Friday, February 20, 2015

Miami + Palm Beach Social Diary

Art Wynwood 2015. Pop pin-up provocateur Mel Ramos received the first Art Wynwood Lifetime Achievement Award during the event's VIP Preview festivities last Thursday night.
Artistic Differences: Miami + Palm Beach
Art – Fashion – Jewelry – History

By Augustus Mayhew

Art Wynwood 2015’s five-day Midtown Miami showcase opened Thursday night with more than 6,000 collectors and art world followers crowding the more than 70 galleries. Positioned between the Miami International Yacht & Brokerage Show and the historic Coconut Grove Arts Festival, Art Wynwood’s fourth edition offered a double-triptych of cutting edge, contemporary and modern works along with street art, murals and pop surrealism.

A generous addition of Miami galleries and Miami artists anchored the show, led by Wynwood artists and Cernuda Arte’s incomparable roster of Cuban and Cuban-American artists. With much of the nation in a deep freeze, the Miami-Palm Beach metropolis is a jam-packed convergence during the marathon President’s Day weekend, where I hit stop-and-go speeds of 3-5 mph for more than an hour after leaving the VIP Preview.
On Palm Beach, Neiman-Marcus stages the fashion show for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation’s annual luncheon at The Breakers, this year featuring one of their top eveningwear designers Carmen Marc Valvo and Australian jewelry designer Margot McKinney.  I caught up with them after the luncheon at the Worth Avenue store where BCRF luncheon guests were gathering to take home some of the objéts that caught their eye on the runway.  I was unfamiliar with Margot’s designs but quickly appreciated her kaleidoscopic aesthetic. Then, a look at Christopher Walling’s latest oeuvres at  A.R.T.  on Worth Avenue.

Back in Miami, I was at the Coral Gables Museum for the recently opened Colonial Churches of Santiago photography show.  More than a decade ago, when I spent four days at Santiago’s Hotel Casa Granda, there was a contingency of Jewish Americans touring synagogues that at the time I was never aware existed in Cuba.

With US-Cuba relations in the headlines, I took a walk through Little Havana where Calle Ocho may soon be listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Despite the invasiveness of big-box grocery and fast food chains and the loss of its architectural fabric, the street’s unique cultural ambiance will undoubtedly be landmarked.  After all, its upcoming Calle Ocho Festival is known for staging the world’s longest conga line.

