Basel Blog

Art Signs during Art Basel Weekend. Photo: Tomas Loewy /



By Jane Wooldridge |

The Saturday brunch at Miami Beach’s Sagamore Hotel is always a VIP fave. And it’s not just because of the mimosas, made-to-order crepes or the impressive parterre garden leading to the pool and beach. It’s because of the art.

The hotel permanently exhibits works from owner Cricket Taplin’s expansive collection. Along with works permanently on display in hallways and lounges — including Massimo Vitali “Pic Nic Poker” photograph in the lobby — Taplin has add 16 new works to present “Fundamental,” an exhibition focused on nature, life and culture that is arrayed through the hotel public spaces and grounds. Among there are four works by Emil Lukas loaned by Sperone Westwater Gallery that focus on texture and physicality of organic materials; a massive but intricately drawn image on paper of a huntress in nature, and a relief on handmade paper by Michele Oka Doner. Most fitting for the foodie morning was a video tucked by the bar that far too few people saw: a video by Beatriz Millar called “Lux Matter,” that follows the preparation of bread. Who knew a loaf could be sexy?


By Jane Wooldridge |

Miami’s new art museum by the bay continues to rise on time and budget, say museum officials. Saturday, chief architect Jacques  Herzog of the acclaimed firm Herzog & de Meuron led patrons and press through the work-in-progress, explaining how the space seeks to relate to its waterfront location while still providing plenty of exhibition space.

The answer: open terraces shaded by greenery and the building’s canopy, and massive windows that yes, meet hurricane code. Wide views stretch across Biscayne Bay over the causeways to the port and Miami Beach.

“We did not want it to be hermetically opaque,” said Herzog. “We want it very airy and also make it art specific.”  Many art museums have the luxury of being self-contained, but Miami’s outdoor appeal creates different demands. “We wanted this to be the right museum for Miami. It should be more inviting. It’s a structure for the people.”


By Hannah Sampson |

Paparazzi — the good, the bad, the ugly and the unexpected — were the subject of an event Saturday night at the National YoungArts Foundation’s Miami headquarters.

After showing his documentary about the industry, Teenage Paparazzo, Entourage star Adrian Grenier made a confession: He wouldn’t be happy if people stopped wanting to take his picture.

“The attention definitely becomes quite addictive; when you have it, you want more of it,” Grenier said. “There is no halfway house for celebrities or waning celebrities or has-beens. But I’m looking.”

Following the outdoor screening, Grenier joined experts from all sides of the issue at a panel discussion. Actor and Miami resident Christian Slater, Miami Herald celebrity gossip columnist Lesley Abravanel and celeb photographer Seth Browarnik (who doesn’t use the term “paparazzo” for himself) joined Grenier on the stage.

Slater told a story about his own recent sort-of-brush with paparazzi to illustrate the changing nature of celebrity. After tweeting at the end of last month about his provisional ballot being rejected by Miami-Dade County’s canvassing board, Slater said he was walking his dog when several paparazzi cars pulled up.

“I shouldn’t have tweeted that,” he recounted thinking. But then one of the photographers raced past him.

“I look over and it’s one of the Kardashians getting out of her car,” he said.

The film chronicles the evolution of Grenier’s relationship with 14-year-old Austin Visschedyk, the “Teenage Paparazzo” of the title, and his exploration of the culture of celebrities and the photographers who follow them. After premiering at the Sundance Film Festival, the movie has been touring North America with stops at colleges and town halls, and the new Teenage Paparazzo Media Empowerment Tour intends to bring it to more than 80 high schools throughout the country.

Grenier screened the 2010 film at the new home of the National YoungArts Foundation at 2100 Biscayne Blvd. in Miami, formerly the Bacardi complex. The event also featured an interactive art installation tied to the film, which will be on view through Sunday at the campus.

YoungArts, established by Ted and Lin Arison 31 years ago, moved into the space earlier this year. The organization seeks out and supports artists 15 and older, bringing 150 to Miami every year for classes with masters in their discipline. Grenier is a 1994 alumnus; other former participants who have earned fame include Raúl Esparza, Vanessa Williams and Nicki Minaj.


By Galena Mosovich

How would one of the world’s most enigmatic and provocative street artists respond to seeing his work on display at Miami’s longest-running contemporary art fair?

With more than 60,000 people expected to roam through the massive Art Miami tents this year, the question is on everyone’s mind.

“I’d like to hear Banksy speak for himself,” said Nick Korniloff, the force behind this art fair, Aqua and Art Wynwood. “Whatever he has to say about it, he’d have more of a leg to stand on.”

The not-for-sale private exhibition, apply named “Banksy Out of Context,” has triggered a lively debate about taking “site-specific” work out of its natural habitat and putting it on display in a safe environment. Much of Banksy’s success has stemmed from his laser-sharp focus on controversial issues affecting the neighborhoods in which he mysteriously leaves his mark.

Issues like war, foreclosure, unemployment, alcoholism, rich vs. poor, and corruption in government are all addressed in his iconic stencils. The wounds run deep for many who live nearby and see his work every day. Drawing attention to the ills of society on a micro-level appeared to be the point of his work – until now.

Art Miami, in conjunction with Stephen Keszler’s new photo-sharing platform I PXL U, partnered to integrate five wall reliefs equaling six-and-a-half tons of concrete into the public forum, a feat that has never been done at another major exhibition.

“The artist can’t control the work after he creates it. Think of Keith Herring. We can’t have any more of his work because he’s not around to make it,” said Korniloff.

Will the work of Banksy and others like him be lost forever if individuals don’t protect it? Some say the art expires when it disappears and that’s the beauty of what happens on the street.

In war-torn regions where “Stop and Search” originated (Bethlehem), there’s a high risk that the work could fall victim to shelling, for example.

Korniloff points out that locally the late Tony Goldman and his team at Goldman properties created Wynwood Walls for people to see the creation of street art and its lasting effects without worrying about it disappearing, being destroyed by war or development.

You can see the Banksy pieces and decide for yourself until tomorrow at 6 p.m. when the fair closes its doors until next year.



By Galena Mosovich

Art Miami has always anchored the City of Miami during Art Basel and, this year, art lovers are responding in droves. With nearly 11,000 people in attendance on Tuesday (opening night), the founder says this is the best year yet. With increased collector connectivity and more word of mouth promotion, Nick Korniloff says he expects to close out the weekend with a final count of more than 60,000.

“The market tiers up for us. We’re selling more six-figure works this year than last and we even have a hold on an $11 million piece at the moment,” said Korniloff.

You may notice as you travel through the massive tent in Wynwood that Art Miami has stronghold on sculptures during Art Basel. Many of this weekend’s sales numbers come from that segment of work.

A list of the sales include:

London-based Osborne Samuel Gallery sold Lynn Chadwick’s “Two Seated Figures” sculpture for more than 7 figures. You can’t miss the two huge “people” when you enter the fair. Catch them while you can.

Munich-based Galerie Terminus sold Tony Cragg’s “Wild Relatives” sculpture for $550,000; two Heiner Meyer Onkel Dagobert 2012 sculptures for $106,000 each; and, three “One is Not Enough” sculptures for $23,000 each.

New York-based Haunch of Venison gallery sold Damien Hirst’s “Beautiful Flamingo Dancing What a Vision” painting, for an estimated price of $375,000 and Ged Quinn’s “Yet to be Titled,” 2012 for an estimated value of $55,000.

James Barron Art Gallery sold Takashi Murakamis’ 2007 Flower of Joy series, including “Lemon Lime;” “Madagascar;” and, “Marshmallow Strawberry” for a combined total of $420,000.

Art Miami closes its doors at 6 p.m. Sunday, but not to worry, Art Wynwood will return to the same spot during Presidents’ Day weekend 2013.






By Jane Wooldridge |

For $2 million euros — $260 million — you can own a Bugatti. After all, some collectors spend more than that on a single artwork, points out Guy Caquelin, a company executive in town to show off their one-of-a-kind Bugatti designed by artist Berner Vernet. The price on that one hasn’t yet been set —  you can be sure it will be more than the usual rate — and unless you’re buying,  you can’t even sit in it. But we did drive a different Bugatti — yes, in Miami rush hour traffic! Handles easily with one hand, even in stop-and-go back ups. The pro driver took the wheel to show off the power of the world’s fastest car. With 1200 horse power and the power to go from 0 to 60 in 2.5 seconds,  it took off like a jet. Good thing it brakes well. . . .

