From Kanye West to Tracy Emin: What’s Hot In Miami

For those of you art world denizens venturing down to Miami for the first time, be warned – all of that fun can be exhausting. My advice for the fairs and attendant revelry: Relax, take several deep breaths, and remember to eat something before embarking on the first of those six open-bar parties. For your convenience, I’ve cobbled together a few of the events I’m most excited about, from Yeezus to a Bushwick invasion (and leaving aside most of the publicist-policed parties that require a kidney donation for entry).

White Cube’s party at Soho Beach House, December 3, 10:30 p.m.

The British gallery teams up with MOCA and Vanity Fair to host an event in honor of Tracy Emin and her all-neon “Angel Without You” exhibition. Okay, so this one is probably guaranteed to be a shit-show at the door, but it might actually be worth the effort.

Kanye West and Vanessa Beecroft opening the “Affordable Care” exhibition, December 4, 6-9 p.m. at the Mana Wynwood, 318 NW 23rd Street 

 It’s a private event, but get creative. The Flaunt magazine-curated exhibition opens with a project from the hip-hop star and the nudity-loving performance artist, in which we’ll “see Beecroft’s choreography of models in interplay with clay amidst her sculptures.”

Ry Rocklen’s Night Court bar for Absolut (oceanfront between 21st and 22nd Street)

LA-based artist Rocklen was chosen to create this year’s Absolut art bar in Miami, entitled Night Court. The brand has savvy taste: they previously tapped Los Carpinteros for the project, and Mickalene Thomas created an installation for Basel in Switzerland this year. Rocklen’s design riffs on his signature trophy sculptures. The official public opening party for the outdoor art bar is on Wednesday evening, but it’s open to the public Wednesday through Saturday, noon until 2 a.m.

Yael Bartena’s Inferno, premiering at the Pérez Art Museum Miami 

The just-opened institution unveils a new film piece from the Israeli artist, shot in Sao Paolo, and focused on “the rise of Evangelism and Neo-Pentecostalism in Brazil.” (Don’t worry, the stills I’ve seen ensure it’s much more action-packed than the rather dry description suggests.) Beginning on December 4.

 Design Miami December 4-8 (preview day, December 3). 1901 Convention Center Drive

A tightly curated, non-headache-inducing celebration of contemporary design, housed in a tent whose entrance has been reimagined by Brooklyn’s formlessfinder. (You can preview the fair on Artsy now.)

Shady Hole. December 5, 11 p.m. – 5 a.m.

A “collaboration between SHADE and The Hole” presented by Ladyfag and perennial party impresario Seva Granik. The location is only divulged once you RSVP through this link, which features video footage of dudes getting haircuts. I’m suitably confused and/or intrigued.

David Levine’s “Talk Show” December 6, 6 p.m. at the Jazz Club at the Deauville Hotel

Levine is a multi-faceted artist who might already be familiar to you via Gideon Lewis-Krauss’s memoir, A Sense of Direction. For the NADA Fair, he’s bringing his faux-talk show format performance project to the Jazz Club at the Deauville; guests include a plastic surgeon and a professional stuntman. Keep an eye out for a BlackBook Q&A with Levine next week.

Jack Shainman Gallery’s party, Friday, December 6, 9 p.m. – 2 a.m. at the South Seas Hotel, 1751 Collins Ave.

This private event is billed as a “fête for good music, people, and cocktails,” and promises a screening of Nick Cave’s Drive-by.

Bushwick Gone Basel December 8, 7 p.m. at the Cucu’s Nest, 2805 Collins Ave.

I’m a bit nervous about this one, to be honest, mainly because of the seemingly sincere copy on their promotional Tumblr: “Proving that Bushwick is more than a place, its a lifestyle” [SIC]). BUT after a few nights of A-list schmoozing and corporate-sponsored booze-orgies, maybe an injection of Brooklyn grit will be just what the doctor ordered.

