Art-World Insiders Pick Art Basel in Miami Beach’s Artists to Watch

Article: Art-World Insiders Pick Art Basel in Miami Beach’s Artists to Watch


New York-based artist Hank Willis Thomas, whose own work (a giant speech-bubble bench) is installed outside in the fair’s Public sector, stopped short at the sight of a neon piece by Tavares Strachan at Fergus McCaffrey—a Venn diagram connecting the words “Us,” “We,” and “Them.” “I’m in a show called ‘Us is Them,’” he said, thoughtfully, of a current exhibition at Ohio’s Pizzuti Collection. “It’s a statement I’ve been saying for a long time.” It’s also one he wrote about last week in an essay for Creative Time Reports. Strachan’s neon, included in the Bahamas-born artist’s first exhibition at the gallery’s St. Barths location, explores invisibility—or fitting in—within society. “Tavares is an artist whose work I’ve known for 10 years, but it’s new for it to be in an art fair, and it’s always hard to grasp,” Thomas said. “It’s interesting to see something that you’ve been mulling over in your brain for a while, manifested in the work of a different artist.” After a stroll through Positions, having circled back to the work, he elaborated on the draw to Strachan. “He’s using text in an engaging way. It seems like the work is a lot about intersections, and not using text for text’s sake but also to draw connections—both visually and conceptually—to things that are often seen as disparate.”

Tavares Strachan