Art Week Coda, Dressed for the Occasion

One additional feature that I always notice is the clothing worn by art lovers during the annual Art Week. But first, I’ll share a few art moments from the week that stood out.

Before the fairs opened, Constant Companion and I stopped by the Historic Ward Rooming House Gallery in Historic Overtown. The Ward Rooming House dates to the early 1900s; it opened to out-of-town Blacks and Native Americans til the 1950s or 60s. One of the few remaining buildings of its time, it has been lovingly restored preserve the history and architecture of Miami’s Black community and serves as a gallery.

Reginald O’Neal mural

The Miami Museum of Contemporary Art of the African Diaspora (MoCAAD) – yet another new museum initiative in our city – kicked off their contribution to Soul Basel with the unveiling of a new, significant mural by local artist, Reginald O’Neal. Located on the building owned by the ILA Local 1416 (International Longshoremen’s Association), this work incorporates art, technology, and oral histories. QR codes take viewers to stories collected from union members.

The Kohler display at Design Miami introduced new products to show their commitment to sustainability. Three hammam-inspired structures designed by Lebanese artist Nada Debs.

The Cold Room

A few days later at Art Basel when I saw the work of Iranian artist, Kamrooz Aram, I was struck by how his curving patterns were similar to the patterns on the Kohler tiles.

As I strolled down the aisles at Art Basel, I was drawn into an unusual booth in the Survey Section. Groups of people were gathered around two gaming tables in what seemed to be a mini casino. I joined the roulette table.

Everything in the room was fake; the gambling was not for money, and the Dutch old-master paintings on the walls were printed from Wikipedia. This year’s offering by Meredith Rosen Gallery was of an installation by Belgian artist Guillaume Bijl. I’m not a gambler, but had it been real, I was cleaning up at the wheel!

And now to the clothes … A number of people sought to make statements with their clothing:

Katelyn Kopenhaver, Miami-based artist

When asked, this fair-goer told me in a word “It’s Bode.” Emily Adams Bode Aujula was the first female designer to show at NYFW: Men’s, paving the way for women entrepreneurs in the menswear industry. Her garments are one-of-a-kind, composed of antique textiles (https://www.bodenewyork.com/pages/about).

Bode jacket

Curiously, I was struck by a number of women who were wearing ikat prints, or prints of ikat. I’m not a good follower of fashion so I don’t know if this a la mode this year, or just a reflection of people digging clothes out of their closets that they’ve not worn for two years (COVID, remember).

This is a print

And then there was this! This poor soul in the Basel VIP lounge did not realize the show he was putting on in the midst of The Show.

Our household is now resting following the annual deluge of art and more. In the meantime, I have my list ready of what remains on display.

One comment

  1. Thank you, A!!! You have captured Art Basel for me – the art and artists, the people, the vibe, the connections – through your eye and commentary. I would say great job but it seems more like a passion.

    Back to MB in a few weeks

    Like

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