Style Scoop: BFA Awards, Louis Vuitton in Miami, and Karl’s Rolex

In Paris or Munich? Drop by one of the Karl Lagerfeld stores to pick up the Kaiser’s latest customization: a 19,000 euro, matte black Rolex Oyster Perpetual Milgauss with Uncle Karl’s profile at 7 o’clock.

So who won at last night’s British Fashion Awards? Christopher Kane made out big as Womenswear Designer of the Year; Miuccia Prada took home top honors for International Designer; Kate Moss was honored for her 25 years in the industry (talk about staying power – she has a face and body that just won’t quit – see Playboy for proof); Burberry took home two honors for menswear and designer brand; JW Anderson took home the prize for new establishment; Nicholas Kirkwood was named Accessories Designer of the Year – for the third year in a row; and One Direction’s Harry Styles was recognized by Vodafone for embodying the spirit of London in style. I guess he’s named aptly.

Unfortunate news for internet shoppers – the Supreme Court has ruled to uphold New York’s internet tax… meaning your purchases from Amazon and and other online retailers aren’t exempt any longer. This evens the playing field for brick-and-mortar stores, so it’ll be good for business… just maybe not so much for the shopper.

Part of Versace is up for sale, up to a 20% stake. The sale would make some of those involved billionairesnot including Donatella, surprisingly.

Louis Vuitton is set to unveil “a house by the shore” during Design Miami. The house was conceived in 1934, but hadn’t been built ’til now.

The BlackList: Weekly Events Dec. 2-8

Gallery hopping, film screening, concert-going, and partying: like always, we have what’s coming up, and this week, we’re going to Miami.

Monday, December 2

London: Marc Jacobs celebrates Kate Moss’ Playboy cover and the magazine’s 60th anniversary at the London store, 24-25 Mount Street, at 3 p.m.

Art Drive-Thru/Miami: Today through December 8, colette Paris heads to Miami with Alchemist, setting up an old school drive through (girls on roller skates and all) on level 5 of Herzog & Meuron’s parking structure. Order up a signed and numbered print , a beach towel, or a Rolex. Just don’t expect dollar menu pricing.

Paper Dreams/Miami: The Standard commissioned Luis Pons, a Miami designer, to float a paper and bamboo boat off the spa’s Lido Dock, offering some much needed calm for fair-goers. The smooth sailing installation pushes off with a cocktail reception from 5-7 p.m., remaining open through December 8.

Tuesday, December 3

Curiouser and curiouser/NYC: Maison Kitsuné hosts Le Cabinet de Curiosités of Thomas Erber at The Avant/Garde Diaries Project Space. The event’s fourth installment showcases California brand Parabellum, and touches down in NYC after making its way from colette in Paris, Brown’s in London, and Andreas Murkudis in Berlin. After this evening’s RSVP-only cocktails to celebrate the launch, the exhibition will be open at 372 Broome St. and Kitsune (1170 Broadway) through December 23, from 12:00 – 8:30 p.m.

NYC: BAM hosts Bodycast, a theatricalization of the “artist talk” with artist Suzanne Bocanegra and actor Fances McDormand, through December 7. Tickets $20

Wednesday, December 4

Sample sale/London: A sample sale worth the airfare – Nicholas Kirkwood will be 75% off today and tomorrow at 26 South Molton Lane, London.

Invite only/Miami: MoMA’s Chief Curator at Large and MoMA PS1’s Director Klaus Biesenbach is honored tonight by MEDIUM with the Curatorial Excellence Award. 7 – 9 p.m., The Standard Spa, Miami Beach.

BlackBook at Art Basel/Miami: BlackBook is excited to co-host our Art Basel event with LACMA and React to Film at the Delano, Miami Beach. There’ll be cocktails and a showing of three artist films celebrating the work of David Hockney, John Baldessari, and Ed Ruschka.

