Maybe it’s because everyone has a couch, chairs and table…
That was the thought upon entering the tent to see DESIGN MIAMI 2019, where the crowds were thick, relatively spirited, and also seeming to include fewer dressing in studied artsy garb.
Those on search for home décor of the contemporary bent, or even office décor that will set their business apart, would not have been disappointed. Many of the booths seemed to this writer like pages come alive from glossy design and decorating magazines, or even a display you’d find in a better home décor store.
Mixed in, however, were many mini-worlds created in cubby corners by designers clearly let loose from all reigns, especially when their mission seemed to blur with advertising goals. The results were often fun. Who wouldn’t be charmed by a room made of champagne bottles?
Many of the exhibitors were more lifestyle marketers. You would visit one booth creatively immersing you in a self-contained world, and then steps later be in another totally different microcosm. While soft speaking art buyers at Art Basel Miami across the street might also be having reactions to art more visceral than studied, here there was scant pretense of trying to do anything other than trigger a Gee Whiz appreciation. Who wasn’t charmed, if not totally mesmerized, by the mechanical clock making time dissolve before our eyes?
Design Miami 2019 Shines Light on Ocean Debris and Global Littering
And then—if you followed a counter-clockwise path through this show of contemporary design in all its glitz and glamor glory— you got to end your tour of the show with what may have been the most subversive commentary on high end design one could imagine. It is also this writer’s pick of pick for the BEST OF MIAMI ART WEEK en toto.
This was Lonely Whale’s found object sculptural works. These are not just any found objects from anywhere. Rather, they are the cast off treasures washed ashore on our oceans’ beaches and labeled with the name of their geographic origin—from New York, to Indonesia, to Jamaica and beyond. Each sculpture’s odd conglomeration of objects seems to defy cultural boundaries or geographic probabilities. Sad but true, that rare experience of sailing in Vietnam’s Halong Bay, and watching a Betsy Wetsy doll bob in the waves below, is apparently not that rare an experience at all.
For more information, visit the Lonely Whale website.
Bookmark the Design Miami website for information on next year’s show.