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Real-Estate Developer John Marquez Will Open a Foundation in Miami to Showcase His Personal Collection of Colorful Figurative Art

Next year, Miami will get another art space with the opening of MAP Marquez Art Projects, a nonprofit started by John Marquez, the collector, real estate developer and restaurateur behind Sushi Noz in Manhattan.

The foundation will house three galleries dedicated to rotating work from Marquez’s personal collection, as well as a space for individual exhibitions, kicking off with a show by abstract painter Cristina De Miguel.

“I am naturally attracted to a lot of color and figurativeness. Figuration is my first love, but I leaned more toward abstraction,” Marquez said at his Coral Gables home at a cocktail party for De Miguel, hosted the night before Art Basel Miami Beach’s VIP opening.

If Marquez’s art-filled home is any indication of what could fill the walls of the foundation, one can expect sculptures by Raven Halfmoon, Jordy Kerwick, KAWS, Javi Calleja, Ryan Schneider and Stefan Rinck, and paintings by Emily Mae Smith, Nicolas Party, Robin Francesca Willams, Alejandro Piñeiro Bello, George Condo and Genesis Tremaine, among others.

“I have bought a lot of abstraction like Marina Perez Simão and Lauren Quin. But it’s mainly the figure that I love – I love faces, I love eyes. And lots of color,” he added. De Miguel’s vibrant figure is a perfect distillation of that taste, with lush colors and energetic bodies racing across her canvases.

The 10,000-square-foot foundation will be in Miami Beach’s Allapptah neighborhood, near the Rubell Museum, at 2395 NW 21st Terrace. The original architect for the space was Terry Riley, the former chief architectural curator at the Museum of Modern Art who died last year, in the midst of building the warehouse. After a short hiatus, Marquez expects the launch to come in the spring of 2023: “We’re shooting for April or May.”

The idea for the space came about five years ago, when Marquez said his collection really started to take off. He started buying art in 2010, at first almost exclusively works by Banksy and KAWS. Then Marquez came in early with some knockouts like Robert Nava, Jordy Kerwick and Vaughn Spann, fueling his passion for emerging art. Around this point, his collection grew to a size where he needed storage space.

“I said well, if I’m going to do this, why don’t I just do a foundation and open it up to the public?”

Marquez will now join other collectors who have decided to open their collections to the public, including Lonti Ebers in New York by Amant, the De Menil Collection in Houston, and of course the Rubell Museum in Miami. In fact, like the Rubell’s programming, MAP will also feature artist residencies.

“I just wanted to do it for the city and support young artists,” he said. “It’s really my passion.”

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