One of the pleasures of Art Basel week is the people you run into. Feeding dollar bills into the Pay-to-Park machine Friday near CIFO, the downtown art space founded by collector Ella Cisneros, was acclaimed architect Enrique Norten, currently working on four projects in South Florida. He loves Miami, he said, because of the water, the energy and the culture. “I feel right at home.”

Hard to believe, but CIFO is now celebrating it’s 10th anniversary. To mark the occasion, the institution has published a beautifully designed book, “Pulses of Abstraction in Latin America,” detailing the Cisnernos’ collection. It’s available at CIFO, where you can also see works the institution is now collecting. . . .

Art Basel  has always been about commerce, but this year even more non-art brands took advantage of the crowd. Among them was LaCoste. Beryl La Coste Hamilton is a local, but that didn’t influence the decision to market at Art Basel, said execs. Turns out South Florida is the company’s No. 2 market in the U.S.  It’s brand and Art Basel go well together, they said, noting the casual atmosphere, culture, nightlife and celebrity scene.  Fittingly, its party this week at Soho Beach House was also a benefit for the Everglades Foundation. (The LaCoste symbol is the crocodile.)


By Anna Edgerton |

The Miami Club Rum Distillery in Wynwood was transformed into a jungle on Friday night as nine models dressed as endangered animals pranced among the tanks of rum to raise money for the Center for Great Apes.

As part of the “Endangered” fashion show, a monarch butterfly model with a stunning black and turquoise mini dress flitted through the distillery, followed by a model in a stunning salamander-inspired dress. A tight-fitting leopard dress was a crowd favorite, as was the sleek gray and blue dolphin dress.

The clothes were designed by fashionista veterinarian Gabby Wild who has a foundation dedicated to saving endangered species. Octavia gallery from New Orleans provided environmentally-themed artwork displayed throughout the distillery. Proceeds will go to support the Center for Great Apes, which was founded two decades ago in Miami, but now is located three hours north in Wachula, Fla. the center provides a happy home for 45  primates, many of them retired from abusive entertainment careers. One of the Chimpanzees, Bubbles, who used to belong to Michael Jackson, contributed his own paintings to the show.

Highlights in the gallery included works by painter and primatologist Jeffery Pitt, and an enormous mermaid sculpture by Norman Gitzen.  Octavia gallery owner and director Pamela Bryan said all of the artists associated with her gallery are “environmentally inclined.”

“In places like New Orleans and Florida, we’re very aware of the fragility of the environment,” Bryan said. “The hope is that through art we can raise environmental awareness.”

Design enthusiasts wait in line at the Cassina Miami showroom in the Design District to see the reconstructed interior of architect Le Corbusier’s Cabanon. Cassina, in collaboration with Le Corbusier Foundation, presented the first U.S. exhibit of Le Corbusier: The Interior of the Cabanon, Le Corbusier 1952-Cassina Reconstruction 2006. The exhibit, running through Jan. 12, features the actual interior of the Cabanon which Le Corbusier planned and built in 1952 for his holidays in Cap-Martin, France. – Audra D.S. Burch


By Galena Mosovich

ArtNexus, the leading Latin American art publication, threw its annual Art Basel soiree last night at the lavish St. Regis in Bal Harbor. The evening began with a private reception for Brazilian designer Alexandre Birman in partnership with Saks Fifth Avenue. Accompanied by his wife, Johanna, Birman fittingly displayed his new resort and Spring shoe collections because he says, “it’s always resort time in Miami.”

At around 9 p.m., nearly 800 people began meandering up and down the St. Regis’ stairs and throughout its labyrinths to end up ocean side for food, cocktails and music by Miami’s own Spam Allstars. Notables included Celia and Susanne Birbragher, publishers of ArtNexus, Debra Slack of Saks Fifth Avenue, as well as a collection of well heeled figures in the Latin community.

Rene Garcia Jr.’s glitter art is on display at the Aqua art fair on South Beach


Nothing makes pop art “pop” quite like glitter. Artist Rene Garcia Jr. takes every shade of the beloved grade school material and meticulously creates iconic images(“kid,” pictured) that at once amaze and dazzle. His only materials are the glitter and Elmer’s glue on slabs of wood; the results are mosaics reminiscent of pointillism with microscopic color blending. The Marina Cain Gallery hosts a showing of his work at Aqua (1530 Collins Ave., Miami Beach) all weekend during the Art Basel madness. Check out his works in the lobby and in room 202.


By Fred Gonzalez |

Ready to have your fortune told, Art Basel style?

At the Lords South Beach artist Desi Santiago has literally turned the hotel into an homage to his dog Gypsy, who he has done previous installations in her honor but never at such a grand scale. With massive inflatable paws hanging over the entrance and a dog’s head and tail attached to the roof, Gypsy knows your fortune and is ready to share it with you.

Upon arrival just outside the lobby of the hotel you write down a yes, no or maybe question on a card. You take the card and slip it into a box that looks directly at Gypsy. Think hard about your question and press a touchpad. In a matter of seconds, smoke appears, a flash of lightning, Gypsy’s red eyes blink and she either shouts “Yes” or “No” or “Maybe” in a loud voice.

Santiago had always wanted to do an installation of this scale, and it took a year for his vision of Gypsy at the Lords to happen. When first conceived in 2011, he said there wasn’t enough time to get all the moving parts in place. But with a year to plan, and the help of sponsors Perrier and BOFFO, Santiago was able to achieve his goal. The Lords even let him paint the building black instead of wrapping the building in a tarp. The look comes across much more impressive, but getting the hotel at 1120 Collins Ave. back to its original white color will take nine coats of paint that already have been contracted.

As for what’s next for Santiago, recently named by The New York Times as the “Artist in the Moment”, look for him to use all those cards that contain people’s wishes in another installation.





By Fred Gonzalez |

The elusive street artist Space Invader has been in Miami for nearly four months working on a pair of projects that culminated on Thursday night with the debut of his film Art4Space at the Colony Theatre on Lincoln Road.

You may have seen his various mosaics of Space Invader video game heroes and villans plastered in odd places around Miami. On the side of the Miami Children’s Museum. Underneath an overpass. There are 81 in all – 29 on Miami Beach alone.

In his film, he sends up one of his mosaics in a weather balloon and documents how it reaches the stratosphere before descending to earth. For the over 250 in attendance, the film was a hit and there was a roar of applause at the end. Space Invader then took the stage dressed in his iconic white, hooded jumpsuit and sunglasses (have to protect his identity) and answered questions from the audience.

How did you get started: “I thought many times about quitting the project. It was really an accident how I started out in the street, but then it became like an addiction.”

Would you ever live in Miami: “No. It’s a great city but it’s not my home base.”

Do you have a method when you go invade a city: “When I go invade a city I try and understand the city first and there are no rules as to where I put them [mosaics]. When I see a spot I like I try and do everything to touch it.”

Which is your favorite Invader: “The best one is always the last one I put up. I couldn’t pick just one.”

After putting an Invader mosaic in space, what’s next: “Space is big so I can still keep going.”

What was the most challenging moment in Miami: “I wanted to put one at a swimming pool, but it was right next to a police station. They saw me and told us we could not do that. So I went back to my car and I had fresh glue one the tiles and the mosaic was sitting on my knees. So we drove around and I found a spot on Lincoln Road. And that spot is 100 times better on Lincoln Road than at that pool.”

The film is screening through the weekend at Pulse Art Fair (without sound) as well as other examples of Space Invader’s work.



By Fred Gonzalez |

Getting tired of dealing with all of the Art Basel and Miami Art Week traffic? Fighting for valet or a parking spot just to get to your favorite art fair?

Thanks to the fine people at Pavan Liqueur and Whitewall magazine, they have teamed up to create a mobile gallery inside a bus that takes you from fair to fair. Each day you can catch the bus at its starting point at 1 p.m. at the Soho Beach House. From there the bus makes its way Scope Miami, NADA Art Fair, Art Miami, Art Asia, Design Miami and Art Basel Miami Beach (traffic permitting).

