By Nancy Nesvet
MIAMI BEACH, FLORIDA, DEC. 5, 2017.
Smile and the world smiles with you.
In Miami Beach, at the Scope and Unlimited Art Fairs, we are in a happy place, or at least a lot happier than at past fairs and biennales. Maybe it is because we are tired of the depressing state the world is in.
But hey, it’s time to come out of the cocoon, especially in this sunny paradise of blue skies and cerulean ocean.
So, at the Scope Art Fair, we are seeing lots of manga and comic work; paintings declaring “Life is so Big and Beautiful, Where should we start?” signed Luis XXX, or Francois Bel’s “Warhology Blue Neon Fushia Bubbles” (Virginie Barrou Planquart, Paris). Beauty reigns but so does an infatuation with identity, yours, mine and ours, in Sungchul Hong’s “Perceptual Mirror 0633D,” 2017, of solar LCD units in plexiglass at Anthony Brunelli Fine Arts, We are delighted, looking at our reflection in these mirrored balls at floor level. We are like little children on the floor playing.
The beauty of the other is there in Irene Wijnmaaien’s photograph, “FUR,” and others from (according to the sign at the venue) Mansion Gallery, Amsterdam (editor’s note: The wonderfully non-traditional Public House of Art states this is their artist on their Facebook page and website). These incredible portraits borrow the dark backgrounds and reality of Dutch still lifes, but diversify by showing women of color alongside hatted white women, and “Julietta,” an Elizabethan ruffed woman smoking a thin cigar, by the same artist. Is this a comment on Walter Raleigh condemning tobacco so long ago?
I also loved the amazing video, “Transforming Venus,” by Pia Myrvold at Nevadeva using new video technology, taking Venus from the armless ancient sculptural figure to a series of lights forming her body.
At the Unlimited show, also in Miami Beach, Eric Yahnker’s “Gender Specific Still Life,” at Kathy Grayson Gallery fuses portrait painting with the beauty and joy of flowers. Science makes a showing at Unlimited where Carlos Cruz-Diez investigates the nature of color in a room-size installation sponsored by Savannah College of Art and Design. That color imbues Sergio Vega’s print on canvas, “Tropical Shower,” posing a parrot against a color-matched Mondrian-like pattern of blues and yellows.
Following a morning at the re-opened Bass Museum, seeing a video installation featuring welcomes in about 50 languages with Renaissance tapestries, a beautiful Botticelli and Ugo Rindinone’s latest installation, “Vocabulary of Solitude,” a roomful of sculpted figures in clown and harlequin-like costumes, glittered and pom-pommed with a single gigantic bulb standing in for a light, we are smiling and looking forward to more art fairs this week.
(Artscope Magazine will be reporting live from Art Basel Miami Beach throughout the week of December 4-10 on its Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages as well as artscopemagazine.com. You can see all of our reports in one place on the Artscope Magazine app, downloadable at app.artscopemagazine.com.).