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7 questions for Miami Fine Art Gallery founder Les Roberts about the city’s rise to international art stardom

7 questions for Miami Fine Art Gallery founder Les Roberts about the city’s rise to international art stardom

For more than twenty years, the Miami Fine Art Gallery has maintained a position in the city as a stronghold of historic and contemporary art from both local and international artists. The gallery presents an eclectic range of work, from blue chip icons like Andy Warhol and Jeff Koons to some of today’s most sought-after creatives such as Mr. Brainwash and KAWS, and can meet collectors where they are, and give collectors exactly what they need. are looking for.

Miami Fine Art is led by Les Roberts, who trained in New York at institutions such as New York University and Sotheby’s and, together with his expert team, brings a sense of eager enthusiasm for art to the gallery and the needs of his customers. Roberts has now worked in Miami’s art scene for decades and has gained a unique perspective and perspective on not only the art market, but also the evolution of the city’s position within the larger art world.

We spoke with Roberts to learn more about what he’s observed in Miami’s ever-evolving art scene and what advice he has for new collectors.

Courtesy of the Miami Fine Art Gallery.

Can you tell us about your career path prior to founding Miami Fine Art in 1997?

I have immersed myself in the art world my entire life. When I was seventeen I bought my first Erté piece and a few years later an Andy Warhol from the ‘Cowboys and Indians’ series. This early passion for art led me to open my first gallery in Orlando. When I noticed a wave of people moving to Miami for investment and permanent residency in 1997, I saw an opportunity to meet their growing interest in the arts. This inspired me to create the Miami Fine Art Gallery, and now we have three locations in Miami that aim to attract new collectors and enthusiasts by showcasing diverse and compelling works of art.

How have you seen the art scene in Miami change or evolve since the gallery was founded?

The most significant change in Miami’s art scene was Art Basel’s decision to establish a fair in the city. This shot put Miami on the international art map and used its strategic location as a bridge to Latin America and Europe. Additionally, Miami’s diverse cultural influences have enriched its arts scene, making it a dynamic and diverse environment for artistic exploration. The presence of Art Basel has attracted a global audience of collectors, curators and artists, creating a thriving market for contemporary art. The city’s unique blend of cultures, along with its vibrant community of local artists, galleries and institutions, has contributed to Miami’s reputation as a premier destination for arts and culture. This transformation has cemented Miami’s status as a major player in the global art world.

Courtesy of the Miami Fine Art Gallery.

Now that we’ve been in business for almost thirty years, what, looking back, has been one of your proudest, or perhaps most memorable, experiences you’ve had with the gallery?

One of my proudest moments was acquiring rare art from the Andy Warhol Foundation. This milestone underscored our gallery’s commitment to curating exceptional works. Another standout moment is the joy of helping customers discover the art they’ve always wanted, realize their dreams and enhance their collections. Our unwavering commitment to maintaining the pristine condition and provenance of our pieces is a core aspect of our gallery’s reputation and success. This commitment not only assures our customers of the authenticity and quality of their purchases, but also fosters long-term relationships based on trust and satisfaction. These elements jointly determine the identity of our gallery and contribute to its lasting legacy in the art world.

What are you looking for or what excites you about the art and artists you want to show?

I am fascinated by art that changed the world, especially the works of Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein. Their ability to transform mass production ideas into unique works of art interests me greatly. This visionary approach, where everyday elements are elevated into extraordinary art, is what I look for in artists. I look for those who push boundaries and create works that challenge conventional perceptions. I strive to bring pieces to our gallery that not only captivate, but also inspire and provoke thought. This commitment to groundbreaking art defines our gallery’s collection, offering our clients pieces that are both remarkable and transformative.

Courtesy of the Miami Fine Art Gallery.

What advice would you give to a new collector just starting their collecting journey?

For those new to collecting, finding a gallery director you trust is crucial. Ask about their experiences and the origin of the works of art they offer. This ensures that you make informed decisions and purchase authentic pieces. Start with smaller purchases to broaden your understanding of the art market and discover which styles and artists really resonate with you. Take the time to educate yourself, attend gallery shows, and connect with other collectors. By gradually developing your taste and knowledge, you can make more confident and meaningful additions to your collection. This approach not only deepens your appreciation for art, but also makes for a rewarding and enriching collecting journey.

Have you recently discovered trends in the local or larger art market that you find particularly interesting or exciting?

Recently, there has been a growing interest in street art, with street artists making significant waves in the art market through various mediums. In Miami, collectors are increasingly drawn to works by artists such as Banksy, KAWS, Kai, Retna and Richard Orlinski, which reflect the vibrant and evolving art scene here. These artists bring a fresh, dynamic perspective to contemporary art and merge urban culture with visual art. Additionally, there has been a recent surge in blue chip art, especially Andy Warhol. As a result, we have amassed a spectacular inventory of Andy Warhol artwork, many of which are unique pieces. Their work not only captivates a diverse audience, but also challenges traditional views on art and its place in society. This surge in popularity underscores Miami’s role as a vibrant center for innovative and influential art, where collectors seek groundbreaking pieces that redefine the boundaries of artistic expression.

Courtesy of the Miami Fine Art Gallery.

Is there any gallery news or upcoming events you can tell us about?

On July 6, our Coconut Grove location will feature our largest exhibition to date featuring pieces by Jean-Michel Basquiat and Andy Warhol. This is a rare opportunity for collectors to purchase exceptional works by these iconic artists.

Read more here and discover the Miami Fine Art Gallery.

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