One man’s ambition: Gary Nader an ambassador of Latin American art

Posted on October - 29 - 2018

Courtesy: Craig Denis

Courtesy: Craig Denis

As we have mentioned before, Miami is a fertile and exuberant place for Latin American art, it serves as a melting pot of cultures where the South meets the North and explodes in a cacophony of trends, parties, and eccentric art characters. The Miamian ecosystem counts among its ranks many Latin American tycoons that have orbited towards the arts, from Ella Fontanals-Cisneros to billionaire real estate developer Jorge M. Pérez whose name is carried by one of the most significant museums in the area.

A name that hangs high in the art world in Miami, is that of Gary Nader, who has become a prominent figure both locally and internationally. Hailing from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, with strong Lebanese roots, Nader was raised by parents that owned galleries and who groomed him for was yet to come. Guided by a passion for art, Nader is one of a kind in the art world, a man who has built an empire with will and determination. Nader moved to Miami in 1985, and for the last 30 years, he has been a dominating presence, resulting in the impressive Gary Nader Fine Art in 1992. Today, the gallery is one of the biggest and most important fine art galleries in the world. The art dealer has amassed an impressive collection of over 55,000 pieces in his own private collections which are exhibited in a section of his gallery called Gary Nader’s Private Collection. As well, many major names have graced the walls of this Exhibition and Sculpture Gallery. However, Nader is internationally known for having the most extensive collection of Botero in the world, possessing over 100 works by the artist.

With an impressive curriculum, it’s hard not to idealize the visionary collector. However, his name has been recently associated in a controversial legal battle with a local education institution. Since a few years ago, the entrepreneur has set his intentions on building a grander place for his collection in the form of a Latin American Art Museum. This led him to bid for a property in downtown Miami, which today is a parking lot for Miami Dade College students, valued at $125 million. However, as other organizations would have been tempted by Nader’s offer, Miami Dade College rejected such offer, which resulted in a messy legal battle between the two parties (even leading to a breach between once time friends Nader and Jorge M. Perez, whose company Related Group submitted a competing proposal).

As Nader’s ambitions have led him to become one of Miami’s most sought-after art dealer and collector, as well as a champion and ambassador of Latin American art, his newer projects might lead him astray from what has made him a unique character. Only time will tell if his dreams will materialize into another addition to Miami’s impression artistic community, at the cost of millions of public dollars spent in lawsuits.

By: Gabriela Martinez de la Hoz