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2022 Palm Beach Modern + Contemporary Art Fair: Bringing Art From Around the World to South Florida

Living In Oakland Park

By Frank Polanco

The 2022 Palm Beach Modern and Contemporary Art Fair 5th edition was held at the Palm Beach County Convention until March 27th. The fair brings world class quality art from a diverse group of artists and galleries from around the world.

World Reknowned Artists at the Fair

As you walk in you are greeted by a a beautiful display of photograph by Scottish born photojournalist Harry Benson. Harry has photographed every U.S. president from Eisenhower to Barack H. Obama. Benson has also photographed celebrities and historic events from all over the world.

Throughout the fair you will find collectible pieces of art work from the 20th and 21st century. Among the artists are well renown: Pablo Picasso, Kenny Scharf, Andy Warhol and Fernando Botero to name a few.

Everyday Objects Turn Into Art

Among all of these wonderful iconic talented artists attendees were mesmerized by the amazing art creations of Colombian born artist, Federico Uribe. Federico’s art work range from sculptures, paintings, and installations. “His artwork resists classification, and emerges from intertwining everyday objects in surprising ways that maintain a formal reference to art history”, says his representative Adelson Galleries.

His creations includes unconventional materials such as color pencils, screws, medical instruments, bullet shells and electrical wire all meticulous put together until achieving its final shape and creation.

Art Representing Personal History

Perhaps one of the most moving pieces we found after learning more about it was ‘Flower Girl’, an acrylic collage on textile, Straitjacket by Ukrainian born Ola Rondiak. In conversation with John William, Gallery Rep, we learned that Rondiak’s straitjackets commemorate personal history. Through layers of various media, the artist explored countless levels of emotion. Rondiak understands that memorializing devastating events and subsequent loss does, indeed, humanize them, especially if illuminated through a familiar garment. Taking that which was intended to restrain – the straitjacket – the viewer readily links the artist’s vision to the current invasion of a foreign power (an adversarial despot) wishing only to control, subjugate, and objectify human beings.

But Rondiak’s straitjacket serves as a visceral portal wherein the viewer considers metaphysical freedom stemming from the nexus of inner strength. The arresting ensemble stands as a testament to the artist’s own personal experience, but also to the resolve of the Ukrainian people.

A Pioneer of Graffiti Artwork

Graffiti artist Risk Rock is to art what Aerosmith is to rock and roll. In conversation with his Rep Kim, we learned that Risk has been a long term artists in the Los Angeles art community. He was the founder of the West Coast Graffiti movement. He has painted murals, paintings, created neon signs and sculptures and has worked with Hollywood elite and music giants. He painted the the graffiti featured in Michael Jackson’s video ‘The way you make me feel’. In his long journey, pioneering the graffiti artwork dating back to the first NYC subway cars and the need to recreate his signature tag we also noticed a soft side of Risk art creations in his Peaceful Buddha artwork. There’s a contrast between hard and soft with butterflies, stars, and wording-hand painted by Risk.

South Florida As A Cultural and Artistic Hub

The Palm Beach Modern + Contemporary art fair coincided with the Palm Beach International Boat Show, located along Downton West Palm Beach’s waterfront. This fair is an exceptional example of art and also a testament to cultural and artistic hub that South Florida is becoming. As Oakland Park grows into its new self with an identity all its owns, who is to say it can’t host an art fair like this one?

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