With multiple art fairs open each day of Art Basel showcasing hundreds of galleries worldwide, there was no shortage of art, but it takes work to find art that resonated as relatable, blew my brain with innovating concepts or represented a marginalized point of view- especially if you’re new to the scene. Granted, only so much translates when you don’t know the artist’s background or intention (which aren’t on display along with the final pieces). Amidst all the insanely expensive art, serious buyers, and hypebeast afterparties, I took the time to document what stood out to me in terms of artists bringing creativity, innovation, and diversity to the Miami Floors.
The following 25 artists incorporated sculptural/3D elements in a sick way (for 2d art see Part 2).
1. Ai Wei Wei‘s Gas Mask shown above was installed on the ground facing up, reminiscent of casket engravings. It struck me as monument of what government can stand for, especially surrounding tear gassing in anti-racism protests.
2. Kehinde Wiley reknown for his grandiose portraits of black subjects (seen in the background of the photo below) has a bust on display.
3. Yinka Shonibare had multiple pieces in the main fair. This one reminded me of both the resilience of the service class and at the same time the dance of politicians. (Photo by Nastia Voynovskaya/Hi-Fructose)
4. Peter Sarkisian projects changing moving light onto 3D surfaces. This robot is actually white! (Should’ve been a gif, sorry y’all!) Catch his work with Art Silicon Valley.
5. Elena Stonaker crafts and bejewels soft sculptures and wearables as part of ephemeral art experiences provided by the young roster of artists at Natology’s booth in the Scope Art Fair.
6. Mounir Fatmi had multiple pieces on display at Untitled Art Fair from colorful hookah tube installations to gothic Rubix cubes with Arab lettering. Imagine a day in Morocco incorporating all of the above.
6. Joyce J. Scott was the surprise OG. A black feminist beader, Scott has been creating art for over 60 years and recently her work has awarded her the international acclaim she deserves. Note: not afraid of beaded penises. (penii?)
7. Swoon honestly she has been representing for women in street art since I knew what street art was. Doing it her own way, and not shying away from positive femininity and community – shes kind of the one. Plus it was her birthday that weekend- shouts out!
8. Monica Canilao has her own world in her mind that she can let you tune into either with entire rooms immersed in installation, or just a few artifacts as you see here. Often co-exhibiting and collaborating with Swoon as her muse, this is a mentorship I am all for!
9. Os Gemeos There are so many levels to this, all I know is if that man pops any farther out of the wall, I’m asking to borrow those pajamas! Love an artist with a unique point of view repping it for Brazil.
10. Vik Muniz is also repping it for Brazil. As you can tell this piece is made out of infinite scraps of life. Muniz is also known for collaborating with trash diggers in one of the world’s largest dumps, Jardim Gramacho, to create recycled art works. (There’s a documentary on it- just saying).
11. Sheldon Scott performance and installation storyteller had these two pieces in a passageway at Art Miami Fair. Innocent titles like “Eenie Meenie Minie Moe” and “Sweet Boy” are given an ominous angle when each choice leads to a sac of nuts (literally Brazil Nuts) and sugar is white. Extra resonant given that this was just after the Eric Garner no-indightment.
12. Takashi Murakami always bringing a certain playfulness to the situation rolled through the main fair with a couple pieces in different galleries. Giving me a taste of evee in space, this one’s title translates to “The Dream Lion” from Japanese.
13. 3 (Three) studio artists had a series of pieces made from melted anime toys. It was neat to see this not on tumblr partially because it broke down consumerist identity into raw materiality, and partially because I never get to see toys like this in the U.S. 😛
14. Borris Nzebo had larger than life pop sculptures of African hairstyles alongside stylized paintings inspired by his life in Cameroon.
15. Mickalene Thomas had me feeling like I was waiting for Solange to come over for Losing You Part II. But nah it was great to imagine what this lady was thinking amidst the television set and photos of Black women who are here for themselves. Glad Thomas is displaying in the main fair- get that money!
16. Ebony G. Patterson originally designed these coffins as part of a performance piece Invisible Presence: Bling Memories where members of Jamaica’s lower class marched down Carnival holding these to bring attention to socioeconomic invisibility as shown in the divide with Jamaica’s new fad of demarcating who is who: bling funerals. She also makes bomb glittery paintings like teach-me-how-to-glitter status.
17. Adrian Esparza is repping it for my home-state of Texas. From El Paso, Esparza’s life on the Mexican border and fine art training inform his deconstruction studies of sarape.
18. Carlos Aires subtly puts in work with his “Money Makes the World go Round” piece representing countries with relevant silhouettes cut from their currency. His other clever titles include “Your Money Sticks Like Mine Does”
19. Carlos Noronha Feio got me to stop drop and roll for this one. Not sure what is happening, but its fire! (But seriously, let me know if you figure it out).
20. Joana Vaconcelos straight lacing these fools normally associated with masculinity, claiming the steer’s strength and snake’s coyness for a sharp feminine bite that stands its ground even as it hangs on a wall.
21. Guillermo Berts LA Based Chilean artist tells Mapuche stories with literal QR codes woven into textile by Anita Paillamil. Education levels Days of Future Past status, what y’all think?
22. Juan Genovés IS A GENIUS. These literal globs of random objects connected with paint turning into beautiful crowd studies. Maybe I’m still not recovered months after the world cup, but this one was especially striking I legit gasped at the main fair when I turned the corner to see this after passing waves of blase decor. (I guess this woman in the photo felt the same way smh).
23. Herakut is a hella cute artist couple that should put together an animated shorts if they don’t already. The fantasy in their pieces stood out especially because of the range of emotion involved. Scifi isn’t just for happy kids. Also shout out to member Jasmin Siddiqui going by “Hera” and recognizing her inner goddess.
24. Elissa Farrow-Savos honestly got me with the title: “she felt so wrapped up in other people’s expectations (III)” I FEEL BAD ENDING ON A SAD ONE THOUGH BUT ITS SO REAL OK I’LL THROW IN SOME ABSTRACT
25. Yayoi Kusama‘s pumpkin lol. My next Halloween costume. She my chosen grandma for SURE. (I get as many as I want right?) (Photo by Nastia Voynovskaya/Hi-Fructose)
Want 2d? ~* See Part 2: 2D things I liked at Art Basel *~
~* Coming Soon: Improvisational video of us captioning pieces (good and bad) from Basel *~