After the party it’s the after party/Miami: Interview and OHWOW get their party on to celebrate Art Basel Miami Beach on the rooftop of the Boulan, 2000 Collins Ave. RSVP

Sing it/Miami: André Sariava brings The Standard East’s karaoke club to The Rec Room at The Gale in Miami, 1685 Collins Ave. Open through December 7, from 11 p.m. until late early morning.

NYC: Women in Music will host a celebration (of what other than women in music) at Le Poisson Rouge with DJs Jackie Smiley, Cherie Lily, and Shannonigans. 7 p.m. Tickets $10

NYC: Nitehawk Cinema hosts a one night only screening of a newly restored Sidewalk Stories, 7:30 p.m. Tickets $15

NYC: Ozu and His Afterlives begins at the Film Society of Lincoln Center, showing films influenced by and of Yasujiro Ozu. Screenings through December 12.

NYC: Alvin Ailey’s American Dance Theatre company premieres Chroma, with choreography by Wayne McGregor, and sounds of orchestrations of The White Stripes. Performances begin today through January 2.

Thursday: December 5

Shopping break/Miami: SUNO celebrates the launch of their line for Miami’s prime shopping destination The Webster, 1220 Collins Avenue, from 3-5 p.m. RSVP to

Invite only/Miami: Spike Jonze celebrates HER with a private dinner at The Standard, Miami Beach. 9:30 p.m.

NYC: To celebrate the anniversary of the end of prohibition, The Village Voice hosts a holiday spirits tasting event from 7:30-10:30 p.m. at Studio Square, 35-44 37th Street in Long Island City. Tickets from $50

Friday, December 6

Boozy brunch/invite only/Miami: Creative Time throws their second annual champagne brunch from 10:30 a.m. – 12 p.m. at The Standard Miami Beach.

Confessional/Miami: Glenn O’Brien celebrates the release of Penance, his latest book, with a live confessional at The Newsstand at The Standard Spa, Miami. From 5-7 p.m.

Win, Lose, or Draw/Miami: Let Ryan McGinness teach you how to draw. On the heels of his new sketchbook, the artist is hosting a drawing class at the Lido Lounge at the Standard Miami Beach.

Saturday, December 7

NYC: Nitehawk Cinema gets its Old West brunch on with an 11:30 a.m. screening of McCabe & Mrs. Miller, introduced with a live performance by Julie Christie and Warren Beatty. Tickets $16

NYC: Hop over to Milk Gallery for a book signing of Richard Corman’s Madonna from 4-6 p.m. 450 West 15th Street. RSVP here.

Sunday, December 8

NYC: The Museum of the Moving Image hosts a screening of The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford with an introduction by the book’s author Ron Hansen. 7 p.m. Tickets $15

Fendi x Fashioneer: The Design Miami Welcome Cocktail Party

It’s only the second day of our partnership with Fendi, and, if these sore feet have anything to do with it, we’re already off to a festive start. Last night, the luxury fashion house’s head of accessories, Silvia Venturini Fendi, and Design Miami co-founder, Craig Robins, welcomed an elite group of design collectors, art veterans, and fashion folk to the swanky W South Beach for the Design Miami 2011 opening bash. Needless to say, there wasn’t an empty glass or idle dancing shoe in sight.

Silvia (left) was also joined by her mega-talented daughter, jewelry designer Delfina Delettrez (right), who was beaming in support of her family’s fourth year sponsoring the annual fair. Although Fendi has been a Design Miami collaborator since 2008, this was the first year that the brand co-hosted the show’s official welcome party – so naturally, they went for gold. Highlights included bottomless Skyy Vodka cocktails, self-serve antipasto stations, choice tunes, and, of course, fierce fashion.




Fendi x Fashioneer: Inside the Craft Alchemy Installation

Fendi knows talent when they see it. When it was time for the Italian fashion house to produce the installation for their fourth foray into Design Miami, they knew that they wanted to build a world that would both salute the past and welcome the future. That’s when they tapped designer Elisa Strozyk and artist Sebastian Neeb – two of Berlin’s top emerging names in the craft game – to tell their story for them. Using Fendi’s signature sewing, stitching, and leather, they converted antique furniture into avant-garde works of art that hung like marionettes in a space inspired by Palazzo Fendi, the grand neoclassical headquarters in Rome. This is "Craft Alchemy."

