By Stacy Shoemaker Rauen
For a bit of inspiration, HD teamed up with Kevin Barry Fine Art for Art Basel this year. The art consultancy planned a three-day affair (along with iWORKS and Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams) to bring together some two dozen hospitality designers, brand leaders, and hotel developers. The trip included a tour of the late Zaha Hadid’s former 2,541-square-foot residence at the W South Beach, which is now for sale for $6.5 million via ONE Sotheby’s International Realty (many pieces of furniture, including an upward of $800,000 table, are becoming part of a larger museum exhibit); a fabulous rooftop dinner at the Nautilus hotel with immersive art experience from Blackdove and music by DJ Lonely C from Soul Clap, and, of course, VIP access to the Art Basel fair (as well as boat rides to the Art Miami & Context art fairs—only in Miami!). Here, we asked some of the designers and the KBFA team to highlight a few of their favorite pieces discovered as we walked the show with champagne in hand.
Pierre Josselin, Jeffrey Beers International
For this portrait of a woman with a gold background has a very sexy use of colors. She is captivating, and you can’t help but look at her. The strength of a stare is captivating, bringing a human dimension to the art.
Carlos Cruz-Diez’s piece is mounted on wood with an aluminum strip frame with vertical colored stripes and layered with plexi thins. There’s a beautiful use of colors and structure, and the 3D effect gives some depth to the piece. The image changes as you pass by. It would be an interesting concept for a hotel corridor; As you walk down the hall, the art appears and disappears.
With the three dimensions of polished metal sculpture with a painted inner face, what you see is the reflection of that image. It could work for a current project where the concept is about perception and what you think you see.
I loved the colors and how the artist captured the energy of the city in this painting of New York at night. The technique could be applied to any city project, and it’s a good way to give a strong sense of place.
Allison Barry, Kevin Barry Fine Art
I saw bold artistic movements, such as paintings that look just like photographs but that juxtapose opposites like the New York subway line with nature.
Palms are in and the large-scale palm tree sculpture cutting through the wall was fun.
I saw a lot of sculptures at Art Basel, and I love how this one comes up from the ground.
This painting was incredible in-person and the light captured it so well. It’s simple, but I couldn’t get enough of it. I looked at it from every possible angle. It was truly breathtaking.
Morgan Cook, Tandem
What I loved most about this piece was how the artist used an out-of-the-box technique to entice the viewers and create a multidimensional experience. They took what could otherwise be seen as a fairly simple subject and transformed it into something interactive that has the potential to be perceived differently from many angles.
I have a love and appreciation for Renaissance art, which is what drew me to this sculpture. I find it fascinating when artists recreate works of art based on their own interpretations of the original while also implementing their own contemporary twist. What’s unique about art is how everyone views it differently based on previous thoughts, biases, or personal opinions. For this piece, you’re being exposed to the artist’s personal perception, understanding, and feelings towards that original sculpture.
Jason Fiore, Kevin Barry Fine Art
The gigantic and rare Rauschenberg was my favorite at Art Basel. It started as a 14-foot-tall painting and kept growing. It’s fun and made up of five large acrylic panels with found objects, mirrors, animal images, and other odd items.
This glass piece was incredible and complex. There was so much imagery inside each ball and they all changed as you walked around it.
We see a lot of city scenes in the hospitality space but this one stood out to me. It’s a classic example of photo realism and loved the use of bold color.
Mariah Smith, Tandem
To be capable of choosing love over fear is a powerful choice. The artist’s use of gold on the letters made me feel that by choosing love over fear you are the winner of something beautiful. I also enjoyed the way the piece reflects light and creates shadows on the surrounding surfaces.
Marty Collins, Gatehouse Capital
At Context, an Italian still life of garlic and onions against a black background by Luciano Ventrone. The abundance of Joan Miró and Muhanned Cader and Robert Motherwell always surprises me. I enjoyed the collection of David Bates. Damien Hirst’s was also fairly prolific.
Esteban Salazar, Design Lab
Rosa Barba, A Shark Well Governed: This type of sculpture seems not only ludic and dynamic at first sight, but it also involves you in a game in which the superposition and direction of the words that revolve around the entire cube, traps you in a fun and creative way.
Do Ho Suh, Main Entrance, 348 West 22nd Street, New York: These beautiful sculptures can’t really be appreciated at distance, or by a photograph. You have to live them, walk through them, and feel the amazing level of detail so meticulous in which they were created.
Luftwerk, Becoming – digital installation for Perrier Jouet: This installation not only generates a unique experience on visitors, at the same time it plays with your perception of space, the depths, the color and the light that surrounds you. Elements that have always inspired and are the foundations of this wonderful artist.
Brigitte Kowanz, Lost in Thought: Each and every one of the pieces from this artist traps you in a dimension of infinite possibilities. The dynamism that she manages to generate between light, words, lines, curves, and reflective materials is so amazing that it makes you want to decompose and understand every detail of each masterpiece.