vice-President and Director - Courtesy Photo | Art Miami LLC
Nick Korniloff, Art Miami Vice-President and Director - Courtesy Photo | Art Miami LLC
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Interview with Nick Korniloff: Art World Influencer

Picture of Lisa Morales
Updated: 10 May 2017
This week, Nick Korniloff, Executive Vice President and Director of Art Miami is set to launch the world’s newest art fair. The Palm Beach Modern + Contemporary Fair (PBM+C) opens with a VIP Preview on Thursday, January 12, 2017, within a 65,000 square foot pavilion at the heart of West Palm Beach.

 

Nick Korniloff, Art Miami Vice-President and Director | Courtesy of Art Miami LLC

Nick Korniloff, Art Miami Vice-President and Director | Courtesy of Art Miami LLC

We spoke with Mr. Korniloff about his role in expanding the Art Miami brand, the unique qualities of PBM+C, and plans for the future.

You have announced the launch of the Palm Beach Modern + Contemporary Fair, set to take place in January 2017. How will this fair differentiate itself from all the other Miami-based art events this season?

Our Palm Beach fair will be a show that focuses on all sectors of the real time Modern and Contemporary market, as all our shows in Miami do. The fair will have roughly 50 dealers focusing on quality artworks, giving seasoned collectors the ability to acquire and enhance their collections, and newer collectors the opportunity to educate themselves about how the art-buying market works, with confidence from reputable dealers. Palm Beach is more of a relaxed environment and is the only fair in town on the weekend of Jan 13–15. There are amazing cultural assets in the City of West Palm Beach and Palm Beach County as a whole. We expect the audience will be traveling from abroad and the tri-county area to experience the fair.

“RISING” The Mystical World of Sophie Ryder on view at the Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens, cultural partner at PBM+C | Courtesy of the artist, Waterhouse & Dodd NY and Ash Mills Photography

“RISING” The Mystical World of Sophie Ryder on view at the Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens, cultural partner at PBM+C | Courtesy of Sophie Ryder (artist), Waterhouse & Dodd NY and Ash Mills Photography

Do you feel that each of your art fairs has a distinct personality?

Absolutely! This is critical, as each market dictates certain circumstances and audience beliefs. Palm Beach is a very culturally savvy community that thrives on philanthropy, cultural activity, socializing and luxury.

There is speculation that the art market has “softened.” How do you define today’s art collector and how do your fairs accommodate ever-changing tastes and investors’ interests?

When you are in the art business or any assets class market that is actually not a necessity and is a luxury, there will always be periods of change. There is no other sector of an asset class that has performed better than investment quality, blue chip art over the last decade.

The market is tiered in a way that there are collectors and dealers that only look to buy and sell the absolute best available works in the market from living and non-living artists. Our fairs service those top collectors, but also there is a limited amount of A+ material available on the market at all times, especially from non-living artists. We believe that while our dealers can always help a top collector enhance their collection, our focus is to establish new collectors into the market with reputable dealers who represent great living artists’ strong secondary market material and the estates of some artists. Cultivating new, capable, and qualified high-end collectors into the market is what we do best.

 

Desert Dust (Study – Homage to the Square) by Josef Albers, oil on masonite 1958 | Courtesy of Archeus / Post-Modern

Desert Dust (Study – Homage to the Square) by Josef Albers, oil on masonite
1958 | Courtesy of Archeus / Post-Modern (London, UK)

How would you say the “culture” of the South Florida fairs differs from those in New York City? How might Art Miami differ from Art New York 2017, for example?

What happens every year in Miami, each December, is a complete anomaly within the world and you can’t compare the New York fair market to Miami. Miami in December is the single most important art market in relationship to fairs and collecting art globally. The energy around the art fairs and urgency to buy is very intense. A great show in Miami can make a gallery’s year and an artist’s career. I find that New York in May is very important as we have our Art New York and Context New York shows aligned with The European Fine Art Foundation (TEFAF), Frieze NY and the auction schedule. New Yorkers in general are very busy people with lots of distractions. I’m a New Yorker living in Florida and I’m always distracted.

The energy of the Big Apple does not escape anyone. There are so many activities and places to be and things to do, and most collectors are also dealing with their businesses etc., while the fairs are happening. Markets like Miami and Palm Beach are destinations and much more relaxed, where people can focus on the art. If you do a show in New York, it better be quality-driven and you must have the know how to draw an audience as well as be connected to the market.

At the Art Miami 2016 VIP Preview at Art Miami Pavilion on November 29, 2016 in Miami, Florida

Jorge Pérez, Chairman of Related Group and Perez Art Museum of Miami Board of Trustees, and his wife, Darlene Pérez with Pamela Cohen, Director of Marketing, Sponsorships + VIP Relations, Art Miami LLC, and Nick Korniloff | Getty for Art Miami LLC

It seems there is a particular emphasis on showcasing local artists and galleries at Art Miami. Why is this important to you? Do you feel it has influenced the international perception of South Florida’s art scene?

Actually, we have a group of Miami galleries that we are ever loyal to and represent these local artists. We are very proud of our name Art Miami and it only makes sense to offer the rest of the international art market some of the great local talent. Many of these artists are now exhibiting with galleries outside the U.S. and state of Florida and are heavily collected and exhibited in other countries.

Michael Laube 26– 6 2016, acrylic paint on acrylic glass, on view at Kuckei + Kuckei Gallery | Courtesy of Kuckei + Kuckei Gallery (Berlin, Germany)

Michael Laube, 26– 6 2016, acrylic paint on acrylic glass, on view at Kuckei + Kuckei Gallery | Courtesy of Kuckei + Kuckei Gallery (Berlin, Germany)

The Art Miami brand is growing quickly. What and where’s next? 

Our focus is to continue to improve upon what we have and currently manage. Our big focus is moving next year’s Art Miami and Context Art Miami fairs to its new location. We will now be positioned downtown on the former site of the Miami Herald, located between the Venetian Causeway and Julia Tuttle Causeway. We will be in the arts district where the Adrienne Arsht Center for Performing Arts, the Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM) and the New Frost Science Museum are located. We will have our own parking and accommodation which will allow quicker connectivity for collectors to visit the fair from the beach and the city.


Set at a time and location apart from the Art Basel frenzy, the Palm Beach Modern + Contemporary is a luxurious and tranquil getaway for art enthusiasts. Enjoy art from internationally renowned galleries; an exhibit of artist Sophie Ryder’s monumental and small-scale works at satellite venue, the Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens; the Francis Picabia Loan Exhibition Curated by Jeffrey Deitch, and much more. The event is hosted by the City of West Palm Beach and the VIP Preview, sponsored by Christie’s International Real Estate, will benefit the Palm Beach Zoo & Conservation Society. The fair closes on Sunday, January 15, 2017.