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Scope Miami 2006

by Ami Kealoha in Culture on 14 December 2006

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Now in its third year, Scope is one of the more established of the many art fairs held last week in Miami, but still feels like the alternative to the alternative—a looser, more kinetic little sister to both Nada and Basel counterparts. Having graduated from their old digs in the Thompson Hotel, Scope now has a tent of its own. But, walking through it is not unlike walking through a labyrinth of galleries, all spilling over with artworks that are only rivaled by the multitudes of gallerists and collectors. What follows are the artists that stood out from the crowd, from Joachim Schulz' deceptively minimalist photos of theater curtains to Ian Wright's meta-pop art.

Long-Bin Chen
Using a universally near-obsolete publication as her medium, Taiwan-born artist Long-Bin Chen sculpts phonebooks into Buddha heads and other busts. (Pictured right, click for detail.) Many of the works Chen exhibited at Scope (with Frederieke Taylor, her NYC gallery), appeared to use books corresponding to the specific country of the Buddha head she chose to make.

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Omar Chacon
New York-based painter Omar Chacon layers acrylics to create mesmerizing canvasses with a high-gloss finish. (Pictured above left, click for detail.) His technique of applying dried paint drips yields dense multi-colored fields thae take on sculptural dimension. When Chacon limits his pallette, he often chooses the colors of a national flag and fills the piece with concentric oval shapes.

Edgar Cobián
Guadalajara artist Edgar Cobián cuts delicate valleys and fissures into stacks of white paper creating topographical maps of imaginary geographies. (Pictured above right, click for detail.) His line drawings of skulls and more austere sculptures are worth checking out as well.

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Daniel Jackson
Far more stunning in person, Daniel Jackson's radiating line prints have the kind of precision only attainable by a computer. (Pictured above left, click for detail.) He uses an inkjet printer and computer programs to "draw" the images in a series, each slightly different but based on the same code.

Ryan Carr Johnson
The amorphous Lava lamp—like shapes of Ryan Carr Johnson's paintings are the result of layering and sanding latex house paint on wood. (Pictured above right.) Sometimes including upwards of 75 layers, the Washington D.C.-based artist's work mixes an industrial aesthetic with psychedelic imagery.

Joachim Schulz
On first glance, Joachim Schulz' panaromic photos look like blurry impressionist pastels. (Pictured above left, click for detail.) From a series called "lichtspiele" (literally, light-plays), they are in fact images of theater curtains lit in candy-colored hues from different angles. At times the patterns the lights throw on the folds of the curtain look like a graphic equalizer. Touching on theater and performance, the project also addresses the process of taking photography itself.

Ian Wright
Playing on Chuck Close's dot-based works, Ian Wright makes similarly large-scale portraits but uses the 1" pin as his medium. Here Wright pays homage to the master (pictured above right, click for detail), but other works feature appropriate pop icons like Hendrix, Dylan and Warhol, who also fit the form.

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