At 7 p.m. the bus is back at the Soho House and then begins its party crawl on Miami Beach until 1 a.m., hopping to and from various hotels.

While you ride in the bus and take in the collection of classic beach fashion photographs and the sounds of Nouvelle Vague, you get to enjoy Pavan cocktails – think a glass of champagne mixed with the liqueur made from the muscat grape in the south of France. There are even concoctions with gin and tequila. (At right, Nicky and Paris Hilton aboard the Pavan / Whitewall bus with the notorious Brant Brothers, Peter and Harry.)

In order to get access aboard the bus (and you must be 21 and older) find Pavan Liqueur on Facebook and like them. Then follow them on Twitter (@Pavan_Liqueur) to get updates on the location of the bus.

Now that is riding in style.


Check out a collection of Instagrams by staffers of all the art and parties taking place dung Art Week 2012 by clicking here.


By Anna Edgerton |

This Friday and Saturday from 5 – 7 p.m. all are welcome to enjoy a free meal at Los Angeles gallery OHWOW, set up this week at 743 Washington Ave. on Miami Beach.

Starving artists and weary fair-goers alike can stop by to get some grub and stroll through the open gallery that features old and new art from locals and out-of-towners.

The so-called soup kitchen is a special project run by the gallery to foster dialogue and “break bread together,” according to gallery co-owner Mills Moran. “The idea is to give back to the community of artists that h as welcomed us here,” Moran said. “And everyone needs to eat.”

Free dinner is catered by a different local restaurant each nigh (Friday is Go-Go Fresh and Saturday is Whole Foods)t, and diners are encouraged to mingle with each other and the artwork on the walls and hanging from the ceiling. (There is also an open bar with champagne and vodka options.)

Note-worthy works in the gallery include a Julia Chang installation of glazed stoneware hearts in “bruise colors” nestled down in a plywood box of soil, called “Love Child.” Another remarkable piece is a hand-engraved 24-K gold plated etching by Scott Campbell called “Rainbow,” which shows a black rainbow extending out of clouds made of skulls.
Also not to miss is TBT (pie)” by Lucien Smith, a painting that looks like it got smacked with eight pies. Moran pointed out this “action painting” as a fav, saying it “pushes the boundaries in a way we haven’t seen in a long time.”

As realistic as it looks, the painting is not for desert.




By Jane Wooldridge |

The public walk in the Design District isn’t until Saturday night, but Thursday night’s VIP throng managed to clog the valet parking beyond the limits. The draw: an astonishing array of Invitational events ranging from a music  fest with camels to glossy parties where the champagne – or in some cases, prosecco – flowed.

The pop-up shop for Bazaar magazine offered Givenchy make-up sessions. Mestizo City, an installation by San Antonio-based architect Henry Munoz, explored style along the Tex-Mex border via a massive lighted cube made of 16000 bottles of a sweet pop called Jarritos. Ornare hosted a reception for The Brazil Foundation. Hermes and Cartier showed off their new District showrooms, along with Prada, which opened its doors just Thursday.

“Miami has changed so much since the first Art Basel,” when he last visited the city, said Alessio  Vannetti, Prada’s PR director. “In Milan there’s there’s not so much to do. In Paris there’s not so much to do. In Miami there’s too much to do this week”

Among those things was a one-night  celebration Of Middle Eastern fusion music put on  by Vega, which promotes culture of the region. It came complete with two camels, Henry and Aladdin, who were taking a break from Nativity season activities. Seemed to enjoy themselves — and they didn’t even get any prosecco.


By Audra D.S. Burch |

A steady stream poured into Locust Projects Thursday to see the Soul Manufacturing Corporation and the man behind the artistic endeavor: Theaster Gates.

The Chicago artist greeted guests amid his multi-disciplinary installation, a functioning factory where skilled “makers” craft pottery and bricks.

Beginning with an open space in November the “skilled makers” have worked in the main gallery to produce “things.” The exhibition explores and creates relationships between aesthetics, race and labor.

Soul Manufacturing Corporation, on view through Dec. 21, includes two walls that illuminate the process and perhaps, an artist’s thoughtful journey through notes, diagrams, lists and illustrations. One note asks, “What clay should I use?”

And then the result: walls of shelves with dozens of bowls, vases and bricks.


By Deborah Acosta

Miami Art Museum celebrated its new exhibit, New Work Miami 2013, at its annual Party on the Plaza on Thursday evening. The exhibition was curated by Rene Morales and Diana Nawi, and features 10 local artists.

Local jazz band Spam All Stars sizzled and kept the crowd dancing until late. The popular event featured an open bar, gourmet sweet n’ salty popcorn, and chocolate-dipped gelato and sorbet.

Photographer Gideon Barnett, who moved to Miami a year and a half ago, is showing two series of very Miami photographs at the exhibition.

The first, 763 Collins Ave, Miami Beach, FL, 2012 (2012), depicts individual people as they pass in front of a teal wall in South Beach.

The second series consists of large-scale digital composite photographs of Miami scenes that are compositionally based on classic paintings. For example, his ‘Landscape with Fallen Child, Bayside Marketplace, 5:34:32 PM to 5:39:56 PM, 5 August 2012’ (2012) is similar in composition to Bruegel’s famed ‘Landscape with Fallen Icarus’.

In ‘Identity Festival Attendees at Biscayne Boulevard and NE 2nd Street, 4:45:32 PM to 4:45:5 PM, 4 August 2012’ (2012), Barnett emulates the composition of a 19th-century painting by Ilya Repin.

“The light here is unlike anything I’ve ever seen,” said Barnett, who opted to move with his girlfriend to Miami after Grad School, instead of New York or L.A., like most of his classmates did.


“We heard there was a ‘thing’ happening in Miami — an art scene.”

This is the last time the event will be held at its current location. In fall 2013 the MAM will reopen in a new, Herzog & de Meuron-designed building in Downtown Miami’s Museum Park as Perez Art Museum Miami (PAMM).


By Jacqueline Charles |

Supporters of black art celebrated Art Basel Thursday with a visit to the Art Africa exhibit underneath a big white air- conditioned tent behind the famed Lyric Theater in Overtown.

The exhibit featured more than 70 artists from Africa and the Africa diaspora including, Europe, the United States and the Caribbean.

As a live jazz band played and Haitian cuisine from Chef Creole was served, black art supporters toured the works, which ranged from photographs of a partially naked mother-to-be in an African print by Bronx photographer Howard T. Cash to a mixed media canvas portrait of reggae superstar Bob Marley by Haitian artist Gregory Vorbe to a mixed media on chicken wire installation called Beyond the Visual Rainbow by artist Amber Robles-Gordon. The exhibit also featured works by several  by Nigerian artists.

“It’s the first day and so far it looks good. I’m learning by looking,” said Cash, a photographer for 40 years.

Organizers say patrons will be pleased with the exhibits.

“Art Africa can be thought of as a vibrant  contribution of the African diaspora  communities to Art Basel; black artists participating in the center and no longer located on the peripheral,” said Babacar Mbow, art critic, gallery owner and curator for Art Africa.

“Seeing artists from Haiti and  Jamaica allows one to see similaries of these people of african descent.”



By Douglas Hanks |

French artists transformed a corner of South Beach into the moon’s surface where Apollo 11 landed. What better place for an artistic scrimmage?

“We’re just going to play soccer on the moon,” creator Benjamin Moreau said. He, Samuel Boutruche and their team spent all day digging and building some 300 sand craters. Then two soccer squads in metallic short shorts and jerseys prepared to destroy it with a friendly game of soccer.

“I’m terrified,” said Berlin artist Mattias Bitzer, 37, as he eyed craters with ridges four feet tall. Bitzer has an exhibition in the nearby Art Basel Miami Beach, sponsor of the soccerscape, and he wasn’t relishing a return to a game hadn’t plaed since his 20s. “I hope this shirt is easy to rip off so they can revive me,” he said.

The actual game unfolded in fits and stops, the way these beach pick-up matches tend to go. But when the silver orb of a soccer ball landed in a crater, the sloped sides brought unique challenges. After ten minutes of play, no score. The point of all this? It touches on the futility of art, as Moreau and others rebuild it each day. And, of course, there’s the statement of moon meets sport.

“It’s about combining two worlds,” Moreau said.




