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The VICE Guide to Miami Art Fairs - A-ron Bondaroff

I could listen to A-Ron talk forever, which is lucky because he can really talk. I mean a lot. Whenever I asked him a question I felt like I was interrupting a monologue from The Warriors. One time I heard him say, "My plate is full and my...
January 1, 2000, 12:00am

I could listen to A-Ron talk forever, which is lucky because he can really talk. I mean a lot. Whenever I asked him a question I felt like I was interrupting a monologue from The Warriors. One time I heard him say, “My plate is full and my appetite is up. I’m about ready to chomp shit down.” Who says that? He should be mayor.


Vice: So you’re the Miami expert, apparently.

A-Ron Bondaroff:

It’s crazy. My parents moved down there two years ago from Coney Island so I’ve been going out there a lot. I call it the Lower East Side of the Lower East Coast, you know what I’m saying? It’s two hours away on an airplane and it’s perfect. I think right now in the downtown, in the design district and all that, the community is so happy to have people down there doing things. The first Saturday of every month they’re doing a gallery walk, all the galleries are open late and they got permits to throw block parties and drink on the street. You can never do that in New York! There’s so much freedom down there, it’s like the feeling of the old-school LES, all warehouses and run-down areas. I started a publishing company down there with my friends, called O.H.W.O.W, Our House West of Wynwood. I’m trying to create my own district down there, my own neighborhood. The Wynwood area is kinda like the design district, and I’m west of Wynwood, I’m trying to create my own neighborhood like SoHo, NoHo, so 20 years down the line it’ll be like, “Oh, that’s the ‘WoW’ community. Ask me some questions, man.

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So there’s a…

There’s a lot of freedom that you don’t really have in New York anymore. The art fair keeps getting bigger and bigger. The first couple of years it was very mellow, but it became this big monster, you know? The convention center is like all these rich-ass art dealers and all these old ladies, you see a lot of people with their faces all stretched back, crazy shit, like money from South America, and people started catching on and throwing parties and shit. This year it’s gonna be different with the economic crisis right now, so a lot of people aren’t throwing money around for big events. I was talking to Javier Perez and he has this giant sculpture by Agathe Snow and he wanted me to showcase it, but then he’s like, “Fuck, Aaron, the way the whole shit is goin’ financially, I don’t even know if this the right thing for me to be doin’, sending down this giant thing.” So he pulled out and now he’s gonna send down smaller pieces and stuff. So all the gallerists and curators have to think different about what they’re gonna take down this year.

Give us a crazy art-fair story.

The last fair was pretty funny, I threw a party for

Daddy

magazine, I was like, I wanna get all these uppity art people and bring them to sleazy Miami, the scene that goes on normally in Miami, so I rented out the strip club Gold Rush downtown, and you can get a 24-hour liquor license every Saturday, which is unheard of! It’s like New Year’s every Saturday in Miami! So we did this crazy party at this strip club, and there was all these gay guys, all these art people, old ladies, artists, everyone was just tripping out but it was cool to get everyone out of the highbrow environment. Anyway, after the party we took a cab down to the beach and we forgot about Neck Face in the back of the cab and…

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You forgot him?

Yeah, we had a car full of people and Neck Face was in the back. I guess he fell asleep and we forgot him.

In the cab?

In the cab. So we went to this next party, then we all went home, and we totally just forgot him. Here’s what happened, man: He calls me in the morning and he’s like, “Yo, what the fuck? I fell asleep in the caaaaab.” We totally forgot about him, the cab driver threw him out, and he was so drunk he just fell asleep on Washington Street! And when he woke up, some crazy homeless gay bum dude was kicking him and saying, “Hey, what’s up?”

Jesus.

Yeah, it was pretty funny.