“The world is but a canvas to our imagination.”- Henry David Thoreau


I am thrilled to be headed back to Art Basel Miami next week this year for a brief stint to take in the art fairs. Art has always reflected the time and place in which it is made. It is fascinating to see what the artists choose to express and watch overriding themes throughout the fair. Artists have been called the “canaries in the coalmine” reacting to current events before they enter mainstream culture. I have been researching my favorite sources to come up with my “HOT LIST” for this year and wondering how I can cram all this culture into a mere 72 hours.



Gladiator by Eddy Martinez / Mitchell-Inness & Nash Gallery / Courtesy of the artist and the gallery

sign of love 1963 dorothy lannone 1

Sign of Love, 1963, Dorothy Lannone / Peres Projects /Courtesy of Art Basel

colored vases, 2014 ai weiwei mary boone

Colored Vases, 2014 by Ai Weiwei / Mary Boone Gallery / Courtesy of Art Basel

The main fair, Art Basel Miami, features 267 galleries from 32 countries showing work from the masters of Modern and contemporary art, as well the new generation of emerging stars. Paintings, sculptures, installations, photographs, films, and editioned works of the highest quality are on display in the main exhibition hall.



Nearby in Collins Park, PUBLIC enlisted 26 artists to create site-specific installations and performances including a monumental deer lawn ornament by Tony Tasset, a jeweled “Healing Pavilion” by Sam Falls; a group of tall chairs from the original production Robert Wilson’s “Einstein on the Beach;” a giant set of red lips by Sterling Ruby.



Located behind the convention center, Design Miami selected a student team from Harvard to design the fair entrance. “UNBUILT,” a collection of foam models of unrealized design projects hovers above fair goers. Yves Behar is the recipient of the 2015 Design Miami “Design Visionary Award” and he’ll be honored with a special exhibit in the D/M venue behind the convention center from December 2 through 6. Expect thirty five exhibitors including Firma Casa from Brazil, showing new works by the Campana Brothers, and Italian gallery Secondome,with hand-crafted limited editions.


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Wynwood Walls is featuring “Walls of Change” with 14 new murals and installations and the debut of a new adjacent space called “The Wynwood Walls Garden.” The walls are by Case, Crash, Cryptik, el Seed, Erenest Zacharevic, Fafi, Hueman, INTI, The London Police, Logan Hicks and Ryan McGinness. Over in the “garden,” the Spanish art duo Pichi & Avo are doing a mural on stacked shipping containers and in the events space, Magnus Sodamin will be painting the floors and walls. The VIP opening is on December 1st in the early evening, but then it’s open to the public from 11 p.m. to 2 a.m.

Grace Hartigan

X Contemporary also joins the crowd with their inaugural edition in Wynwood running from December 2nd through Sunday, and a VIP opening on December 1st from 5 to 10 p.m. Twenty eight exhibitiors will be on hand, plus special projects including “Grace Hartigan: 1960 – 1965” presented by Michael Klein Arts; a look at the “genesis of street art” curated by Pamela Willoughby; and “Colombia N.O.W.” presented by TIMEBAG.


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The Rubell Family Collection will present a big exhibition called “No Man’s Land” featuring women artists from their extensive collection including paintings, sculptures, photos and videos by over 100 female artists. Jennifer Rubell will present her twelfth large-scale, food-based installation,”Devotion,” on December 3rd, 9 to 11 a.m. She’ll be using “bread, butter, and a couple engaged to be married” as her media.



ELLE DECOR will unveil its 2015 Modern Life Concept House on December 1. The project will be located in Miami’s Wynwood Arts District at 250 Wynwood, a 6,000 square-foot, one-of-a-kind condominium home, and will feature the work of four leading designers hand-selected by ELLE DECOR editor-in-chief, Michael Boodro The designers—Matthew MacDonald, Elizabeth Martin, Sam Robin and Fernando Wong—designed and decorated the space in a way that fits in with the artistic and creative spirit of the Wynwood district.



Miami’s Wynwood Arts District will soon be home to a “living laboratory” for design, the Wynwood Design Lab, where carefully curated artwork, furniture, decor, accessories and appliances will be showcased for interior designers, landscape architects, and luxury buyers and builders in quarterly vignettes. The multi-purpose mecca for design, opening in November, will be comprised of the lab’s 2,500 square foot indoor space, plus an outdoor garden, a gallery, and a live art demonstration area, which can be viewed from the street.

The Lab has so far partnered with designer Erinn Valencich and landscape architect David Font, who will provide architecture for, design and curate the Lab’s settings, which will be re-envisioned each quarter. “The Wynwood Design Lab is not a retail store, nor is it intended to be a design center,” explains Christi Tasker, co-owner of the Lab. “Rather, it is a living laboratory where a constantly transitioning duo of landscape architects and renowned interior designers will collaborate to give key luxury buyers and specifiers the best that the world of home furnishings and building materials has to offer, and to see it in real lifestyle applications.”


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The Faena Forum by OMA Rem Koolhaus

A new residential and arts district by Argentine developer Alan Faena’s between 32nd and 36th Streets on Collins Avenue will be finished in April 2016.  For this year’s fair, they’ve planned a series of events including: A roller-disco installation by assume vivid astro focus that will be open to the public daily on the beach and feature local and international DJs; a “theater curtain” installation called “A Site To Behold” by Spanish artist Almudena Lober that lets visitors play alternate roles of “actor” and “performer”; and a site-specific “sand and light” installation by Jim Denevan.

Stay tuned for Part 2 tomorrow covering more of the satellite fairs and highly anticipated exhibits…For more design inspiration, please follow along on Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter and subscribe to Bespoke Banter.

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