By Anna Edgerton

Cafecito Neptuno, the new pop-up cafe at The Standard Hotel, is the best kind of art: delicious and caffeinated.
With the espresso machine grinding coffee beans, and salsa rhythms playing in the background, Miami-based artist José Parlá gently teases his sister in Spanish. The scene is so intimate,  so authentic, it’s easy to imagine oneself in Havana, Cuba.

“It’s everything: the colors, music, photos, food, the vibes,” Parlá said. “This is who I am.”

Parlá was born in Miami to Cuban parents, and he created this art installation to celebrate his culture in a week when Miami gets overrun by the international art world. He said when he was growing up in Miami in the 80s there was no artistic outlet for kids, but now Art Basel has helped expand the local art scene. Cafecito Neptuno, open 24 hours during Art Week, is his way of giving back.

“This cafe is my offering of local culture to say ‘Thank you for visiting Miami,” he said.

The name comes from a street called Neptuno, the main thoroughfare connecting Old Havana to  New Havana. Here at the waterfront hotel, the name is also a nod to the Greek god of the ocean.

The vinyl walls are a print of Cuban tiles from Old Havana. The photographs are of Parlá’s family, including his grandfather, who in 1912 completed the first flight between Cuba and Key West. And the coffee is served up by David’s Cafe, a Miami favorite for a strong, dark coladita.
On Saturday, The Standard will host a screening of the documentary showing another one of Parlá’s recent projects that now graces the decaying walls of Havana, Cuba. Last May, Parlá partnered with French artist JR to create 25 hybrid murals scattered around different parts of Havana. JR’s huge black and white photos depicting the striking faces of Havana’s elderly are accented by Parlá’s stylized graffiti telling the subjects’ stories.
The resulting book and documentary, “The Wrinkles of the City, Havana, Cuba,” shows how the project unfolded and the dynamic urban installation of the finished product.
“All of this has been a collaboration'” Parlá said. “Both projects really get at the local vibes.”


By Douglas Hanks |

Planes trailing banners are a familiar site on South Beach. Today, they’re an art project.

The first banner by Morgans Hotels, owner of the Delano, invited spectators to text some “art” to a phone number. Behind it, three planes trailed what seemed to be prior submissions. The airborne phrases: “People getting ready to do things,” “Protect me from what I want,” and “I wish it could be morning all day long.”


By Jane Wooldridge |

One of the most  unique art spaces in Miami is CasaLin, the yard of a Wynwood home owned by Lin Lougheed. The house is rented out, but each year during Basel Lougheed arranges for a group of Miami artists to create installations that are open to the public. The unusual setting brings out hordes of museum groups, including one that included actor Will Ferrell and his wife, Viveca Paulin Ferrell (she’s on the board of LACMA, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.)

This year’s theme, Out of Site, lent itself to the subtlety of gold-leafed mushrooms “sprouting” from the ground (by Joshua Levine) and The Chicken Chair by Sebastian Errazuiz — a beautifully crafted slatted wood chair sitting over a live rooster that belongs to another artist in the group, Michael Loveland.

Anne Jackson, of the new Crystal Bridges museum in Bentonville, Ark., was a CasaLin first timer. “No one prepared me for The Chicken Chair,” she said. Sitting on it atop the rooster was, she admitted, a bit nerve-wracking. “I’m a city girl at heart. I don’t like to get too close to the animals. I don’t know if I’ll be able to eat chicken again.”

The industry likely won’t notice. The artist points out in an explanation of the installation that U.S. consumers eat 8 billion chickens per year. That translates into more than 20 million per day.


Check out the 2013 Lincoln MKZ by taking one for a spin during Art Basel Miami Beach when The Wolfsonian and Lincoln team up to offer test drives from The Wolfsonian Annex’s parking lot, followed by an introduction to the Annex.

The test drives take place from 11 a .m. – 6 p.m. on Dec. 7–9. Simply show up at the Annex (1538 Lenox Ave., Miami Beach – east of Alton Road and south of Lincoln Road). The 10 minute test drives are followed by a brief survey; participants also receive an exclusive gift from Lincoln. Both conventional and hybrid models are available for test drives and drivers must be at least 21 and have a valid driver’s license.”


By Ina Paiva Cordle |

Harper’s BAZAAR is bringing e-commerce to the Design District through Saturday during Art Basel, with a pop-up store featuring its content-to-commerce venture, The site, launched in October, allows anyone to shop for clothing and accessories directly from the pages of the magazine.

“E-commerce is where we see the future of fashion,” said Joyann King, site director.

The pop-up shop offers gallery-like displays of some of the items for sale on the site. Shoppers can buy from the site using one of the iPads and notebooks in the shop.

On Friday, ShopBAZAAR will also feature “Bazaar Bespoke,” where five “Miami style” designers, including Laveer by Kate Ciepluch and Ann Dexter-Jones will set up shop offering customized items available for purchase on the site, King said.

The pop-up shop, at the Buena Vista Building at 180 NE 39th St., is open from 11 a..m. to 7 p.m




By Jordan Levin |

The small stream of people flowing into the Bass Museum of Art early Wednesday evening turned into a packed mass on the stairs of the Miami Beach mainstay, whose Basel exhibitions have become a must stop after the big vernissage preview party at the main Basel fair at the Miami Beach Convention Center.

This year’s show was The Endless Renaissance, six solo artist projects that responded, in often playful ways, to art history and the kind of massive, 19th century paintings that the Bass culled from its own collection to hang along the staircase. Among them were Hans-Peter Feldman’s humorous tweaks to traditional style paintings: clown noses or crossed eyes on formal portraits, black bars over the eyes of nude cherubs. Barry X Ball’s machine-carved cream onyx sculptures distorted classic style sculptural busts by twisting or elongating them. Hot young turk Walead Beshty took a more conceptual approach, with a ‘mural’ created by sanding a huge square of the museum’s wall, and geometric glass sculptures in the exact size and shape of Fed Ex shipping packages, elaborately cracked by being shipped without any protective padding, so that the practical process of transporting the pieces created the work.



By Jane Wooldridge |

So who made this year’s VIP art parade at the convention center? Many of the world’s biggest collectors, including Peter Brant of New York, Eli and Edye Broad of Los Angeles (the sMe people who give the coveted Broad Prize for education, won this year by Miami-Dade Schools), actor Owen Wilson, rap mogul Sean “Diddy” Combs, the directors of museums including New York MOMA, the Dallas Museum of Art and LA MOCA, and actor Will Ferrell and wife Viveca.


By Galena Mosovich

Wherever you are in the world, the sun is same. “It’s yours,” said award-winning British architect Asif Khan, whose immersive installation is stealing the show at Design Miami/.

It’s our intimate connection with the sun that Khan set out to celebrate as he began collaborating with Swarovski Crystal Palace on “Parhelia,” which means “beside the sun” in Greek. Inspired by ice halos that grace the northern regions of the world, Khan carefully placed 1.4 million Swarovski crystals in honeycomb holders amid multiple panels in order to emulate the phenomenon.

The oversized structure resembles a home and is situated in its own room about 100 yards from the fair’s entrance.

“The house form is how we draw houses as children. I wanted to awaken something inside of us and remind people of a comfortable environment,” said Khan.

At 20-feet high, the edifice is striking, but manages to be welcoming and warm despite its minimalistic properties and white space. It’s also gender neutral, which is surprising considering that 50 percent of the crystals are of the iridescent “aurora borealis” genus (originally developed in the 1950s with Christian Dior).

Khan suggests starting on the north side to see the perfect circle of light, then encourages you to walk around to the right to see how the halo follows you and changes, at some points into smaller circles and at others into simple lines. Get up close to see how the crystals, which have never been used in this way before, flicker and sparkle in an effort to mesmerize.

“You can never stare at a fire for too long, right?” asked Khan as he put his nose up to the structure and smiled. The real “aha moment” comes when you crouch down to walk “inside” the structure. Immediately, you find yourself sheltered in a glistening room lit by two circular holes – one in the ceiling of the structure and the other in the roof of the Design Miami/ tent (think Pantheon in Rome), giving you a view of the ever-changing Miami sky.

Inside, you’ll also notice that there is a singular LED light bulb, which is what creates the giant halo or “artificial sun” that’s visible from the exterior. This is where Khan wants you to truly feel “at play” and to disarm you.

