Berluti + Maarten Baas

Art Basel Miami Beach is the penultimate conversion of art and fashion—an excessive week of non-stop parties where every luxury brand fights for attendance at their own celebration of and interplay with art and design. So while I am a bit behind in my coverage of this whirlwind of art-meets-fashion occurences, I hope to play a little catch up over the next few days.

First up: Berluti, the Parisian luxury menswear brand, which unveiled four sculptures by Dutch artist Maarten Baas at a cocktail event on Tuesday evening at their new Design District boutique. The unique artworks included a chaise lounge, valet, and two mirrors—classic pieces of furniture that were playfully reinterpreted using the artist’s signature hand-modeled clay technique. They were displayed casually in the boutique, strewn with Berluti clothing and shoes as if in someone’s house. Baas—the Design Miami designer of the year in 2009—and Berluti had been working on the collaboration for about a year. Following the in-store event, the celebration continued with a private dinner at the de la Cruz Collection hosted by Rosa and Carlos de la Cruz and Pietro Beccari, the CEO of Fendi.

For party pics, head on over to WWD or Vogue.


A view from outside of the window display


Another sculpture, strewn with a leather handbag


The casual display of the chaise lounge

Basel Obsession 1: Glenn Ligon

I am a huge fan of New York-based artist Glenn Ligon’s large black and white canvases incorporating coal dust. There was the most stunning new example of one of these pieces at the Regen Projects booth at Art Basel Miami Beach, and there were also three massive works by the artist on view right when you entered the de la Cruz Collection space.

Ligon’s most recent solo exhibition was a mid-career retrospective entitled Glenn Ligon: AMERICA at the Whitney Museum of American Art in 2011, which travelled thereafter to LACMA and the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth. He is best known for his landmark series of text-based paintings, made since the late 1980s, which draw on the writings and speech of diverse figures, and often addresses the topic of race. He currently has a solo exhibition at Luhring Augustine in New York, which features a large selection of his neon text pieces he has created since 2005, pushing his practice into new, unexpected territories while remaining in dialogue with his text paintings.

But the coal dust works are my favorite. I love how you can see the sparkle from the coal dust the closer you get to the painting, and how beautifully abstract they look from further away. Pictures just don’t do them justice.

Masquerade II, #10, 2012; Silkscreen and coal dust on canvas; 78 x 52 inchesOn view at Regen Projects @ Art Basel Miami Beach

Masquerade II, #10, 2012; Silkscreen and coal dust on canvas;      78 x 52; On view at Regen Projects @ Art Basel Miami Beach

Figure 63, 2010; acrylic, silkscreen and coal dust on canvas; 60x48; via Luhring Augustine

Figure 63, 2010; Acrylic, silkscreen and coal dust on canvas;    60 x 48; via Luhring Augustine

Untitled (Contact), 2002, coal dust, printing ink, oil stick, glue, acrylic paint and gesso on canvas; 74 x 118; via Regen Projects

Untitled (Contact), 2002; Coal dust, printing ink, oil stick, glue, acrylic paint and gesso on canvas; 74 x 118; via Regen Projects

My horrible picture from the de la Cruz Collection in Miami

My horrible picture of the 3 Ligon works on view at the de la Cruz Collection in Miami


Back From Basel

I just returned from Art Basel Miami Beach, and while I am completely exhausted, I had such a great time. Though I was only there for a few days, I managed to cover a lot of territory – I saw a TON of amazing art, met some great people, and ate some delicious food! In two days I was able to hit the three big private collections (Rubell, Margulies, de la Cruz), Art Basel Miami Beach (the main fair), Design Miami, Overture, Scope, UNTITLED., Art Miami, CONTEXT at Art Miami, and The Bass Museum. Not familiar with the 20+ art fairs Miami has to offer during Art Basel? HuffPo has an incredibly helpful article explaining the differences through high school stereotypes here.

I also had the opportunity to attend parties at the homes of private collectors, and seeing how people display art in their personal spaces is always a great experience. While I cannot possibly recount everything I saw, I will be dedicating posts this week to some of my favorite pieces.

Check back soon!

me splatter

Photo: Me in my Lisa Perry Splatter tank (available here) standing inside Randy Polumbo’s Love Stream #2, 2012 at Art Public in collaboration with The Bass Museum