Who represents the next generation of break-out visual artists in Miami? Where will the next Naomi Fisher, Jim Drain, Hernan Bas, Daniel Arsham, Mark Handforth, Dara Friedman, Bert Rodriguez and/or Michael Vasquez come from? They’ve all had international careers, multiple gallery shows and museum opportunities. Who might be the next group of artists to reach that level and stand on the world stage? Here are nine that I think have a shot…

Nicolas Lobo is almost too smart for his audience sometimes and is always making thoughtful conceptual sculpture that pushes the envelope. And check out his new book, just published by Gean Moreno’s Name Publications.

Nicolas Lobo's "Chopped and Screwed Up Nelson Bench," photo courtesy of nicolaslobo.com.

Tatiana Vahan is about to get her moment at MOCA, and we all know how good Bonnie Clearwater is at selecting future rock stars. Tatiana’s drivers license piece, where she went back to the DMV and got a new license every 30 days for months is what put her on my radar. So subversive! Vahan’s work will be included in MOCA’s Open Process: New Works by Miami Artists exhibition, on display from March 18-June 5, 2011, click here for info.

Tatiana Vahan's Untitled (Mondays), photo courtesy of TatianaVahan.com


Natalya Laskis is a painter who is coming into her own after a stint as Hernan Bas’ assistant. I just did a recent studio visit and her work is getting bigger and less structured and it is working. Click here to see some of her work at Fredric Snitzer Gallery.

Natalya Laskis' "Roberta House," photo courtesy of Fredric Snitzer Gallery

Jillian Mayer is not exactly a well-kept secret, given her recent selection as one of a handful of profiled winners of the Guggenheim’s YouTube Play Creative Video Biennial. I am obsessed with her 60-second “Scenic Jogging” video, and I can’t wait for her upcoming show at David Castillo Gallery.

Zach Balber’s photographs see things in everyday life that the rest of us pass by. There is a soul in the photos that is quite compelling.

Zach Balber's "Pusher," photo courtesy of Fredric Snitzer Gallery


Beatriz Monteavaro’s recent scary monster drip painting at MAM was a bold new direction for her that I hope she continues to follow.

Beatriz Monteavaro's "He Has His Father's Eyes," photo courtesy of beatrizmonteavaro.blogspot.com


Felice Grodin’s latest drawings seem almost otherworldly. These might be the ones to take her to the next level.

Felice Grodin's "Red Flag," photo courtesy of FeliceGrodin.com


Tim Buwalda is the hardest working artist in Miami. His hyper realist painting of wrecked cars work best when they border abstraction and reality.

Tim Buwalda's "Poseidon," photo courtesy of Tim Buwalda


Christina Gast’s last film at Gallery Diet was a tour de force. With a huge sculptural screen element, you felt like you were in the middle of the panoramic film. Gast just returned from a residency / think tank at Karukinka Natural Park in southern Tierra del Fuego, Chile, where she was invited on a 10-day exploration of the landscape with the goal of designing an artist-in-residence program that would have a deep impact in the region and a goal of promoting conservation. Her project Herbert Hoover Dyke is on view at the de la Cruz Collection through March 12.

Christina Gast's Batty Cave Installation, photo courtesy of Gallery Diet

So, there are some of my predictions. What about yours? Tell us who you think might be the next break-out art star from Miami’s incredibly talented pool of working artists…

11 Responses to “Miami’s emerging artists: Who’s next?”

  1. Dan Mikesell says:

    There are very solid selections here. I would add the following to a broader list: Typoe, Mike Genovese, TM Sisters and Brandon Opalka.

  2. James Echols says:

    Thanks for bringing this up for discussion. We have so many spectactular artists in Miami that nobody knows about, yet. We must keep working hard to let the rest of the world know about the creative talent that we have.

  3. Elisa Turner says:

    Hi Dennis, This is a great list, especially Beatriz Monteavaro. Maybe you saw that I profiled her for the Feb 2010 ARTnews, as one of several the magazine included in its cover story, “Artists to Watch.” I wrote more about her in my blog post of 6/30/10, “Beatriz Monteavaro: Miami’s Wonder Woman.” Follow my blog at http://www.artcircuitsartcentric.blogspot.com Or if you go to the Art Circuits website, you can also find easy access to my blog, Artcentric column, and my monthly Critic’s Choice.

  4. Afua Hall says:

    I look forward to seeing more of the above mentioned artists work, and if the list is ever expanded I’d love to see Todd Thomas aka T. Eliiot Mansa included. I hope more folks get the chance to see his work. I had the pleasure of a studio visit and was moved by his corner store and cleopatra series.

  5. Marla Thompson says:

    One question-How many of these artists’ works are owned by Mr. Scholl? So Scholl buys and sells art, runs a non-profit where he decides what artists (and real estate developers) to fund, and then pens pieces promoting particular artists. Is there a conflict of interest there? And no one can say anything or your funding dries up. All hail the mighty collector.

    • Dennis Scholl says:

      Dear Marla, You make an important journalistic point. I think I should have disclosed that I collect some of the artists that were on my list. Thanks for pointing that out. For the record, I have over 250 artists in my collection, including many local artists, and over 600 works, including those of three artists (Tim Buwalda, Jillian Mayer and Nick Lobo) from the list of nine. Thanks for writing. Dennis

  6. Hello Friends,

    I had to post it for What’s Up Miami?


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