“I want people to enjoy the stillness here and the passing of time,” said Khan. “The Miami sky is so unique and this is an unexpected place for you to have your moment with it.”

This is the Swarovski Crystal Palace’s seventh consecutive exhibition at Design Miami/, following installations by luminaries like Ross Lovegrove, Greg Lynn, Fredrikson Stallard, Eyal Burstein, and Erwin Redl.

Citizen X is a collaboration of four Los Angeles-based artists using text art to inspire conversations. This work is one of three public in the city and located on 29th Street, just west of Miami Avenue near the fair tents. The artists are also showing new works at Scope through Dec. 9. Photo: Audra D.S. Burch


By Jordan Levin |

Wednesday night’s opening of Art Public, Art Basel’s outdoor public art extravaganza in front of the Bass Museum of Art, was a magical celebration of upended expectations and sensory surprises, with floating Buddhas and ghostly trees and candy-colored dancing flash mobs. High concept, yes, but also fun, with a giddy carnival kind of beauty.

Hard to imagine that many of the works gleaming with light in Collins Park – like Raul Mourao’s giant swinging silver metal construction, or Jaume Plensa’s seated wise men sculptures perched high above the crowd and glowing in bright changing tones of blue, green and purple, Ugo Rondinone’s gnarled white tree cast from a 2000 year old olive – would look as fantastical in daylight as they did Wednesday night.

Performances increased the sense of fantasy. For AiR, singer Alicia Hall Moran, in swirling orange-red gown, swept around Jose Davila’s sunken pit of shiny yellow-orange-red tile, sinking into the center as if into a bright red pool. Moran mixed high, soaring, wordless operatic tones with snippets of blues and Joni Mitchell, with her husband Jason Moran, on keyboard, and a guitarist played shimmery, echoing, repeating and overlaid chord patterns. Hundreds of people watched silently; AiR was hypnotic, a kind of dreamlike ritual.

Performance collective My Barbarian’s satirical Broke People’s Baroque Peoples Theater featured four singer-performers singing in the style of Baroque opera, with mocking camp formality and lyrics satirizing the art world and social inequity. “Why must I make my art, to serve you and your class… but those people down there, what do they know about art?” they declaimed in The Artisans Lament. The night ended with exuberantly silly celebration – Alex Israel’s Miami, a flash mob of some 100 people in bright colored 80’s aerobicwear dancing wildly to Duran Duran’s “Rio”, while in people the audience whooped and joined in. Art and disco, a made-in-Miami combination.




By Hannah Sampson |

Before being released into the streets of Miami, eight painted pianos got a final party together Wednesday night at the Perry South Beach Hotel.
The Pop-Up Piano Miami fundraising concert featured performances by Malaysian singer-songwriter Yuna, Miami native Cris Cab and pianist Elew (on a grand piano, alas, not one of the decorated uprights). Ticket sales from the $100-a-head event as well as money raised by a silent auction will go to Friends of the New World Symphony and the Kimbanguist Symphony Orchestra in Central Africa.

Early Thursday, the pianos will go to their new homes in Wynwood, Midtown, the Design District and Miami Beach. Musicians will show up for performances on occasion, but between those, passersby are invited to play a tune. Locations include Jimmy’z Kitchen, 2700 N. Miami Ave.; South Street, 4000 NE Second Ave.; Sugarcane Raw Bar Grill, 3252 NE First Ave. and Wynwood Cigar Factory, 101 NW Second Ave.




By Douglas Hanks |

President Barack Obama has long been a tempting subject on the contemporary arts scene, but Martin van Buren?

Sculptor Brian Tolle put van Buren and the nation’s 42 other past presidents atop the current president’s head in a sort of symbolic hair-do titled ” No. 44.”

The other presidents stand about three inches high in acrylic, posted as chess pieces in a punk-rock spike on the Obama bust. Obama himself stands 6’1″, on a pedestal. “It’s the president’s actual height,” said Joseph Ellis, an associate at the New York gallery, CRG, showing the sculpture at Art Basel Miami Beach.

The showing of No. 44 ($45,000) marks an unofficial grand reopening for CRG, a Chelsea gallery left with chest-high water after Hurricane Sandy. The gallery remains closed, and Basel Miami Beach is the first time CRG has shown any works for sale since the storm. “Miami was huge priority for us,” Ellis said.



By Hannah Sampson |

Brightly colored giant bunnies, miniature fishermen and fairly normal-sized reptiles have taken over Miami-Dade College’s Freedom Tower. With supplies.

Most of the 300 creatures made of resin, recylable plastic and aluminum are equipped with backpacks or water bottles, a nod to the at-risk resources of the Everglades and the threat of global warming. The installation, called Foreverglades, was celebrated with a brunch and gathering of about 200 people Tuesday.

“This is the eye-catcher to say let’s do something, let’s save the planet,” said Belgium-based artist William Sweetlove, who teamed up with Italian collective Cracking Art Group for the installation, showing through Jan. 26.

Sweetlove’s vision of how to solve the world’s food problems – expressed through his art – are technological and controversial: creating genetically modified giant dogs and cloning them for food, finding a way to make smaller elephants so they can better withstand heat and shrinking the size of humans so they need less energy and food.

The installation was born from an idea Gloria Porcella, curator and co-owner of Galleria Ca’ d’Oro, was kicking around a year ago: “Why don’t we put some alligators crawling up the Freedom Tower?”

Today, they are. Alligators and crocodiles are also positioned outside and inside, and turtles and frogs climb the indoor staircases. A giant orange rabbit surrounded by frogs and a ring of smaller bunnies anchors one side of the tower’s second floor. The other is home to the fishermen, alligators and a host of compliant turtles.

Galleria Ca’ d’Oro, with locations in Coral Gables and Italy, made a public art splash in 2010 when it Porcella brought dozens of giant pink snails (also a Cracking Art Group project) to Miami Beach during Art Basel. Some smaller versions make an appearance in the Foreverglades installation.

Porcella, also curator of the project, said there have been many requests to show the creatures once their time at the Freedom Tower is over. And she has a request of her own: “All these animals are looking for a mama and a papa,” she said. They will be for sale, at prices ranging from $1,200 for small pink snails to $18,000 for the big crocodile and $19,000 for the big bunny.



By Jane Wooldridge |

Last year Art Basel VIPs found author Tom Wolfe among the crowd, researching a  new book. Back to Blood is now out, and it doesn’t portray the Basel VIP crowd in a very cheery light. “Maggots” was his choice of description.

A few showgoers this year mentioned the book; others seemed to be sporting the Tom Wolfe signature look, dressing in all-white suits.

“No relation”, said Miami developer and collector Craig Robins, wearing a smart white suit, no tie. “What’s the Tom Wolfe effect?” he said. “I do read a lot, but I don’t read Tom Wolfe.

Fair director Marc Spiegler, a former journalist, dodged the matter, saying “I gave up literary criticism.” Said Miami collector Norman Braman, chair of the Miami Beach host committee, of Wolfe’s depiction, “it’s a cheap shot. Look at the quality of the people here.”



By Jane Wooldridge |

Every year at Art Basel and other fairs,there’s a small controversy about the role of auction houses like Sotheby’s and Christie’s, who send representatives to the fairs. Aren’t those competitors to the galleries? Not at all, says Lisa Dennison, chairman of Sotheby’s for North and South America.

“We’re here to be of service to our clients,” she said. Art collectors often ask her advice during the fair about the value of a work. She tries to give them her best advice, she said. “If I said to someone they shouldn’t buy something because it’s from a gallery, I’d have no credibility,” she said. “Dealers are very important to us, they’re our partners.”. . .

Among the new Art Basel sponsors this year is Conde Nast, publisher of Vogue, Vanity Fair, New Yorker and other high-end magazines. CEO Chuck Townshend, formerly of Miami, made the decision to showcase fashion photography and the magazines’ new Windows 8 platforms in the VIP lounge as a way to heighten recognition of the publishing parent.

“It’s a nice venue for us. After 102 or 3 years, it’s time for us to step up our identity in a digital world. Besides, many of its high-end clients are fair sponsors as well. “We’re keeping company with 50 of our biggest [advertising] clients.”


