Our second year exhibiting in Miami during Art Basel weekend was fun, and eventful. We showed new work by Omahyra Mota and work from her early modeling days. The venue located at 150 Ocean drive was close enough to everything, but away enough to still give our guests that Queens outer borough experience. We ran into some complications which I will share in this post. All in all we did what we set out to do, exhibit art work.
Wynwood was great for us last year and we love Merc and Merc studios. Miami becomes midtown manhattan during rush hour the whole weekend, people everywhere driving from downtown Miami into South Beach and back. For this reason the show needed to be a lot closer to the beach without being across the street from the convention center.
I’ll start 2 month before opening day when waiting for replies from venues and sponsors was all I could do. The deck went out to friends, friends of friends, colleagues, and random marketing agents. It feels good when you receive an answer even if it’s not a definite yes, knowing that an idea intrigues someone enough to ask for more details is great. A few venues showed interest the SOHO House, the Broken Shaker, and the Cavalli club, this is according to their marketing team. I decided to go with a venue who normally has a different demographic aesthetic. I like to walk into an event where everyone is different or my favorite is to walk into pure shock. Cavalli provided just that and according to a friend of mine, we will refer to him as “the middle man” who brokered the whole thing they agreed. First factor that caused a complication was the lack of communication between me and the venue, “the middle man” insisted on handling all dialogue. The deck I sent them could not have been more detailed and they agreed to everything in it. I should have went down to Miami in November to make sure the venue was right and that they actually read the deck.
I arrived Wednesday afternoon 12/3/14 and called the big homie Julio and Jess. Went down to south beach scooters to pick up my ride for the weekend. Best way to get around for sure, cheaper then cabs, and avoid traffic. I hung out with them for a bit then speeded into Wynwood to hang with Omahyra.
Had dinner with Charles, Omahyra, Raquel, Juda, and Calypso at Pubbelly, it was so bueno!
After dinner I met with the venue owners to talk about the show and to experience their evenings. The door man was old but gave it his best to not be, which seemed to be the theme. The crowd was mostly older men, but let me add rich older men with young women, I will restrain from adding very young in front of women. The space is beautiful and perfectly located just far enough from all the madness. The entrance and decor was instantly an issue for me, not the animal print clash I mean it is Cavalli…, but most of all the walls designated for the art had not been built. Temporary walls were suppose to be built, but again “the middle man” said it would all be done. The owner had no notion of this, luckily they have art work up so that worked out for our exhibit right at the entrance to the top floor, which is where the show took place. Now to figure out how the guest would walk in and walk out. The first floor is a fully functioning restaurant so entering is a labyrinth of tables and entrees. The back entrance was much better and we went with that to avoid the maze and the 28 going on 50 doorman.
At that point I still had no idea how I was going to pull off this show. I decided to skip 3 parties and went back to my hotel room to some how map it out. I installed the whole show in my hotel room using what I had already with me and towels and pillows to represent the art work that was still in route to Miami from NY. Haha! i was really trying to keep it together and not freak out.
I stopped driving myself crazy and walked over to FDR at the Delano for the Le Baron party. Left around 5:30 AM with Julio a real doorman, some Parisian nightlife people, picked up an art dealer and a couple gallery girls on the way to club eleven, but that’s all I have to say about that.
The rest of the weekend was parties, PAPER Mag dinner, Le Baron BBQ at the Standard, Petra Collins opening, I finally made to the convention center but you all probably already read about all that. Crysto Martyr and Dameht performed at Merc studios the night before our opening. I wish I had video footage, here are some pics.
An installation for the show “Literally Bye” curated by Petra Collins at the Standard
Macuria Montolanez of Merc Studios in a one of one NYMND t-shirt rocking out!
The morning of the 6th, Katelyn and I ran around all day buying frames, getting things printed and listening to the bands do sound check early at the venue, all on maybe 3 hours of sleep and on the scooter.
Now the show that almost wasn’t. The bands did sound check around 11am and freaked out the venue, another sign that the deck I sent out was not read or at least not in it’s entirety. Again “the middle man” miscommunicated the type of music we wanted for the after party, but it was in the deck that the owner said he read. By the time the show was installed the owner cancelled the performances by giving them a ridiculous start and end time. I was able to hear the conversation between the venue and “the middle man”, there was no miscommunication. The issue was empty promises they both guaranteed eachother lots of revenue from bottle service, but when the reservations didn’t come in the creatives took the hit as usual.
The Venue and “the middle man”, well his car in front of the venue.
We made the best of it and luckily the art work did not suffer. Our guests enjoyed the work and met Omahyra, friends and family as well, and everyone enjoyed drinks provided by MYX Fusions Moscato, which was provided with no strings attached just friends helping friends. Thank you Sandi!
Myx Fusions Moscato
Matthius Bitzer and I
All in all we met people that we can only meet during Art Basel. I learned a lot from curating and producing this whole project and I am excited about the next one and Next year no middle man.