After a trip to this year’s edition of the SCOPE Art Show, our favorite of all the Basel Fairs, we noticed, yet again, what we’ve been writing about for years. Artists and gallery owners are moving to Miami and they are staying. It’s a thing. And yet again, at this year’s Scope, it’s on display almost as soon as you walk into the exhibition.
For the record, the New York Times wrote only yesterday its thesis that Miami is attracting artists.
Anyway, Le Vagabondsss aka Gianni Acra moved to Miami from Haiti in 2020. The gallery representing him (The Silver Contemporary) is so new they don’t even have a website. Yet they are the first booth you see upon entering SCOPE.
And Mr. Acra’s work is selling.
Fittingly, Le Vagabondsss jumped on The Jitney for a talk about art, identity, race and more.
Le Vagabondsss Interview
The Jitney: You don’t look Haitian.
Le Vagabondsss: Yes. (laughs). I’m Haitian, Lebanese, Mexican. But I was born here so American too. But Haiti is my home.
Tell us about your artist name.
Yeah, it means somebody without a home. And it’s like a certain mindset that you have when you no longer feel accepted by the people you knew.
So this is your first exhibition?
Yes. My first exhibition. Yes.
How long have you been painting?
I’ve been painting for a year and a half.
Oh wow, congratulations. That’s really cool.
Thank you. This is like a big deal. It’s a big deal right now.
Yeah, your work, it catches the eye and it’s not just because it’s colorful, animated, introverted nature. I don’t know, it just brings you in, man. (We were standing in front of his painting “The Words Became Flesh”)
View this post on Instagram
That’s the intent behind the work. I want to do something almost provoking but when you come, it’s really not. It’s with love and it’s with joy, but something calls. If you look, he’s like looking straight at you.
Most of your paintings are done with acrylic on canvas?
Do you see yourself staying in Miami or like moving to New York or Los Angeles? Or go back home to Haiti?
I see myself in Miami but exhibiting all throughout these places. But a part of me always wants to go back home. God willing, if become more famous with my work, I would probably be based in Haiti.
This is legitimately the prime Scope real estate. Good luck this week and nice to meet you.
View this profile on Instagram
This article was abbreviated from a much longer conversation.