This is no fair for the faint-hearted or of slight intellect. All international art fairs have their specific personalities: flashy (usually describes Art Basel Miami Beach), snobby (usually refers to the NADA fairs or Liste in Basel) or serious (Art Basel, itself, or Frieze). ARTISSIMA is as well balanced and smooth as a fresh cappuccino: a fair that appeals to a smart, well-traveled and highly connected crowd of international viewers.

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Just in time for Art Basel - the Design District will be the first U.S. stop for Spain’s new international traveling exhibition as Tapas - Spanish Design for Food takes over The Moore Building now through Sunday, December 15.

Would you readily expect to find one of the world's most formidable gallery programs in a small Tuscan town that isn't even accessible by train? Probably not. But when you take into account that Galleria Continua in San Gimignano (about an hour and a half outside of Florence) has been open for 23 years, has expanded to Beijing and Le Moulin (France), and represents artists such as Ai Weiwei, Anish Kapoor, Antony Gormley and Mona Hatoum, you'd go a bit out of your way, too.

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There isn't a shadow of a doubt that the digital universe has a life force all its own. Julian Opie proves this point, to the hilt; his groundbreaking paintings, videos and animation works materialized (what we commonly refer to now as) the 'avatar'. Block blacks lines, minimal shadows and solid colors were still able to communicate the bare essence of each subject, leaving viewers to fill in the infinite spaces between and beyond.

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In 1974, Art Basel wasn't the only fledgling contemporary art fair to emerge in Europe. Around the same time, the Fair of Contemporary Art was held at the site of the old Bastille in the center of Paris. It was since renamed International Contemporary Art Fair (commonly referred to as FIAC) and was moved into its current abode at the Grand Palais. It wasn't until 1976 that FIAC was considered a groundbreaking contemporary art fair, as it began to attract American galleries. Photography was introduced as a medium for the fair in 1982, with a dedicated exhibition space at the fairgrounds. The so-called 'video cube' was unveiled in 2001, highlighting young artists specializing in new media.

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