"It wasn’t about reproducing furniture from a particular era, but rather about producing pieces inspired by an era when the craft was at it’s peek," Neeb told us at the installation’s jam-packed vernissage yesterday. "The 18th century was interesting in that way because it was a change from doing one-off pieces to developing works at a very high level. That’s similar to Fendi’s history as well." As for working with the legendary fashion house, Strozyk couldn’t have been happier: "Everyone at Fendi was so nice during the entire process – they really believed in us. And the fact that they have preserved all of their old techniques and materials is amazing. They’ve kept the tradition of craft honest."

While the talented duo behind the award-winning Accordion Cabinet was certainly the best match for the challenge, that’s not to say that they didn’t encounter a few obstacles along the way. "It was the first project where we used leather, so we had to do extensive research on how to work with it," Neeb revealed. "And we went to Fendi’s workshop for a single afternoon before we started the project, but it was impossible to adapt all of their techniques in one day," added Strozyk. "That’s when we decided to mix their methods with our own." Behold the Fendi-approved results.



Check back tomorrow for an exclusive peek inside the official Design Miami Collector’s Lounge, also designed by Strozyk and Neeb.

Fendi x Fashioneer: A Design Miami Partnership

This week, we’re heading to Miami to catch some sun, see some art, oh – and team up with one of our favorite fashion houses ever, Fendi. The Italian luxury brand is collaborating with Design Miami to produce a dreamlike installation entitled "Craft Alchemy," which will feature the work of Berlin-based designer Elisa Strozyk and artist Sebastian Neeb. Using Fendi’s discarded leather materials and signature production techniques, the talented duo will transform a collection of traditional Roman Baroque furniture pieces into a magical environment – and we’ll be providing you with exclusive daily coverage of all the action.

Design Miami occurs alongside Art Basel Miami Beach and is the go-to venue for collecting, exhibiting, and discussing collectable design. "Craft Alchemy" will also extend into Design Miami’s exclusive Collector’s Lounge that is hosted by Fendi for the first time this year.

Stay tuned for dispatches from the installation grounds, behind-the-scenes snaps, all-access interviews, and, of course, party highlights!

Fendi x Fashioneer: Design Miami’s Fendi-fied Collectors Lounge

Yesterday we gave you an inside look at Fendi’s fascinating "Craft Alchemy" installation at Design Miami, by designer Elisa Strozyk and artist Sebastian Neeb. Now, we step into the ultra-exclusive Collectors Lounge, which was hosted by Fendi for the first time this year. As an extension of Strozyk and Neeb’s installation, the design duo developed a unique sanctuary that honors their story of material metamorphosis while providing a retreat for elite collectors as they refuel in-between installation hopping.

From laser-cut motifs to leather-woven seats, the Palazzo Fendi’s spirit subtly infiltrates the room and never interferes with the goal of the guest’s visit. "What I love most about this year’s Collectors Lounge is that I instantly feel relaxed and inspired here, which is exactly what a lounge is supposed to achieve," said David Scott, a NY-based interior designer. "From the play on tradition, to the worn-in chairs and the gray painted walls, every touch seems thoughtful and sophisticated." Both "Craft Alchemy" and the Fendi Collectors Lounge are open through December 4.



L.A.-Based Artist David Wiseman Shares Nature-Inspired Designs in New York

Two weeks ago, 31-year-old artist David Wiseman unveiled new and wonderful works at his first official solo show in New York, at Soho’s R 20th Century. Having worked with the gallery for a few years, the L.A.-based sculpture savant was finally fêted at a jam-packed reception, curated by interior designer Rodman Primack and immortalized in a hardcover monograph.

