OOOOhhh, so THAT'S what POP Surrealism is! Aqua Art for Art Basel

Darlings, it's DIVA'S TIME OF THE YEAR! Art Basel week is my fave week of the entire year as Miami is just FLOODED with art oozing out of every nook, cranny and white tent from all over the city! Artists, galleries, collectors and culture vultures come in from all over the world to purchase and view stunning and thought-provoking creations for an entire week. Art Basel is really the "kick off" for the holiday party season in Miami and you know La Diva HAD to be in the heart of it all!

Art Basel takes place at the Miami Beach convention center but there are myriad satellite events and tents off the beach and in the Design District and Wynwood Arts district as well.

One of La Diva's favorite satellite art shows is Aqua Art in the Wynwood Arts District. The exhibition started out as a small show at the Aqua hotel on the beach with each "room" becoming an individual "gallery" representing art from around the globe. The show has grown significantly over the last few years and now is held solely in a large warehouse space over in Wynwood and is just exploding with the wackiest stuff you could possibly imagine!

La Diva taking a much needed break with a refreshing mimosa. It was unseasonably hot and humid this day and the air con was really being taxed!

Painted on the wall entrance to the warehouse gallery space of Aqua Wynwood.

Since I've been attending Art Basel since moving to Miami in 2005, I've noticed there is usually a congruent thread that runs through-out the art works on display. I see certain trends and themes that pop up amongst the artists each year and this year was no exception. Over the years I've noticed the following themes:

  • North American fauna: birds, wolves, deer and bear
  • Laser cutting of unusual objects. I saw an old wheelbarrow cut entirely using a laser, it was incredible
  • Resin mounting
  • Fabric and textiles, embroidery, crocheting or knitting over deer antlers and trees and other objects.
  • Mounting art using pins and pin heads

This year the common threads I noticed were:

  • Eighties flashbacks of collage and mixed media and loads of pop icon images, comic book style. Also the technique of outlining color in black.
  • Mutant art, things not depicted as they really are and organic animals, humans, bugs and objects morphing into something else.
  • Skulls and gas masks kept turning up as subject matter
  • Paintings done in layers and on several pieces of glass to create dimension and texture.
  • Classic Asian influences in contemporary art work such as Chinese dragons, Balinese monsters, koi fish, etc.

Some of the art is quite disturbing and I can't imagine it hanging from my walls on a permanent basis! However, ART is supposed to engage, shock, frighten and provoke emotion and thought as well as just realistically depict something beautiful. The art at Aqua really pushes the boundaries of imagination and also my comfort levels! So while La Diva doesn't necessarily comprehend some of the art (or even like it!) I am able to certainly still appreciate it and am constantly amazed at the imagination, cleverness and dedication of many of the artists being shown.

When I asked one particular curator about his collection of crazy and wacky art, I was told that the style is called "pop surrealism" also known as "lowbrow" art. I LOVE IT! You can read more info on pop surrealism here.

Much to my dismay, my once excellent camera is starting to fail me. In years past I've been able to capture the art in great detail and now I find my camera will barely focus!! You can click on most of the photos to see more detail but apologies for the lack of high definition!

This display was made entirely of beads on pins! The scene reminded me of Miami Beach with a beautiful city on the edge of a turquoise blue sea! Clever, clever!

Examples of mixed media pop art that reminded me of art from the 80's. Frankly, I've seen it done and done better by artist Peter Mars from Chicago, who has been leading the avant pop art movement for the last 20 years.

This just cracked a Diva up! Click on the photo to see more detail!

Examples of the Asian art influence!

Using black as an outline to color makes the colors POP!

This was one of our favorite exhibits! Kooky and colorful robots painted in miniature and providing an affordable option for novice collectors.

La Diva was tempted to make a purchase but I think the tiny paintings would be more visually impressive hung as part of a group. Yet, I like the idea of one tiny painting used like a small surprise in a certain spot where most work would be too large to be hung!

Another painting that we thought was a hoot! Go on and click to see more detail. (you know you want to!)

So darlings, Art Basel comes to a close after another frantic week of art, parties, music and overall FABULOUSNESS!! La Diva is spent and culturally satiated. For now.

Ciao!cooking class, cocktails, parties, cocktail party, Miami, coral gables, events, bartending class, cocktail class, Laura Lafata, Miami Beach, miami cooking classes, bachelorette parties, bachelorette party, personal chef, corporate events, catering, personal chef, party entertainment


Boxer said...

wow. I have sensory overload just looking at these. I would have needed more than a mimosa! What an amazing collection of art you "collected" and I think of all your pictures, the bead/pin one got my heart. It's amazing. I'll be very interested to see what Moi will have to say.

MJ said...

I'll take Boxer's mimosa if she's turning it down.

Dani said...

I'm always amazed when it comes to artists. I can draw stick people, but that's about it.

Love the subtle pink highlight in your hair. Very LaDiva like. :)

Jill said...

I would love to come next year. It looks like Where the Wild Things Are...may have been another influence on a lot of the art. Thanks for posting so many pics. The pin piece must have taken forever! You look ravishing in blue, chica!!

Jill said...

Any typically of me...I love the redheaded pixie Japanese girly stomping on all those hearts!

thombeau said...

Dat be sum cool shit!

Jabbabubba said...

Would be very very nice if you'd put the artists and names of the pieces on this post...