The biggest art and design events of the year have just wrapped up. Art Basel Miami and Design Miami 2019 closed off the year in the best way possible, leaving us with incredible art installations, amazing design pieces and a dash of controversy as well.
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Right at the entrance of the fair, Atelier Marko Brajovic‘s Roots installation represents the mangroves of the Amazon. The project was made in partnership with Tidelli and consists of a self-supporting aluminium branch system wrapped by nautical ropes. Inside, a large rug and two traditional Amazonian hammocks invite visitors to settle in and reflect on our relationship with the environment through the immersive documentary Sacred Coca, which features a sound and visual journey through the Amazon.
Louis Vuitton brought big news for the fair, like the Swell Wave bookcase, signed by Andrew Kudless. The furniture is the new Objet Nomade and marks the designer’s debut for the collection. The release is alongside other Objets Nomades featured for the first time at Design Miami 2019.
Espasso by Claudia Moreira Salles won the Best Curio Booth at Design Miami 2019! Espasso presents limited-edition lamp collection called Fine Tuning, combining an exotic reclaimed woods abundant in rich grains and colours – such as rosewood and pine – with niobium, a rare metal that transforms chromatically without any added pigments. Niobium is commonly used in the tech industry, but Salles turns the material into art rather than a scientific matter.
For this edition of Design Miami, the Italian brand Fendi invited the Swiss studio Kueng Caputo to create 10 design pieces and recreate the Palazzo della Civiltà Italiana, home of the brand in Rome. The architectural icon served as a starting point for the creation of the collection named Roman Molds, which follows Fendi’s precepts of bringing together crafts, technology and innovation. The pieces combine quite divergent materials such as leather and terracotta bricks – the latter modelled to represent the iconic arches of the Palazzo della Civiltà Italiana. The bricks also gained application of specially developed ceramic glazes for these pieces creating an interesting colour palette in combination with leather.
The fashion brand Balenciaga, in collaboration with designer Harry Nuriev, presented the Balenciaga Sofa at the fair, made with non-salable pieces from old collections, wrapped in transparent vinyl. More than furniture, the sofa is intended as a work of art that raises the issue of environmental responsibility and encourages sustainable design practices, such as implementing programs that reduce waste and contribute to a circular economy.
Daniel Arsham‘s installation at Design Miami 2019 is a result of the sculptural explorations gathered at an installation that mainly fictionalises a domestic setting partly conceived as a kunstkammer (cabinet of curiosities). Among some of the main pieces composing the scenario was the Cleveland Chair I, Paris Chaise Lounge I and Shanghai Chair by Daniel Arsham. There were also a couple of other interesting elements such as the Arsham’s Pasadena Sea Glass Lamp, which merges his concept of fictional archaeology with a couple of technological references.
The “Comedian” installation by Maurizio Cattelan stole the show at Art Basel Miami 2019. Composed of a real banana attached to the wall with just one piece of duct tape, “Comedian” by Maurizio Cattelan for Galerie Perrotin at Art Basel Miami Beach 2019 showcases the artist’s characteristic commentaries — it’s a hyper-realistic sculpture satirizing popular culture and offering an ironic commentary on society, power, and authority. Following the same line of America, an 18-karat gold toilet by Cattelan, this piece offers insight into how we assign worth and what kind of objects we value. The piece sold for $120,000 and was then eaten by performance artist David Datuna, in a performance he called “Hungry Artist”, creating the most talked-about moment of the event.