I had the absolute pleasure of attending Art Basel Miami Beach 2019 earlier this month, and it was so inspiring! There’s nothing like four straight days of art, art, art to get your creative juices flowing. As the owner of MHM Professional Staging, I went with the intention of gathering inspiration for my staging and design work. Art Basel is a major art festival that showcases art from over 250 leading galleries across the globe. This show exhibits art from a mix of masters in Modern and contemporary art and emerging artists. Art is displayed from leading galleries from North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia, Australia, and Africa.
I am an artist myself and often use my own paintings in my staging designs. As an artist, a show like Art Basel is right up my alley. In fact, I looked forward to Art Basel all year! I used to go more often but it’s been a while, so it felt great to be back. Now that the show has concluded, I’m so excited to share with you some of my favorite pieces and memorable moments from the festival.
Although I have a very classic sense of style, I also have a penchant for pop art and modern, abstract artworks. Some of my favorite artists include Picasso and Lichtenstein. I especially love the bright colors used in their works, which is why I was drawn to this piece by Jeffrey Gibson.
I love that there is text camouflaged into the artwork. It’s like a puzzle for your eyes. This one says “You have set my soul on fire.” I also admire the eclectic design and shapes in this art piece.
This piece by Donna Huanca is beautiful. This color palette of shades of blue and yellow is pleasing to the eyes. It reminds me of artworks I would use for my staging business. A piece like this on a smaller scale makes for an excellent staging piece because of its neutral imagery.
One of my favorite sculptures at Art Basel this year was by Japanese sculptor, Kohei Nawa. This artist is known for exploring digital culture and contemporary spirituality. This piece is part of his popular PixCell series. The deer is covered with an intricate layer of glass beads.
Of course, I can’t go without mentioning my dear friend and artist Peter Tunney. It was such a treat running into him at this year’s festival. He is an Art Basel veteran who is known for spreading optimistic, feel-good messages through his artwork. As one of the first tenants of the popular Wynwood Walls, Peter Tunney is a legend in Miami. He is also well known for his art installation at Faena Playa, during Miami Art Week 2017. The installation, titled “The Sinking of the Taj Mahal,” featured giant pieces of the infamous Taj Mahal casino from Atlantic City stuck into the sand like ruins. Giant chandeliers, a two-ton ornate concrete elephant and towering letters were all a part of the exhibition.
I just loved the “REDACTED” collection Peter exhibited this year at Art Basel. It still has the theme of positive, uplifting messages. The censored sections of text make the positive messages appear even bolder. This collection is more minimal than some of his past works but just as impactful.
Most Memorable Moment
This year, I also had the chance to see the infamous banana taped to the wall that sold for $120,000. Now, I’m an art collector and have spent a lot on art over the years, but I would never spend that much on a banana. Still, it was a pretty funny sight to see. The art piece was titled, “Comedian” and boy did it live up to its name! Immediately after it was sold, it made international news when performance artist David Datuna ate the banana and called his performance “Hungry Artist.” How funny!!
I’m so happy to have attended this year’s Art Basel Miami Beach. There’s nothing like being surrounded by art for days to get you motivated for a whole new year of creative ventures. If you have never been to Art Basel before, I highly recommend it! In the meantime, you can view more photos from my experience at Art Basel Miami Beach 2019 here.