Ania “Forre & Covers” contemporary gallery symbolizes how business has changed along Las Olas Boulevard in the past decades.
Many businesses used to shut down during the summer, but growth has been so strong that Forr” opened Forr” & Co. Fine Art Gallery to seek the more steady year-around clientele that doesn’t exist in Aspen and Vail, where she has her other galleries.
The significance of Forre’s gallery was underscored at a recent Business for the Arts Broward event at the Museum of Art, which featured Mahi Binebine, a Moroccan novelist and artist who is known for bold sculptures and paintings that often depict themes of human bondage.
Binebine was born in Marrakesh, studied math and went to Paris and became a math teacher. That only took about 15 hours a week, so he also started writing and drawing. His works are internationally acclaimed and displayed in museums such as the Guggenheim in New York.
Many of Binebine’s works, which Forr” features, appear to draw on the experiences of his brother Aziz, who was a military officer imprisoned for 18 years in brutal conditions in a desert camp after an attempted coup. Half of the 56 prisoners died, but Aziz survived.
Mahi said during his talk that his brother was kept in a special jail where there was no light.
Binebine’s last novel, “Horses of God,” was turned into a movie and inspired by 14 Islamist suicide bombers who launched attacks in Casablanca.
Binebine’s appearance fits with Forr’s business strategy of staging proper exhibitions and educational programs for adults and children. She is also giving exposure to local artists, such as an upcoming “Where the Boys Are” exhibit.
Charting a career course
Forr” spent her early career as a private dealer living in Paris, Brussels and London.
“I learned what I don’t want to see in my galleries and how I wanted my gallery,” she says.
Her first contemporary art gallery opened in Aspen and she opened her Vail gallery in about 2010.
She has been able to build her business so that now she only features internationally recognized mid-career artists who are found in museums such as the Guggenheim and London’s The Tate and Victoria and Albert museums.
Her strategy is to find art that is likeable in a general sense. Some contemporary art may be outstanding, such as minimalistic paintings with straight lines, but don’t necessarily have a broad appeal, she says.
Forr” says, “I didn’t go into business because somebody said, “Here is a lot of money go buy art. I had to sell art to buy art.” ?