Brimming with exceptional limited edition and one-of-a-kind pieces, from ornamented porcelain plates to elaborately framed mirrors, most everything bore the flora, fauna, and animal aesthetic Wiseman has become so well-known for.

According to the out-of-town talent, three-quarters of the items on display, from the purely decorative to the beautiful but utilitarian, had sold before the doors even opened. “It was so exciting,” he told me a few days following the frenzied event, where guests had gathered ’round him to sing his praises and snag an autograph. 

“Exciting” might be an understatement, as price points tended to hover around $50,000 and approached $100,000, though some wares commanded a cool $9,000 (the aforementioned plates, for example). It was a delightful—and successful—evening indeed, and much deserved given all the RISD-educated man has accomplished since graduating in 2003 with a BFA in furniture design.

The past nine years have brought both private and public commissions the globe-over, from Manhattan to San Antonio, Asia to his hometown. Wiseman’s signature installations can be found in a few notable locations, including the Christian Dior flagship stores in Shanghai, New York, and Tokyo, as well as the West Hollywood Library. The craftsman, however, tries never to repeat the same exact pattern twice.

The exhibition continues through January 12 and afterwards will travel to destinations as yet unconfirmed. For those currently in New York City—and those bound for Design Miami—I highly recommend checking out his fantastical, fairytale-like collection while you can. Wiseman’s creations are nothing if not inspired and imaginative, arousing the fascination and earning the appreciation of even the most minimalist and austere critics and connoisseurs alike.

Read on for more from the established visionary, a curly-haired, baby-faced guy with a voice made for radio. Even though you can’t hear him speak in his soft and soothing style, learn all about his process, his homage to history, why New York City just wasn’t sustainable, and why he believes he’s blessed.

Unique Collage table in bronze with glass top. Designed and made by David Wiseman, USA, 2012. 29" H x 40" D. Photo by Sherry Griffin/Courtesy of R 20th Century.

First of all, congratulations on this show and your success so far! How did you come to connect with R 20th?
R 20th came about because I was working with Rodman [Primack], who has a very special client right around the corner from R 20th Century. [R 20th] has a lot of amazing clients. [When I first started working with them,] I was focusing on custom commissions. I was doing whole room installations. [R 20th] brought an incredible amount of exposure and committed clients [who] were into the idea of working together in this old world, artist-patron style, where I was pretty much living with [them] and making pieces that were personal to their family narrative.

We’ll come back to the notion of narrative momentarily. How did this specific solo show come together?
Four years later, commission after commission, that led to new bodies of work and pushed me in a new direction, [pushed me to] understand new processes. That then led to more objects and installations, so this show is really a combination [of all these things].

Back to this storytelling. How do you go about these intimate commissions?
It’s different with every client. I don’t want to repeat things; I want to keep it fresh. So, there’s this exploration process, a back-and-forth where I get to know them and the site [and] the city.

Can you offer an example?
[My] Noho project that spans four stories. The wife’s last name means “valley of the wisteria.” The husband’s last name on his mother’s side was Lindenbuam, which means “linden tree” in German. So, the installation was a dance between these two species that connects the four stories. They’ve subsequently had children and there’s animals that show up in the installation to represent each child.

Is your own home totally covered in your signature vines, too?
No, I have real vines! [There’s a] little grape orchard right outside my patio. But, my house is barren. I’ve only lived there a year and this last year has been brutal in terms of work, so I pretty much just sleep there. I get really into things and it takes over.

Brutal as in awesome.
I found what I loved to do really early on. This is what I’ve been working so hard for. I love working. I love being in the studio. It’s an exciting time, where a lot of the work is very labor-intensive. I’m at a point where I can trust assistants I’ve trained and worked with. I can do more of the creative stuff. Making stuff is still really important, though, because there’s only so much I’m able to design on paper. A lot of the design process happens touching the metal or porcelain, engaging with the forms directly. But, it’s exciting because I can hand them off for the mold to be made or the piece to be welded together.

