Art Basel Miami Beach 2016 Week – Post-Election Funk Casts a Shadow on the Hottest Art Fair Week of the Year

After a particularly nasty and grueling U.S. election season complete with shocking outcome, I have to admit my usual Art Basel – Miami Beach Week excitement had been smushed a few notches.

As the invites rolled in, I found myself confronting a post-election malaise. I wondered if I should just take a pass this year from the many fabulous contemporary art and design world events and Netflix binge instead, sequestering myself in a dark room hoping that this all was a bad dream.

I am so very glad I did not go down the path of least movement but instead ventured out to commiserate with fellow attendees, exhibitors, designers, curators, artists and journalists at the temporary crossroads of the best in contemporary art and collectible design.

Wherever I went, no matter the happening, event or exhibition, I had the best conversations with complete strangers or people who “knew” me from my social media channels but hadn’t met me in person yet.  I took tons of photos and  some videos (not as much as I would have liked). 

While I did not get to see everything I wanted to see, I did see a lot, so stay tuned for upcoming posts! 

 

 

 

Favorite Artist Spotlight: Alex Kuhn

2016 was a banner year for me in meeting and getting to know artists from a wide variety of different genres including but not limited to film-making, performance art, music, multi-media art, painting,  graphic arts and fashion.  So, I’ve decided that it’s about darn time that I do posts about them and share why I love their works.  First up in my Favorite Artist Spotlight is Philadelphia based artist Alex Kuhn,  who’s amazing art practice centers on nature-related works and pyrography. Continue reading “Favorite Artist Spotlight: Alex Kuhn”

Design Miami/ 2016 Highlights: Maison Perrier-Jouët Strand Garden by Andrew Kudless

The Maison Perrier – Jouët Strand Garden by Andrew Kudless  at  Design Miami/ was an oasis of serenity and calm in the midst of the biggest design show in North America.  

Drawing from Perrier-Jouët’s  history with Art Nouveau,  San Francisco based designer Andrew Kudless combined those elements with those involved in the ritual of serving champagne: 

“I was interested in the way that strands, fibers, branches and vines were applied across every aspect of Art Nouveau, from paintings to architecture, says Kudless. “The curving strand motif evokes nature and movement over time. I wanted to look at four of Perrier-Jouët’s emblematic materials – wood, chalk, glass and grapes – and see how I could create strands out of each one.”

The three screens of 8′ curving strands were meant to evoke tree trunks or vines.

The interlocking oak-top benches were meant to evoke the riddling racks and wine wine presses while their concrete legs resemble the chalk that shelters the cellers and nourish the vines.

This table placed in the center of the space was made from bio plastics and was illuminated from within thus evoking the radiant clarity and vibrant personality of Perrier-Jouët wines .

And placed on top of this magnificent table was this extraordinary ice bucket 3D-printed from ground Chardonnay grape skins! Entitled The Perrier-Jouët Marc Metamorphosis, it is a fitting tribute to the freshness, subtlety and sophistication of the Perrier-Jouët Belle Epoque cuvée using the cognizant metaphor of the wrinkled raisin.   

So happy I was able to spend some time in Strand Garden!

More images from this wonderful installation courtesy of Perrier-Jouët: 

SCAD at Miami Presents Theater of Self featuring Daniel Lismore

The use of clothes to define, defend and defy societal conventions is at the center of the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) presents SCAD AT MIAMI – Theater of Self: An Exploration of Identity, featuring works by  Daniel Lismore and photography by SCAD graduate student Bin Feng (M.F.A. Photography) that I previewed last week.  

The core of the exhibition is a phalanx of 20 Daniel Lismore life-size mannequins festooned in his spectacularly designed creations that are accompanied by five light boxes of photos of Lismore taken by New York-based photographer Colin Douglas Gray. These five featured looks are also included in Lismore’s upcoming monograph, published by Skira Rizzoli in collaboration with SCAD entitled Daniel Lismore: Be Yourself, Everyone Else Is Already Taken, due out for international release in February 2017.

As I walked around each exciting ensemble, I realized that I could spend hours looking at Daniel Lismore ‘s creations and still not be able to fathom all the intricacies involved in creating them.   

Accompanying Limore’s works, Bin Feng’s self-portraits of himself living a stylized version of the  “American Dream” offer profound insights to the subjects of class, race and gender from a non-Western perspective. This inclusion of Feng’s works could not have been more timely as the recent brutal election season has shown that we Americans have vastly different interpretations of what those “dreams” mean as well how we should attain them. 

Also included are works from SCAD graduates including exquisite furniture designed Kalin Asenov and Eny Lee Parker,  thrilling paintings by Whitney Wood Bailey and  gorgeous lighting fixtures with embroidered cotton corded shades by April Rivers Locke.   

In addition to all this, SCAD AT MIAMI also is showcasing the world’s first ever virtual reality musical “Say It With Music”, produced &* written by Joshua Howard and directed and performed by SCAD students.  Fortunately, Howard was on hand along with SCAD student Lubomir Kocka to walk me through the process of getting set up and viewing this amazing production.

This totally immersive experience was extraordinary – it felt like I was not watching a musical as so much as being a silent participant .  While you will have to go to the exhibition to experience this, you can see a “behind the scenes” look here .

Here are more pics from the exhibition: 

Details are as follows (corrected from original post on 12/11/16):

Theater of Self

Dec. 2-13

11–6 p.m. daily

SCAD AT MIAMI

1601 N. Miami Ave.

Miami, Florida

Make sure to see this before it closes if you are in the area! 

Photo Credit: Simone Todd 

Upcoming Event: Design Miami/ 2016 Nov 30 – Dec 4

This year’s edition of Design Miami/ brings the best in design from galleries and exhibitors from across the globe and includes such highlights as:

  • The launch of Building Legacy: Designing for Sustainability, a partnership between Design Miami/ and the United Nations
  • Dean & DeLuca unveil Stage by German architect Ole Scheeren, a new food retail concept
  • Design Miami/ x Maison Kitsuné launch a limited edition mini-capsule collection at this year’s fair
  • Audi presents The Extra Hour by Lego
  • Maison Perrier-Jouët partners with American artist Andrew Kudless to present L’Eden
  • FENDI reaffirms its commitment to design at the fair and presents THE HAPPY ROOM by Cristina Celestino
  • Airbnb presents Sobremesa, a lively exploration of shared space, by Mexico City-based design studio Pedro&Juana
  • Louis Vuitton presents new additions to the Objets Nomades series which have been specially commissioned for Design Miami/
  • COMPAC will present ICE, a collaboration between the leading Spanish surfaces company and renowned artist and designer, Arik Levy
  • CNN Style joining Design Miami/ as the official news outlet of the fair with an on-site newsroom

A definite must-see!  Continue reading “Upcoming Event: Design Miami/ 2016 Nov 30 – Dec 4”