By Jordan Levin |

Many visitors at the Galerie Gmurzynska at the main Art Basel fair at the Convention Center Wednesday were fascinated by Scott Campbell’s Reliquary, a sculpted figure in a large case made of thousands of layers of laser cut dollar bills – a kind of ‘money mummy’. It was the most elaborate work that Delman, who started as a tattoo artist to Hollywood stars like Johnny Depp, had ever done, said gallery director Mathias Rastorfer, and had been reserved for $100,000. (No word on how much of that was needed to purchase the dollar bills). Reactions at cutting and slicing real money to make art ranged from glee to horror, partly depending on people’s nationality, Rastorfer said. “In Europe, the reaction is kindof like ‘oh, this is well-deserved’,” he said. “In the U.S. people are like ‘how could you destroy a dollar?’”


Art Public:
Art Basel’s public art installations open with an evening of art performances starting at 8:30 p.m. In front of the Bass Museum of Art, 21st Street and Collins Avenue, Miami Beach. Free.
Art Video: Art Basel’s public video presentation at the SoundScape Wallcast, 500 17th St., Miami Beach. Free. 8 p.m., “Love, Time & Decorum.’’ 9 p.m., “Music, Magic & Melancholia.’’

Wednesday hours listed; All addresses are in Miami unless otherwise indicated.
Art Asia, Pavilion Lot E, Northeast 36th Street and North Miami Avenue, Midtown. Hours: 11 a.m.-7 p.m. $20, free for kids 12 and under;
Art Expo + Solo Art, 3011 NE First Ave.. Hours: 11 a.m.-7 p.m. $15, free Friday.
Art Miami / CONTEXT: Art Miami Pavilion, 3101 NE First Ave., Midtown. Hours: 11 a.m.-7 p.m. $20;
Design Miami/: Meridian Avenue and 19th Street, adjacent to the Miami Beach Convention Center. Hours: 11 a.m.-9 p.m. $25 adults, students and seniors $15.
INK Art Fair: Suites of Dorchester, 1850 Collins Ave., Miami Beach. Hours: noon-5 p.m. Free.
International Contemporary Jewelry Fair: Aboard Seafair megayacht, moored at Miami InterContinental Hotel, 100 Chopin Plaza. Hours: 1-10 p.m. $15 online, $20 at the door.
Miami Project: Northeast First Avenue and 30th Street. 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Tickets: $20.
Miami River Art Fair: Miami Convention Center at the James L. Knight Center, 400 SE Second Ave. Hours: 11 a.m.-8 p.m.
OVERTURE / Miami: Buena Vista and Midtown Avenue. Hours: 11 a.m.-7 p.m. $15.
Red Dot Miami: 3011 NE First Ave.; 11 a.m.-7 p.m. $15.
SCOPE Miami: 110 NE 36th St. Hours: 11 a.m.-7 p.m. $20.
Sculpt Miami: 46 NW 36th St. Hours: 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Free.
Seven: 2200 NW Second Ave. Hours: 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Free.
UNTITLED: 12th Street and Ocean Drive, Miami Beach. Hours: 11 a.m.-7 p.m. $20, $10 for Miami Beach residents.




By Fred Gonzalez |

Everywhere you turn, at every Basel related event or opening, are servers offering you a glass of champagne. If there was an official drink for Art Basel Week, it would be the bubbly.

At Design Miami’s opening, Pierre-Jouet couldn’t be poured fast enough. At the super exclusive White Cube Party at Soho Beach House that included a performance by Wild Belle and a rare spotting of artist Damien Hirst and girlfriend Roxie Nafousi, Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label was the drink of choice. And Moet won’t be out done, pouring for all at the amfAR and Interview magazine party at Soho Beach House on Thursday featuring Solange Knowles.

(Next up for Veuve – a tribute dinner with Julian Lennon and a Visonaire and Net-a-Porter interactive instillation at the SLS Hotel.)

And what about the Dom? The Dom Pérignon by David Lynch, Limited Edition Collaboration is taking over Miami for a weekend. The renowned artist/filmmaker has reinvented the bottles for a signed limited edition collection for $199. (Lynch’s signature is hidden in shimmering reflections that change with the light.)

So raise a glass. Here’s to art.



By Audra D.S. Burch |

The 2012 edition of Design Miami opened its doors Tuesday night to a crowd wowed by collectible design.

Now in its eighth year, 36 presenters showcased curated collections, much of it 20th and 21st Century American Design. The fair welcomed collectors, gallerists, artists and a VIP crowd by way of an outdoor installation: Drift, a mammoth pavilion of inflated tubes, the creation of Snarkitecture of New York.

Among the hits, drawing the well-heeled curious, cameras in hand: The Bride, a spectacular gold and cooper chandelier, cascading floor to ceiling. Artist Taher Chemirik, hand made the light in a Parisian studio. It can be yours for $150,000. Or, for $155,000, an American flag table with legs that spell “independence” fashioned from epoxy resin by Gaetano Pesce. And, for the whimsical, plop down $10,300 for the Surface Tension Light, an LED ceiling fixture that blows bubbles in real time.

“We had a very strong opening, with more people here than last year. There is a lot of energy and interest,” says Marianne Goebl, director of Design Miami. “We already have sales from furniture to objects d’art.”


By Audra D.S.Burch |

Only during the first week of December when art blossoms in the most unexpected of places, would a basic haircut become performance art.

During a social at TheUrbanCollective, a Midtown lifestyle boutique, barbers elevated the routine cut into something inspired by the energy and spontaneity of Art Basel Miami Beach and it’s orbit of fairs.

Some artists use brushes, the barbers from Next Level use clippers (and a dash of color too). The result: hair as art.

Khari Metelus, 12, went for the red and white whimsy of a Pokemon ball. Asanyah Davison chose a design that straddled her careers as a college professor and fashion designer.

“I wanted something crazy, but not too crazy in honor of Art Basel,” Davidson said of the scrollwork along her nape.

Neil Hall, owner of TheUrbanCollective and founder of ArtAfrica, chatted about the busy baseling days ahead, as a barber etched the fair’s logo and the word “art” on his head.

“It’s all about inspiration,” Hall said.



By Douglas Hanks |

What makes a roller coaster art? Half-naked people in a boudoir don’t hurt.

Peter Anton’s Sugar & Gommorah is part fun-house ride, part installation. Roller-coaster cars taking visitors on a jarring ride past Anton’s signature sculptures of sweets and two pairs of real-life models embracing each other in their underwear. As the car dives and banks its way through the track, you see bits of flesh and bits of dessert (and some skeletons).

The free ride debuted Tuesday night as part of Art Miami’s opening night in Midtown Miami.

“It’s fun,” said Ava Rado, 71 , of Miami Beach. “The last time I was on a roller coaster was 30 years ago.”


By Jordan Levin |

Bangladeshi-American artist Monica Jahan Bose waiting to start her performance/installation “Indelible Scent” at Art Asia Tuesday night. The title, and the onions in bed with Bose, refer to a Hindu custom prohibiting widows from eating onions, which are believed to increase passion – Hindu widows are forbidden from re-marrying.

For her performance Tuesday, Bose read from a sexually explicit memoir and other books banned in Bangladesh and India. Viewers were invited to text her at 202-509-6282 and she replied with excerpts from her book. With Indelible Scent, Bose hopes to raise questions about public and private space, love, loss, longing, and a tradition that regards women as passive and chaste. Bose, who is with Gallery Cosmos at Booth D10 at Art Asia, repeats the performance at 6 p.m. on Wednesday and Saturday. There’s more info at The Art Asia pavilion entrance is on Midtown Blvd. between 35th and 34th streets in Midtown Mall, next to the Scope Pavilion.


By Deborah Acosta

The Museum of Contemporary Art kicked off Art Basel 2012 on Tuesday with the MOCA & Vanity Fair party and attracted thousands of art enthusiasts from all over. The event celebrated the opening of the exhibition Bill Viola: Liber Insularum, a video art installation featuring Viola works that go back to 1977.

