The Intersection of Art and Design at Art Basel Miami
Over the weekend, Art Basel Miami came to an end. The week-long art event takes over South Beach showing some of the best painting, photography, performance, design, and sculpture from artists working all over the world. The following is part of a series of wrap ups from the week by our tireless contributors.
The thing about Miami is that what you see when you do head down for the annual art and design extravaganza can often be frustratingly little. Between the city’s grueling traffic, the lure of its glittering beaches, the daytime pool parties, and the later-than-usual nights, it’s a wonder anyone can make it through the entire convention center and its neighboring Design/Miami tent, much less the satellite art fairs, the Wynwood galleries, the museum shows, the new boutiques, and the odd day trip out to see new artwork installed in places like the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden. At the same time, as a journalist, it feels like you really have seen it all before, what with the endless previews and press releases. And so you’re caught endlessly swinging back and forth between anticipation and letdown, which you conclude can only be cured by a wine-soaked lunch on a patio overlooking the ocean, or an hour spent by the pool. (Are you getting a sense of our week yet?) Of course, some work had to be done, so though a few of our favorite projects went undocumented, we managed to catch the majority of the rest on film.
Much was made this year about the rejuvenation of Miami's Design District (there were huge signs on every corner pointing the way to “Luxury Boutiques” just in case you didn’t get the memo). To our eyes, the amount of work on display there seemed on par with previous years, but the district did have the distinction of being home to our favorite project, Architecture for Dogs. Spearheaded by Kenya Hara, the project asked world-famous designers and architects to create open-source, breed-specific houses for 12 different kinds of pups. (That’s Konstantin Grcic’s mirrored perch for a toy poodle, modeled by Sight Unseen co-founder Monica Khemsurov, above.)
Sou Fujimoto’s No Dog, No Life house for a Boston terrier, made from square panels of Japanese cypress and transparent acrylic board, creates storage for dogs or humans. In the background is Kazuyo Sejima’s super-fluffy papasan-style house for a Bichon Frise, which we frankly wouldn't mind having for ourselves.
We weren’t so sure about Reiser + Umemoto’s face-covering Cloud for a Chihuahua, though the architects swear by it: “[It] responds to the Chihuahua’s love of burrowing and playing ‘hide and seek.’ In the Cloud the dog is warm, protected, and secure. Furthermore, it serves as a veil that neutralizes preconceptions about the size of Chihuahuas.”