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DP: You grew up in Roslyn, New York? NK: (laughs) Yes, I am a local product from Long Island. DP: How did you get involved in the art scene? NK: I always worked in the hospitality industry and I always wanted to own and operate a restaurant, so I went to study Hospitality Management at the Florida International University in Miami. I loved the lifestyle of South Florida and decided to move down. DP: Yes, I’m thinking about moving down there myself. NK: Exactly (laughs). So I became event manager and ultimately the facility manager at the Miami Beach Convention Center, which is now the home of Art Basel Miami, but back 25 years ago, there was only the original art fair Art Miami. That was the first show I worked on. From Miami I went to work for the International Speedway Corporation out of Daytona, Florida, the Manager of Corporate Partnerships at their Miami track. I worked the high end open wheel circuit - INDY , CART, ROLEX, Grand AM- and then helped bring the national championship NASCAR race to Miami. DP: Very cool. So how did you end up back in the art business? NK: I was invited to help run two hugely successful art fairs in Palm Beach and eventually became the executive vice president of that business. In 2008 I returned to Miami to work with Art Miami, as the Director in 2008 and positioned the fair along Art Basel MB, in 2009 the partnership group consisting of myself, Mike Tansey and Brian Taylor purchased the fair to create Art Miami LLC.

Moon Se-Hwa - When was it, 2014, Oil on canvas, 60.5x60 cm, Gamo Gallery Seoul ,Korea

DP: All your art fairs are so luxurious, well run and truly enjoyable. I think maybe because of your hands-on hospitality experience in running large convention centers and huge international luxury events. NK: Very true. I started from the ground up in both the operational aspects of producing an exhibition – which includes promotion and marketing – and obviously the hospitality business. We are hosts to over 85,000 people in December with our Miami fairs. While doing this, I have also learned a great deal about art from some of the best art dealers in the world. DP: Art is so enjoyable but it is also a great investment. NK: Yes, for me it was always about working with the top tier of any market. It starts with the level of dealers that we bring into our fairs and how new dealers are vetted in. It follows with the luxury sponsors that support our fairs. The goal is to bring in top, established, seasoned collectors and to invite a new group of young investors who are looking to diversify their assets by buying investment quality work. In the end, the shows have to be successful and that means the dealers have to sell the art. DP: A day at one of your fairs feels like going on a mini luxury art vacation. They are so enjoyable. The dealers and artists are very friendly and inclusive, which is not necessarily the norm in the high-end art world. I can’t wait for ArtSouthampton 2014. Thank you so much for sharing your time with me and the readers of 25A magazine. Art Southampton 2014 will be held from July 24-28, 2014 at the South Hampton’s Elk Lodge, 605 Country Road 39, Southampton, NY 11968. Visit www.art-southampton.com for tickets and more information.

Nick Korniloff with Pamela Cohen

July 2014 | 107

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