“It was really powerful,” said Andreas George Hrnopoulos, an art collector from La Joya, Calif., who traveled to Art Basel for the second year in a row. He had just seen the final video piece, The Raft, 2004, which depicts a group of 19 individuals in slow motion as they are struck by an onslaught of water from a high-pressure hose. “I thought it really showed the journey of people’s emotions and how people put up with a fight,” he said. “Out of all the pieces here I feel that it delivered the message the best. I was touched by it.”
The artist, Bill Viola, says that his work differs from documentary and fictional film in that it depicts what he calls the “internal world.” “My work is based on the internal world. It’s dreams, memories, emotions. And I don’t even know where it comes from, and I don’t even wanna try to know. All I know is it comes up in me at certain times and I feel overwhelmed, actually.”
He was flanked by two Miami women who had lined up to take a photo with him. Elizabeth Cimadevilla, a New York native, and Khira Czertok, a German from Berlin, attend every year.
“Every year. Do or die,” said Cimadevilla. “It’s the best thing that happens in Miami all year round.”
Czertok agreed. “Miami’s always known for like ‘party city, party city,’ but finally there is some meaning behind it: art.”


By Galena Mosovich

Julian Lennon says that what we all need is to breathe more. That’s great advice, especially during the most high-octane Art Basel yet.

The son of John Lennon, one of the most beloved musicians of all time, is ecstatic to be in Miami exhibiting for the second time. His photographs are on display at Overture this week, which is situated in the southwest corner of the tent housing Scope and Art Asia.

If you go, view his series of skyscapes and landscapes that are strategically meant to slow you down.

Overcome with anxiety the last time he was at Basel (2010), Lennon says this time is different. He’s not sure if Miami has changed or if it’s him that’s changed.

“It’s all a bit more sophisticated now,” said Lennon. “I’m going to make an effort this time to get out there and experience the real Miami.”

His exhibit, entitled “Alone,” illustrates moments that are very personal to Lennon. It features photographs of clouds he captured on a plane (while everyone else was sleeping) and some of his favorite places like the Charles Bridge in Prague. There are a couple images from his debut exhibition, “Timeless,” as well.

He humbly talked about how honored he feels to be a part of this fair and  how he considers himself a newcomer to the scene.

As a life-long philanthropist, Lennon choose Overture because of its commitment to providing opportunities for youth to experience the arts. Each gallery in the fair will fulfill its promise in its hometown.

You can also see his work on the rooftop of the Dream hotel and in the members-only lobby of the Soho Beach House this week.


By Tom Austin
The Hole, an uber-hip gallery from New York, launched their Fresh Basel exhibition on Tuesday night, and this being Miami, it was all about real estate. The gallery’s art was displayed in a beautiful circa-1920s estate on Pinetree Drive, Villa Vecchia, a mini-version of Versailles with gold brocade sofas and marble statuary. Out front, Jesse Edwards set up an easel and painted different perspectives of the house; inside, the work of Holton Rower, Scott Reeder, and Matthew Stone was featured.
One of the more clever touches was in the back yard, the Bowery-style garage created by Collective Hardware, an artist collective known for coordinating live projects and installations. In the next few days, graffiti artists will transform the mock garage into something with street credibility, but Rony Rivellini of Collective Hardware was transfixed by the house itself. “This house actually has a flower room, where the staff used to prepare fresh flowers every day. It’s like Gatsby on South Beach,” he said   


By Tom Austin
The private preview of PULSE Miami at the Ice Palace Studios in downtown Miami benefitted Lotus House Women’s Shelter, an organization that helps homeless women in Miami. (The early portion of the Art Miami VIP Preview that same evening also benefitted Lotus House.) Several hundred people turned out for charity and art for the private preview of PULSE, hosted by artnetAuctions, with galleries from everywhere – from Torch of Amsterdam to Espaivisor-Visor Gallery of Valencia, Spain to the Adah Rose Gallery of Washington DC showing their wares.
At the latter gallery, the work of Clemson, S. C.-based artist Jessica Drenk was featured. For her work, Drenk takes texts from books – ranging from pulp fiction to classics – and encases leaf-like scraps of the text in wax: she then pins the “leaves” to the wall. Drenk described the original texts she uses as “artifacts of our culture,” but wouldn’t reveal too much,” I don’t want to divulge my sources.”  An artist who understands the art of holding back and keeping secrets would make a nifty reporter.


By Jordan Levin |

The mood at the opening of the Wynwood Walls was subdued, and the crowd was relatively sparse and quiet compared to the previous years. Tony Goldman’s daughter Jessica Goldman, who took over as CEO of Goldman Properties, and Tony’s widow Janet Goldman greeted old family friends, including celebrat ed muralists like Shepherd Fairey, in a Ramones t-shirt, and white-haired Ron English. The two women posed with a throng of the muralists who’ve filled Wynwood Walls, people shouting and smiling, under Fairey’s giant sunbeaming portrait of Tony.

“It’s bittersweet,” said Fairey. “It’s sad but also amazing to see how much love there is for Tony. It was hard to be cynical when Tony was around.”

Goldman’s widow and daughter said they were committed to continuing his vision.

“It’s lonely without him,” said Janet Goldman. “But all of us want to carry on his vision and passion cause we loved him so much.”

His daughter Jessica said she felt like she carried her father inside her. “My dad’s street name was Pilot and for 15 years I was his co-pilot,” she siad. “It’s scary. It’s thrilling. Not a day goes by when I don’t think of my Dad. I talk to him. Sometimes I say help me. Sometimes I say you’d be proud of me today.”

Jessica Goldman proudly showed this year’s new murals, a dramatic tiger by South African woman Faith 47, swirling ribbon figures by Chinese artist Dal East, and their first piece by a Miami artist, a black and white trio of doll-like women by Santiago Rubino. “Now we’ve got artists from Miami to the whole world,” she said.


By Jordan Levin |

At the opening of Art Asia in Midtown Miami, people strolled leisurely past an international array of art from China, Korea, Bangladesh, Thailand. Artist and gallery names appeared in a cryptic range of calligraphies, and women in brilliant pink and gold saris, or elaborately beaded dresses, eyes ringed with dark makeup, buzzed about tending to potential clients.

Attracting attention at Art Asia was chinese artist/designer/musician Simon Ma, who had flown in that morning from Shanghai. “He’s a rock star,” boasted John Turchin, a Miami real estate dealer and former South Beach club owner who ventured into art sales with Ma.

Wearing a white suit and white rimmed glasses, Ma snapped his fingers for an assistant to bring an iPad so he could show off photos of the “Dragon Horse” logos he’d recently designed for a limited edition of 20 Ferraris in China. “Dragon horse is very powerful and meaningful in China,” Ma said. Expensive too – the Ferraris sold for $832,000).

He had no interest in discussing the irony of million dollar cars selling in a Communist country. “I don’t talk politics,” he said. His show was called The Soul, and filled with dragon horse images, flowing creatures painted in calligraphic style strokes. Ma seemed right at home with art fair hype – another assistant snapped photos as he talked to a Miami Herald journalist. There was a small furor when Julian Lennon stopped by to chat, photographers snapping as Eastern met Western celeb. He was enjoying the scene in Wynwood. “I like the passion of the art scene here,” Ma said. “I saw people painting the walls. Art is everywhere here. It is very vibrant and happy. In Shanghai it is very commercial.”

No politics though.


By Jane Wooldridge |

Artists and art lovers got a preview Tuesday of the monumental sculptures, dozens of sparkling chandeliers and benches made from eco-friendly materials at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden’s annual Art Basel luncheon.

This year, 103 chandeliers by artist Jorge Pardo are scattered throughout the garden; the outdoor lights were made for a California benefit and brought to Miami, Pardo said. Four massive John Chamberlain sculptures looking like vast twists of foil are in the garden’s amphitheater.

For the first time, the garden’s installations include furniture in the form of benches by seven artists. All are for sale, priced from $6,000 to $45,000.

Among the “Sitting Naturally’” bench artists is Miami-New York sculptor Michele Oka Doner, who is also working on a series of benches for a park in Doral. “I didn’t want to do bronze for here,” she said. She collaborated with Brooklyn-based designer Walter Meyer to create the prototype for the seats — so complex that 25 companies said they were unable before they could find one that could handle the fabrication. The benches, called “Art Predators,” are made of wood from the invasive species of maleleuca and Australian pines.

Lin Lougheed, the Fairchild benefactor who arranges the art program each year, hopes to repeat the design feature in future years. He has a fan in Cristina Grajales, the gallerist who arranged this year’s benches. “I was speechless when I saw them in the garden,” she said. “They look so perfect.”