In between the Design District’s breathless boutiques and Brickell’s towering showplaces, the Schultze and Weaver designed Freedom Tower, now the Miami-Dade College Museum of Art + Design, is a must-see landmark. Built in 1925 for The Miami News, the building became the Cuban community’s Ellis Island during the 1960s when it became a refugee center. Currently, the museum’s Cuba Out of Cuba exhibit was the reason I stopped by but a visit to the 14th floor observation deck became the highlight.
Up a zigzag of stairs above the elevator's last stop and I was atop the Freedom Tower's spectacular open observation deck with views from Downtown Miami to Midtown Miami looking north along Biscayne Boulevard.
12 February 2015
Art Wynwood VIP Preview
3101 NE 1st Avenue - Midtown Miami
12-16 February 2015
Fair director Nick Korniloff and Ernst Hilger, Galerie Ernst Hilger – Vienna.
Galerie Boccara, Paris. Jean Cocteau, artist.
Galerie Boccara, Paris.
Wynwood Walls, mural. Jean-François Gauzier, Wynwood, Edition of 8, Waterhouse & Dodd, New York + London.
Shine Artists, London. Unnatural Causes, 15/2014. Lenticular photograph. Jeff Robb, artist.
Frederic Got, Paris.
The McLaughlin Gallery, San Francisco.
Wynwood Art Group, Miami. Foreground, the work of Brazilian artist Hamilton Aguiar; right, artist J. Steven Manolis.
The Cynthia Corbett Gallery, London. Lluis Barba, artist.
The Cynthia Corbett Gallery, London. Andy Burgess, artist.
Ascaso Gallery, Miami.
Eckert Fine Art, New York.
Galerie 55 Bellechasse, Paris. "Matching Colours and Energies of Mankind."
Hollis Taggart Galleries, New York.
Dot-City Light, acrylic on canvas. Sehan Kim, artist. $18,000 USD. The South Korean artist "explores the transient and effervescent qualities of light, looking at themes of artificiality set against the ever-striving, ever- evolving world of mankind."
Shine Artists, London. Mari Kim, artist.
Waterhouse + Dodd, New York-London. Ocean Drive. 58 x 98 in. $27,500-$30,250 USD. Jean-Francois Rauzier, artist.
Mark Hachem, Paris-New York.
Sculptor Gino Miles. Tansey Contemporary, Santa Fe. The Global Code Project, founded by Gino Miles, aims to "promote youth engagement with art as a means of communication and empowerment."
The Art Wynwood Scene
Taglialatella Galleries, New York-Paris-Palm Beach.
Rosenbaum Contemporary, Boca Raton.
At the Art Wynwood Lounge
Cernuda Gallery, Coral Gables. Sergio Cernuda, Luisa Lignarolo, Nercys Cernuda, and Ramón Cernuda. The gallery specializes in Cuban art, including the work of Wilfredo Lam.
Cernuda Arts, Coral Gables. Perro que Ladro (All Bark) 2015. Dayron Gonzalez, artist. Sensational!
Cernuda Arte, Coral Gables. Carnival Campestre. $21,500. Alfredo Sosabravo, artist.
Cernuda Arte, Coral Gables. Memento. $13,500. Joel Besmar, artist.
Palm Beach
Carmen Marc Valvo + Margot McKinney
Neiman-Marcus / Worth Avenue
American fashion designer Carmen Marc Valvo is the author of Dressed to Perfection: The Art of Dressing for your Red Carpet Moments, with Holly Haber, introduction by Katie Couric and forward by Vanessa Williams. The book's chapters include: Making Women Shine, The Architecture of Fashion, and The Power of Color. Left, a blue sleeveless cocktail dress, $495.
Sleeveless looks in Palm Beach shades from Carmen Marc Valvo . "We should all strive to make each day a memorable red carpet moment."
Margot McKinney's jewelry designs carry on her family's 130-year-old tradition of providing "a showcase of life's luxuries."
"Objects of Desire." A cuff certain to brighten any room.
Australian South Sea pearls surrounded by links with a myriad of sapphires, garnets, amethysts, and diamonds.
A double row of South Sea and Freshwater pearls with sapphires, diamonds and starfish emblems.
Palm Beach
9-14 February 2015
Christopher Walling @ A.R.T. – Worth Avenue

Christopher Walling
's one-of-a-kind creations repurpose every variety of gem, often in uncommon shades set as if they'd never been mined. Walling's designs are credited with the first modern use of unusually shaped and rare baroque pearls. His talents have been profiled by major museums, included in fifteen books about jewels, and were the subject of PBS-Nova's Mystique of the Pearl and the PBS-Nature special Diamonds. The notable New York-Aspen-Palm Beach designer's work has been included in the private collections of Maya Angelou, Lily Auchincloss, Linda Gray, Brooke Hayward, Queen Noor of Jordan, Sao Schlumberger, Danielle Steele, Renee Taylor, Elizabeth Taylor and Kathleen Turner. Walling had a spectacular Abalone pearl named after him that was exhibited at The Smithsonian in Washington D.C.
Christopher Walling at A.R.T. Palm Beach.
A precious necklace of chrysoprase flowers. Smooth and cool to the touch, this golden green gemstone was once only known in Silesia.

I was thrilled when a few years after that source was mined-out, it was found in Australia. To touch it is to feel a texture no other gem displays. – Christopher Walling.
An elegant pair. Carved leaves of yellow sapphire, pink sapphire and emerald combined with pearls.
Christopher Walling returns to A.R.T. on Worth Avenue from 27 March until 4 April.
An Afghan lapis and chrysoprase two-strand necklace.

The first Egyptian-inspired jewel I've made since my month there last winter! The color combination is classic ancient Egyptian. Afghan lapis is what Giotto ground up for his sublime blue paint. The clasp is an integral element with the beads. – Christopher Walling.
An appealing pin of jade & precious stones. "My homage to Cartier's tutti frutti period," said Walling.
A rare green-and-white tourmaline crystal necklace.

