During the chaos and joyful upheaval that represents Miami Art Week, the NADA Miami event stood out as a figurative painting-stuffed showcase of 170 galleries, many of which where helmed by enthusiastic participants in the NFT-heavy reopening of the art world. One of the standout figures in this corner of the universe is Ebony L. Haynes, the phenom director at David Zwirner who’s also expanding the traditional gallery model with 52 Walker, a gallery designed to showcase a diverse selection of artists who’re operating at many different stages in their careers. Observer caught up with Haynes in the midst of her incredibly busy week to see how things are going.
Observer: Congratulations on such a huge year! What can you tell me about the new special section of NADA Miami you’re putting together?
Haynes: Curated Spotlight is a lens into what I find interesting and captivating right now. I chose to highlight these participants because their program, and how they work with artists, struck me as being particularly unique and important to pay attention to. The entire experience has been a very rewarding opportunity for me as a curator and dealer and I hope this section will remain for the years to come.
How are you seeing NFTs and the invasion of crypto changing the fair permanently?
I think there are some potentially radical ideas within the emerging NFT world that could balance and neutralize the systems in which we measure value. I don’t claim to be an expert on the subject, and it’s evolving as fast as it has emerged, but, I do believe that there is space for progress and financial empowerment within the sector.
What’s the mood on the ground at NADA this year?
The vibe at NADA this year has been so refreshing – especially after so much time cut off from community and cultural gatherings the past year or so. Nothing beats the opportunity to see art in person.
And finally, how are the inaugural months of 52 Walker going?
52 Walker has taken a small step away from the traditional gallery model and I see the space as an extension of what I find captivating at the moment. To say it’s been a rewarding first month is an understatement! I am excited to keep going and to share new exhibitions, books, and programming with the community.