LitDesign is a visual exploration into the relationship between literary arts and space. Whether out in nature, on the page, through architecture or somewhere out of this world—language is the space in which we, at the innermost, dwell.
Walking in to Blue Moon Hotel today, Rebecca and I were not positive what we would find. To our surprise, we found a nicely decorated lounge area with a good amount of wall space for displaying art. The art was beautifully curated, which was the work of Jean and Iggy Font. However, Eric Ginsburg is the mastermind behind the operation. With ten editions of the show under his belt, he was proud of this one being his fifth in Miami.
The name “Fridge” came about one night when Ginsburg was out drinking while visiting his parents in Washington, D.C. He was telling them about Frieze, which is an art convention that happens in NYC, and he thought to himself, “Oh, Frieze? FRIDGE! Both are cold!” As the temperature dropped, his ideas grew. It is a submission based show, that sadly not everyone can get in to. He still welcomes all to apply at www.fridgeartfair.com. “I’ve been lucky...no idea how I fell in to art. I’ve been helped so much that I wanted to give back [by making this show].”
At the show, we were greeted by artist William Eli Elkin creating art at a backroom table. He was telling us about his process of creating small plato flowers. He creates flowers that are a mixture of numerous colors, then he bakes them at a slow heat. Once they are done cooking, he covers them in mod podge. He says that this makes them stronger and more durable than normal clay.
The show featured work by Dr. Pete, who is a doctor by day but sparkle artist by night. He uses paint and sparkles to create close up images of pills. The highlight piece for both Rebecca and I was Carlos Machado’s “Just Create” piece. This giant canvas used a mixture of image, dripping, and text to create a beautiful composition. Usually something like this would be too busy for my taste, but it was done in such a tasteful and beautiful way that I really enjoyed looking at all the layers. The words in the background read, “F*@k it...just create.” The next layer was a Banksy-esque spray painted character that looked as if it was standing up and walking away after being knocked down.
The last layer was the dripping of sectioned colors. The repeated sections of color were red, yellow, and blue. The use of primary colors seemed to be intentional, referencing a type of creative purity. We were lucky to see this piece, and all of the pieces that Fridge had to present to us. If you are ever in NYC or Miami when the pop-up is displaying work I would highly recommend going in and saying hi to Eric and all the friendly faces there.
German photographer, Thomas Struth, is most well known for his Museum Photographs. This is a series of large format photographs shown to ask the question, do people really know what they are looking at when it comes to art, or are they just looking to look? His question is a long observed mystery by most artists. How does one communicate exactly what they want, or do they want it to be ambiguous?
As I was shuffling my way around Art Basel day two I could not help asking myself this question that Thomas Struth asked the world. Do the people here realized the significance of this work? Do they realize that in some cases they are staring at a representation of a person who has changed art history? Irving Penn, Josef Albers, Roy Lichtenstein, the list goes on and on of artists I was lucky enough to see work of today. Still, this Thomas Struth question hung over my head, do people understand what they are looking at?
Everyone was taking pictures of the work, but were they seeing the work? Were they moving toward some meaning, or did they just enjoy the texture and the pretty colors? We live our lives trying to document something that we may never have the chance to see again, so why bother? Why not be happy that you have the opportunity to see this beautiful art, in person, right now? I can promise you the way Juan Genoves used paint to create 3D characters in his painting will not look as impressive tomorrow morning on your phone, or the way Tony Oursler mixes photography, music, and sculpture into one beautiful composition will not sound the same on your tiny speaker. Take a deep breath, look, listen, and be changed. Art is here to help, so open your eyes and hearts to its messages.
Yesterday night, Plurality Press arrived at its first Art Basel Miami 2017 event at SoundScape Park.
The evening featured three artists: Hans Berg, Jibade-Khalil Huffman and Jen DeNike. Berg, a Swedish sound and techno music producer, creates atmospheric audio and visual works that engulf audiences whether at the club or in an arena. Looping for one hour, his piece Trance (2017), was crafted for and aired through an orchestra of over 160 speakers. The crowd was visibly spellbound.
Jibade-Khalil Huffman and Jen DeNike's six short films closed the latter half of the evening. Huffman's screened works included GIF, First Person Shooter, and Figuration (A). Of his work, Art Basel writes, "His films bring together spoken and written language, found footage, vintage television, computer animation, pop music, and synthesizer sound effects, in a wide-ranging investigation of American media motifs that is also an homage to African-American popular culture."
DeNike's characters "become larger-than-life archetypes performing rituals of masculinity and femininity, and thereby achieving heightened moments of being," shares event organizers. She melds video, photography, sculpture and performance into a lyrical score gesturing toward transcendence. Her screened works were The Pimp, The Cat, and The Boxer.
Curator of film and sound at Art Basel Miami, David Gryn, selected the pieces this year, according to Sugarcane Mag, "to engage with the diverse and global language of dance."
Jessica Rohl, Assistant Art Director and manager of the LitDesign blog, documents not only the film on view, but the motion picture of actors surrounding the big screen--many of them on bean bag chairs. Join in on the view!
LitDesign is a visual exploration into the relationship between literary arts and space. Whether out in nature, on the page, with architecture or somewhere out of this world—language is the space in which we, at the innermost, dwell.