With Rebeca Raney's Art Basel Exhibit, Primary Projects Swaps Swine for Sweetness

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Rebeca Raney
It wasn't long ago that Miami didn't have much of an art scene. That was before Art Basel took root, before Rebeca Raney left Miami in 1999 to go to college. By the time the scene got going in earnest, Raney was off living in New England.

But in all that time away, Raney never lost her Miami pop and jive. Her zest for color and her taste for easy living are ever evident in her artwork, which will be on display at Primary Projects in the Design District during Art Basel.

Primary Projects gained quite a reputation during last year's festival, when they hosted Miru Kim, a female artist who lay naked with pigs in a sty that had been constructed in the gallery. It was an exhibit that helped put Primary Projects on the maps as an Art Basel gallery to watch.

If last year's exhibit was sexy and raw, then this year's art is, well, adorable. Raney embraces terms like sweet and cute. Her work, her giant embroidered creatures which stand far taller than she, are joyful, not creepy.

Her collection, called "Raneytown" after her college nickname, is a gallery takeover, featuring her collection of larger-than-life, brightly-colored sculptures with humanoid limbs and embroidered faces atop resin-coated bodies.

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Unlike some hyper-sexualized Japanese manga, which you might mistakenly think the Raneytown figures reference, Raney's adamant her figures have no weird sexual undertones. She just loves silliness, and her work, she says, is filled with wonder and childlike naïveté.

Like a child's attachment to a precious doll or stuffed animal, Raney cares about the massive sculptures she makes.

"They tend to wobble, but they're really strong," she says of the Raneytown people. "They start out as wire, and then they become chicken wire, and then they become paper mache, and they become resin and fiber glass."

Location Info


Primary Projects

151 NE 7th St., Miami, FL

Category: General

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