Miami ART WEEK 2013 Recap by La Diva Cucina

South Florida artist Jonathan Stein creates corporate art using crystals, absolutely STUNNING.  READ MORE.

Every year during the first week of December, Miami is thrown into havoc and submerged into the world of ART.  Fabulous ART.  Bad ART.  Expensive ART.  Emerging ART.  And whatever you might feel about any of it, it's ART none the less.  ART is everywhere, on the beach, in tents and spray painted on can't escape ART, even if you try.

The city is flooded with art collectors, artists, curators, wanna-be's, grifters,  snowbirds, posers, locals, celebrities and prostitutes.  The restaurants are overflowing with patrons hungry to eat and willing to wait while the streets are crowded with cars trying to get on and off the beach between Midtown, Wynwood and Miami Beach.  It's utter chaos.  

And La Diva LOVES every minute of it!

The art show that started it all is called Art Basel and it all began in Basel, Switzerland where have their show annually, as well as in Hong Kong.  From what I've heard, ol' Basel is quite boring compared to what goes on in Miami, though!  Besides the art, Miami is THRIVING with parties, pop up restaurants, bars and events all with the backdrop of a beautiful beach setting including palm trees, sand and blue waves.

With the popularity of Art Basel, a very large number of satellite art tents and shows have cropped up at the same time.  "Art Basel" has now become a generic word synonymous with any number of art shows, though I'm certain the producers of Art Basel find that infuriating!  I much prefer the edgy satellite shows over the hoighty-toighty Art Basel where if one steps so much as an inch into a gallery space they are scrutinized by some snippy sales person in order for the them to determine if you are worth wasting their breath on.  Indeed, the fact that I've dressed to the nines while attending the official Art Basel at the Miami Beach Convention Center meant that I got a lot of attention as a presumed art investor, though usually I'm only there to see the art, get ideas, see what's new and talk to the artists themselves, if they are there.

My favorite shows to see are Scope, Aqua and Art Miami.  While there are a number of shows to attend, more and more every year, in fact, I find the work at Scope to be the most "out there" and unusual along with Aqua, which has more subversive and "affordable," edgy art.  Art Miami is more mainstream and the crowd it attracts seems to support this.  But the sheer size of Art Miami, along with their new show Context, is enough incentive for me to check it out.

Every year my husband, The DJ, and I play a game of "What's going to be the common thread?"  In years past I've seen trends based on medium and subject matter, as if there is some sort of global synergy or intuition amongst artists the world over.

This year was no exception.  I noticed:

BONES:  Lots of artwork made with lots of bones

By artist Jennifer Trask and consisting of python and rattlesnake bones

Artist Jessica Joslin using antique brass, steel, bone, glass eyes and glove leather.

ANIMALS:  I noticed many primates this year at all of the shows I attended.  Years before, the focus was more on woodland creatures like bears, birds and deer.

I pretty much find monkeys repulsive and the art work was no better, especially the one of the chimp dressed as a man behind a woman grabbing her breasts at Aqua, which I found downright disturbing.  But this monkey covered in beads was quite appealing.  By artist Jan Huling.

By Miami Beach artist Enrique Gomez De Molina using beetle wings, feathers on top of a real animal (not sure what sort, some kind of deer, obviously) who actually was prosecuted for bringing animal parts in illegally to the United States.

SKULLS:  In carvings, as sculpture or as the subject, skulls were everywhere.

Top and lower right:  Artist Lee Downey.  Carved fossilized walrus tusks, black jet stone with turquoise inlays.  Porcelain skull by Katsuyo Aoki.

3D VIDEO:  It's been becoming more and more popular over the years.

Video art done in three ways:  Artist Cameron Gray offers a live performance along with his video art.  A montage of confusing and chaotic images are on the huge screen in front of a real man, zoned out and not blinking an eye, amongst dozens of real pizza boxes and 7-Eleven Big Gulp.  Also, on the bottom right the artist uses 3D television.  The robot in the upper corner is actually a sculpture with 4D mapping projected on it.  AMAZING stuff!

ALWAYS popular is the art that will surely piss some people right off.....

By RYKA at Aqua

Artist Scott Scheidly at Scope

All in all, I truly enjoyed this year's Art Basel, just like I do every year, and am always absolutely amazed at the volume of clever, talented and downright ingenious people that show.  Come back shortly for my next Art Basel Art Week post:  Everything is NOT what it seems!

Ciao for now, darling!


chickory said...

wonderful recap. what was that piece at the beginning looks like short fat birthday candles or reminds me of that weird candy that was like liquid filled wax shapes> remember those? I hated all the skulls surprised to see that hackneyed theme still - i guess in the nihilistic age it is inescapable. i dont like primates either - as you might remember how utterly flipped i was about the chimp on xanax who ate a lady's face off. I didnt think the bone art was as cool as the owl i saw recently in ABQ made of used cigarettes paper. i thought that unicorn thing with beetle bodies was pretty cool. I should come to that some time, I know I would love it. thanks for posting this!

Joan Nova said...

Great coverage -- and you created your own ART with that wonderful collage of pastels. Were they candles?

LaDivaCucina said...

Thanks Joan and Chicory, guess I've been too busy to comment back! Those waxy things are actually those little plastic soy sauce containers in the shape of a fish that come with sushi!!! The artist took out all of the soy sauce and refilled with coloured water. How the hell they did that.....? Must be very patient.

Ande, YES, you should come down one year, I'd love it. It's very inspirational and I love meeting the artists, if they are there. This year I met a crazy Israeli photographer who would photograph a cool texture like a plant and then put it on the image. But he would take the photograph of the person and then put it over the texture and then take a photograph again. Very cool stuff. Thanks for your comments.