By Tere Figueras Negrete |

North Miami’s Museum of Contemporary Art typically gets a jump on the Basel madness with its annual MOCA Vanity Fair International party – which this year was expexted to draw more than 3,000 people.

The guest list ranges from celebrities to North Miami residents, who enjoy free access to the city-owned museum.

“You’ll see Stella McCartney, who sponsored the show, but you’ll also see the kids from around the block,” said Bonnie Clearwater, executive director and chief curator.

As party planners hustled to get ready for the marquee event, Clearwater hosted an intimate preview with the marquee artist: the iconic Bill Viola, whose work will be on display at the museum at 770 NE 125th St. through March. The large-scale video installation marks the first major exhibition of Viola’s work since 1997, said Clearwater.

The artist himself, in town for the exhibit’s kick-off and presumably to partake in Basel’s rich offerings, said his work speaks to the need for human connection amid an increasingly complicated digital age.

“We live in a time that equals or rivals the Industrial Revolution,” Viola said. “And all because of this tiny thing that sits in a computer, this chip, that has changed everything.”

Tellingly, Viola headed off to meet with some of the teens that take part in MOCA’s youth programs for some facetime.

“It’s the highlight of the whole fair for me.”

Bill Viola: Liber Insularum (The Book of Islands), is on display at MOCA, 770 NE 125th St. Free for North Miami residents, $5 adults, $3 seniors and students. For more information go to


Pop Artist Kenny Scharf finishes his mural at the Goldman Sculpture Park in Wynwood. He is even getting into his Miami spirit with his new t-shirt. Photo: Manny Hernandez


Art Miami / CONTEXT opening benefits Miami Art Museum. Tickets $25. 5:30 p.m. at the Art Miami Pavilion, 3101 NE First Ave., Midtown;

Children’s Bereavement Center cocktail fundraiser hosted by Anima Domus and UR New York. $150 for two people. The evening includes a raffle of one-of-a-kind painted Nemo Armchair by Fabio Novembre. 6-9 p.m. at Anima Domus, 25 NE 39th St., Miami Design District; 305-576-9088;

Red Dot Miami opening benefits the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force. 6 p.m. Tickets $25 and include entry throughout the fair period. 3011 NE First Ave., Miami; 917-273-8621.

MOCA & Vanity Fair International Party at Museum of Contemporary Art. Members only; membership available from $50 a year. 7-9 p.m. 77 0 NE 125th St.; North Miami; 305-893-6211; RSVP highly recommended.

Wynwood Walls opens to the public, 9 p.m. Free. Northwest Second Avenue between 25th and 26th streets, Wynwood;





TV Personality and art collector Raul DeMolina with wife Mily hosted their 10th Pre Art Basel party at their home in Key Biscayne. Guests included his TV cohost Lily Estefan, artist Jose Badia, artist George Sanchez-Calderon, artist Domingo Zapata (pictured above with DeMolina), race car drive Juan Pablo Montoya and other art leaders and enthusiasts. Photo: Manny Hernandez



By Jane Wooldridge |

Monday night’s preview of UNTITLED made it official: the art fairs are here.

Even UNTITLED, the new fair set on the sands of Miami Beach, won’t officially open until Wednesday, but organizers decided to get ahead of the fray with an early opening that was, simply, jammed.

The idea behind the fair is a tightly curated selection of works by (mostly) living artists selected by curator Omar Lopez-Chahoud, all priced between $10,000 and $70,000 shown in an airy structure, designed by former MAM director Terence Riley, that actually looks onto the sea.

The art runs a wide gamut — dioramas espousing green themes at Pool Gallery’s booth, an installation of machetes invoking the possibilities of power at Gonzalez y Gonzalez. And at (Art) Amalgamated, Cao has created an installation based on four dead pop stars set in Renaissance settings. If you’re lucky enough to get a reading based on cards the artist created on the posthumous four (Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson, Kurt Cobain and Amy Winehouse), you’re in for a treat. (Don’t scoff; he got me dead right.)

All the selections are intended to be deeply conceptual, Lopez-Chahoud said. “I wanted the works to be as diverse as possible,” he said.

No question about that. The fair also feels fresh — no easy feat.




By Galena Mosovich

The 11th edition of Art Basel hasn’t officially kicked off, but the arts set is already focused on reflection.

On Monday, hundreds of the who’s who of Miami’s art world boarded the Celebrity Reflection, one of several new ships to anchor at the Port of Miami this week.

Serious collectors, curators, artists and art lovers, including Oscar Seikely, Lizzy Dascal, Tami Katz-Friedman, Brandi Reddick, and Claire Bruekel, floated through the ship as if they were navigating a top-tier museum.

“Reflection,” the curatorial theme reinforced by Mariangela Capuzzo of International Corporate Art (ICArt),  was captured in each and every piece of work (422 pieces of work in public spaces) by international mid-career artists and emerging artists.

In addition, guests caught a glimpse of works by artists like John Baldessari, Jeff Koons, and Marina Abramovic.

It was the local standouts that caught everyone’s attention: Miami-born and raised Cristina Lei Rodriguez; former Miami-based artist Bert Rodriguez (no relation); and, Carlos Betancourt, Michelle Weinberg, Nina Surel.

The ship sets sail for its first U.S. voyage this weekend.



By Jane Wooldridge |

Art Week Miami has kicked off as perhaps it always should but never has: with a tribute to the city’s arts-loving pioneers.

It was something of an Old Home Week scene at the JW Marriott Hotel on Brickell Avenue when a few hundred of Miami’s arts pioneers and current cognescenti turned up for a reprise of Martin Kreloff’s 1976 Miami Says Art project, in which dozens of Miami art pioneers were photographed saying the magic word, “Art!” The crowd included rarely seen photographer David Vance and pioneers Arnold Lehman, artist Lynne Gelfman, Dennis Edwards, Mark Steinberg, Merle Weiss, gallerist Virginia Miller, Wolfsonian director Cathy Leff as well as newer figures including New World Symphony CEO Howard Herring and Arsht Center chief John Richards.

Kreloff is now based in L.A. and though he isn’t sorry he moved, he did allow on Monday that he’s wistful for Miami and its burgeoning new scene.

So just how much has the city changed, art-wise? “Miami has become everything we ever anticipated and hoped for,” said Ruth Shack, photographed in the original project and in this week’s reprise. “It’s keeps on growing and getting better.”

From long-time enthusiast Daniel Perron: “Can you believe it? I think it has exploded from a local scene to an international one.” The Kreloff project was particularly appealing, he said, because “it’s  proven that there was an arts scene in Miami before Art Basel.”

Carole Damian, director of the Frost-FIU museum, and longtime arts supporter Debi Hoffman spoke of a sweeping shift since those early days. “Miami has become a cultural happening where people want to be,” Hoffman said.

Arnold Lehman, who left Miami in 1979 and is now head of the Brooklyn Museum, had a slightly different take “Nothing has changed or everything has changed.” Asked to expound, he said: “What Miami is about is sun, water, blue sky and when it gets dark or cloudy, art.”

Hang around Arnold. This week is different

Shepard Fairey and Risk collaborate for a series of murals in Park West

By Andres Viglucci
On an anonymous, lightly traveled corner on the edge of Overtown, celebrity street artist Shepard Fairey has quietly spent most of the past few days high up on a lift with an X-acto knife and a can of spray paint, slowly making ugly beautiful.

As occasional passersby do double takes, Fairey, of Barack Obama “Hope” poster fame, has been laying down his signature lace-like patterns on two walls of a bunker-like warehouse over a rich multi-color wash by Kelly “Risk” Graval, the godfather of L.A. graffiti art. Fairey’s Andre the Giant “Obey” face stares out from the center of a star, and, by Sunday afternoon, the outline of the mural’s centerpiece — big letters spelling out “Peace’’ and “Justice’’ — has become legible.

In dreary Park West, the no-man’s land of vacant lots and featureless warehouses between Overtown and back-from-the-dead Biscayne Boulevard, startling oases of vibrant color are popping up all over, courtesy of Risk and a crew of well-known street and graffiti artists he recruited at the behest of a pair of neighborhood activists.

Park West, of all places, is getting the urban-renewal-through-graffiti-art treatment. Big time.