You’re the next Warhol or Koons!
Not like that! It’s a very small team. It’s not a factory by any means. But it’s a thrill to work this way.

It’s impressive the price points you can command. I’m blown away, but not at all surprised.
I want stuff to be accessible, but right now everything is so labor-intensive. There will be a time when I make bigger run[s] of things, which will allow the minimums to come down.

David Wiseman for Target!
I don’t know if I have anything to contribute to that market right now. But, I have no problem with mass market. It just has to be done ethically and responsibly.


Unique Glacier votive candle holder in hand-blown smoke-colored faceted Czech crystal with bronze and copper cradle. Designed and made by David Wiseman, USA, 2011. 3" H x 5" D. Photo by Sherry Griffin/Courtesy of R 20th Century. 

Is there anyone out there doing anything remotely close to what you’re doing?
I don’t know. It’s a big world. This type of work has been done for millennia, where someone was interested in having meaningful, handcrafted objects in their life, in their architecture. I feel like the 20th century is a bit of an exception. People are still making exquisite interiors, but it was much more part of the architectural tradition to bring in artisans. Construction has become less handmade. I’m of the historical precedent, like English country homes, which had decorative plasterwork on their ceilings. I’m definitely referencing that [with my work], but modernizing it and abstracting the forms and pushing the asymmetry and the naturalism a little more than historical artisans were perhaps allowed to or interested in exploring.

Can you describe your fascination with nature?
Nature is my departure point. Patterns, going back to ancient traditions, were about trying to make sense of the world in which we exist. Recreating it in human terms. It’s about being part of this wild and mysterious planet, internalizing it, and trying to analyze it. So, my fascination stems from that. Often, in architecture, up until the modern period, people brought nature indoors, whether through paintings or decorative arts or furniture or ceramics. Then, in the Western tradition at least, we went away from that. The utilitarian and machine age changed [things]. I wanted to get back to that tradition and pick up where the 19th century left off.

What draws you to nature-related renderings and depictions specifically?
I started with deer and owls. There’s a couple different birds—starlings and finches—that live in our urbanized environment, yet also have a wild existence. They’re mysterious and magical. They’re like these spirit animals that embody the same sort of imagined world of nature that I’m trying to bring into people’s homes. So, my installations and wall reliefs are about that unbridled, beautiful facet of nature, bringing it into our interiors.

You’re in L.A. now, but what once brought you to New York?
I got a job in the city working with Todd Oldham. He came to lecture at RISD and I gave him a little deer hat hanger I designed out of cast plaster. Then he hired me. This became, like, a business while I was in school. I moved to New York [and] I needed to find a place to continue making these, and other ceramics, because I was selling them in stores in L.A., New York, Japan, and Australia. So, I rented a ceramic share studio in Williamsburg.

How do the two places compare for you?
I love making work in L.A. I’m really happy here. New York was great, too, but it wasn’t for me. There’s a very distinct Brooklyn design movement, which is wonderful, but I never felt like I was part of it. I was more interested in exploring my own themes, naturalism, wandering through forests, and being outside. Half of [my studio] is outside, and it’s amazing to just open the door and be able to grind in the daylight. You can only do that so many months of the year [in New York]. Nature’s present [in NYC], but it’s more present [in California].

What would you be doing if not this?
I don’t know. I had a mid-college crisis where I thought I wanted to be a doctor, so I took a biology course at Brown. Because I’m not providing an obvious service for somebody—I’m playing with clay—I feel an obligation to work really fucking hard, because it’s, in a way, egotistical to say that I’m an artist and I’m going to spend all my time working on my own expression. I’m lucky enough to have this as my job. I’m going to work my ass off.

Unique Talon pepper well in bronze and porcelain. Designed and made by David Wiseman, USA, 2012. Edition of 12 plus 2 artists proofs. Signed and numbered, DW1. 6.5" L x 3" W x 2.25" H. Photo by Sherry Griffin/Courtesy of R 20th Century.