Watermelon tourmaline we often find pink -to-green rather than green-to-white. I used to go to tourmaline mines in Maine when I was eleven and twelve to chip crystals out of them
– Christopher Walling.
Coral Gables
The Colonial Churches of Santiago de Cuba @ Coral Gables Museum
285 Aragon Avenue
The museum complex includes the historic Coral Gables police and fire station as well as a new addition where the photography exhibition was held.
The museum's historic rooms house the history of Coral Gables.
The photography show as installed in the new Fewell Gallery.
The Fewell Gallery.
Photographer Carlos Domenech.
Santiago de Cuba, map.
Little Havana – Calle Ocho
Mural, Little Havana.
Calle Ocho is a jumble of signs, mostly in Spanish.
Teatro de Bellas Artes, Calle Ocho.
Tower Theater, 1926.
The landmark Ball & Chain, 1935.
Ball & Chain, performance posters.
Ball & Chain, neon sign.
Ball & Chain, interior.
Cubaocho, street scene.
Cubaocho, street scene.
Domino Park, Calle Ocho.
"We Will Never Abandon Our Homeland"
Bay of Pigs Museum & Library
Bay of Pigs Museum.
Bay of Pigs Museum, meeting room with photographs of the one thousand men who were part of the invasion. 100 died; the others imprisoned, released the following year.
Bay of Pigs Museum. Map.
Street mural, Calle Ocho. The iconic Celia Cruz, Queen of Salsa. Known as the most influential woman in the history of Cuban music, when Cruz died during the summer of 2003, she lay in state at the Freedom Tower where several hundred thousand mourners paid their respects. A recipient of the National Medal of Arts, numerous Grammy awards, and an honorary degree from Yale University, a prominent Cuban writer described her as, "She was poor, black, a woman, and an exile; she was the star in the Cuban flag."
Freedom Tower – 600 Biscayne Boulevard
MDC Museum of Art + Design
The Freedom Tower, formerly The Miami News building, façade. 1925. Schultze & Weaver, architect.
The Freedom Tower, entrance on Biscayne Boulevard. The Tower is now the Miami-Dade College Museum of Art + Design.
Freedom Tower, Observation deck & Cupola.
The Freedom Tower, lobby detail.
The Freedom Tower, view from the Observation Deck, looking northeast over the Miami Heat's American Airlines Arena.
The Freedom Tower, view from the Observation Deck, looking north northeast up Biscayne Boulevard. Beyond the inlet, the Frost Museum of Science under construction; to the right, the Perez Art Museum Miami (PAMM).
The Freedom Tower, view from the Observation Deck. Close-up view of the Frost Museum construction site and the Herzog & de Meuron-designed Perez Art Museum Miami.
The Freedom Tower, view from the Observation Deck, view to the west with a freight train passing through from the Port of Miami. "Since the college plans to build on these sites, you won't see this view after the next several years," said of the MDC Museum of Art + Design. Jeremy Mikolajczak, director and chief curator.
The Freedom Tower, view from the Observation Deck. A south view following Biscayne Boulevard to Downtown Miami; afar, Brickell Avenue.
The Freedom Tower, view east from the Observation Deck toward the Port of Miami.
The Freedom Tower, museum exhibit.
The Freedom Tower, ceiling detail.
The Freedom Tower originally housed The Miami News.
The Freedom Tower, architect Schultze and Weaver.
"From Newspaper to Refugee Center" for the exile community.
"The Exile Experience" is on permanent display at the Freedom Tower.
The museum's second floor has expansive display spaces.
The New World Mural.
The Cuba Out of Cuba exhibit features the work of noted photographer Alexis Rodriguez-Duarte
Cuba Out of Cuba exhibit, Introduction.
Cuba Out of Cuba exhibit.
Cuba Out of Cuba, artifact.
Leaving the Cuba Out of Cuba exhibit, the late afternoon shadows led the way out of the Freedom Tower.
Portrait of Celia Cruz, Cuba Out of Cuba exhibit. Adios Celia! Her music lives in the hearts of the millions of exiles, who now generations later must wonder if in their lifetime they will ever return to their Homeland.
Photography by Augustus Mayhew.

Augustus Mayhew is the author of Lost in Wonderland – Reflections on Palm Beach.