I had the opportunity to visit this year’s Art Basel Miami Beach last weekend. I lived in Miami from 2001 until 2007, and have seen this art fair change and grow into the most prestigious art show in the United States. Now, the streets of Wynwood’s art district are flooded with colorful graffiti art such as Shepard Fairey’s work in the Wynwood Walls, and all of the old clothing warehouses have been replaced by galleries, stores and great eateries.
This year, I stumbled upon many Latin American artists showcasing their works, represented by different galleries and some even putting their art on the streets. At the Convention Center, where the main art show for Art Basel is held, I found great works by Peruvian artists Jose Carlos Martinat, Giancarlo Scaglia, and Jerry B Martin represented by Revolver Galería . In Martinat’s piece Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow, Yesterday and Today, a desk owned by Walt Disney was replicated and completely disguised by stacks of paper printouts of different images depicting a darker side of Disney: worker’s strikes, hidden documents, war instruments and censored images. As an audience, you could choose to take any of these any paper images with you, so that towards the end of the show the desk would be revealed.
At Pulse Miami, I found the work of Yvonne Venegas, sister of the talented Mexican musician Julieta Venegas. The photograph Nirvana, from the series Maria Elvia De Hank, shows a bored little girl all dressed up, seated at a fancy dinner table, resting her head on her plate. The series was done in the course of four years, where Venegas was able to document the family of Maria Elvira De Hank, the wife of former mayor of Tijuana, Jorge Hank Rohn. She not only gives us a view of the extravagant life of the wealthy in Mexico, but also of its shallow and contradicting reality. To find out more information, check out the Miami Art Basel page.
List of images of artists’ work from top: Natalia Arias, Alvaro Verduzco, Miguel Angel Rojas, Maria Martinez-Cañas, Yvonne Venegas, Jose Carlos Martinat, Marcos Ramirez Erre, Denise Diaz, Pablo Lehman, Alessandra Rebagliati, Nicole Franchy, Alejandra Laviada, Arian Dylan, Shepard Fairey, Maria Builes.
(Written by: Andrea Franco)