Primary Projects' "International Friendship Exhibition": American Kitsch Glorified

Photos by Shelly Davidov
Autumn Casey, Judgement
Known as a venue friendly to local artists, Primary Projects doesn't disappoint with its Art Basel gathering of Miami creatives.

The "International Friendship Exhibition", a group show of 19 artists, including Autumn Casey, Jim Drain, Gavin Perry, Asif Farooq, Magnus Sodamin, Cole Sternberg, Cody Hudson, and Michael Vasquez, is titled in reference to Kim Jong-il's gift pavilion of the same name. The exhibition pays homage to the nature of contradiction, a concept ironically exemplified in the kitsch-and-propaganda-filled pavilion in North Korea.

See also: Art Basel Miami Beach 2014 Local Gallery Guide

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Artist Jorge Enrique Enjoys Fame in Europe While Working Anonymously in Wynwood

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Jorge Enrique - Vessel
It feels lazy to call Miami-based artist Jorge Enrique a mixed media artist. He blends image and sculpture so thoroughly it confounds the mind. Look deeper at his three-dimensional works hanging off of walls or stretching up from the ground and you will find elements of photography hidden beneath brush strokes. The form of these objects (a descriptor he sometimes uses in the titles of his works) also hearken back to a period when he dabbled in the study of architecture.

The work of this Cuban-born artist is painting, sculpture and architecture at once. It began simply enough, looking out upon the concrete landscape of Wynwood, the Miami neighborhood where Enrique has resided at various studio spaces for the past 15 years. It began with photographing mundane objects like manhole covers and consideration of "mankind's history in asphalt." Then it turned to monoprints of the street. With just paper and ink, he and a group of assistants would "lift" images from the ground on giant, 40-inch roles of monoprint. Then he would wash some of it away, silkscreen it and wrap it around blocks of wood, completely re-imagining the urban landscape of Wynwood. Primary colors of blue and yellow offer highlight in the predominately black, white and gray works.

See also: Pearl Paint Art Supply Store Recreated in Wynwood

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"We Really Don't Need Men:" Second Annual Celebration of Women in Art

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Photo by Rodrigo Varela/Getty Images for Women in Art Benefit
Nicole Ehrlich poses with Millie Brown.
As Miley Cyrus twerked and crooned at the Raleigh Hotel last night, on the other side of the beach Brooke Candy tore up the stage at the second annual 2014 Celebration of Women in Art at the Miami Beach Resort and Spa. The event was produced by longtime Lady Gaga producer Nicole Ehrlich, in collaboration with the Brooklyn Museum's Elizabeth A. Sackler School of Feminist Art, and School of Doodle.

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Peter Marino's One Way at Bass: Luxury and Leather Done Right

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The name "Peter Marino" was on the well-moisturized lips of every privileged attendee at the New York Times-hosted International Luxury Conference at the Mandarin Oriental in Miami this week.

And why wouldn't it be? Of all the people on display during the Art Basel Miami Beach fair, the architect, art collector, and Warhol protege Marino seems to know about living most luxuriously.

By "on display," we mean quite literally, too. Marino's personal collection was curated thoughtfully by Palais de Tokyo's Jérôme Sans, at the Bass Museum of Art's One Way. But front and center sitting pretty is a wax sculpture of the often leather-clad Marino, hand tipping his hat at every passerby.

Every news outlet around the world seems to be frothing at the mouth for a tiny taste of Marino and his extravagant lifestyle. It's a bit odd that while most people can't afford rent, the art world still laps up the extravagant like its starving.

See also: From Wynwood to South Beach, Galleries Bring the Heat to Basel

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MSG Cartel's Locals Only Art Basel Show: "Paintings That Don't Cost Thousands"

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via Quake
The mighty MSG
While other artists fight for space in Wynwood, the notorious MSG Crew have a 340,000 square foot building to paint however they want.

The former Biscayne Plaza, a main site of the Michael Bay action flick Pain & Gain, is now called Midpoint, and as part of its renovation and re-introduction to the community, the developers have opened their doors with 305 pride for an art show called Locals Only starring Miami's Style Gods themselves.

We caught up with MSG Quake to find out about their New Era snapback collabo, big pieces, and slanging canvas.

See also: Vice Gallery in Wynwood Opens With MSG Crew Show: "They're Not 16 Years Old Anymore"

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Baz Luhrmann Dazzles at Basel, While Local Gallery Snubs Us

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Photo by George Martinez
Baz Luhrmann and costume designer Catherine Martin.
Every year there's always the ridiculous cry that Art Basel's Miami Beach incarnation (and Miami's entire art scene) is all fluff and no substance, and that the art world is ready to pack up and leave. (For example: see Brett Sokol's hilarious piece for the New York Times.)

Fact is, the art world relishes all things celebrity and if they can use it for their advantage, god dammit, they're going to. And Miami Beach -- more so than its Swiss counterpart -- provides plenty of those opportunities.

You're a whore, art world. Own up to it.

That's not to say the seedy mix of art and celebrities is a bad thing. In fact, great things can come from such pairings (beyond just getting tons of press).

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The Historic Lyric Theater Keeps It Local, Debuts Purvis Young Exhibition

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Amidst the Basel craze where out-of-towners look admiringly at works by artists from across the globe, the Historic Lyric Theater in Overtown is keeping it local. The recently renovated landmark debuted "A Man Among the People: Purvis Young," a retrospective celebrating the life and work of the Overtown native and respected outsider artist.

The exhibition is a bit of a homecoming for Young, who passed away in 2010. His work drew heavily on the distinctive landscape of Overtown, incorporating architectural detritus and litter from the area. Though his paintings were largely abstract, they captured the often difficult lives of the neighborhood's residents. In Young's world, drug addicts, prostitutes and the struggling families are depicted with a difficult honesty.

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Pearl Paint Art Supply Store Recreated in Wynwood

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Courtesy of the Center for Visual Communication
If you were a kid with an affinity for anything artistic, you definitely visited a Pearl Paint Art Supply Store. Heck, you could have even bought watercolors or a brush at the South Miami location as recently as a few months ago. But like library card catalogs and VCRs, Pearl is now a relic that today's kiddos will never experience. The chain went into bankruptcy, and shuttered its last location--the flagship in Fort Lauderdale -- in August of this year.

Rather than let the store's lengthy history go gently into that good night, Barry Fellman of the Center for Visual Communication decided to rage, rage against the dying the of light. Fellman bought the store's stock and has recreated the Pearl experience in his gallery space, just in time for Basel revelers.

See also: Wynwood's Jose de Diego Middle School Transformed With Street Art (Photos)

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From Wynwood to South Beach, Galleries Bring the Heat to Basel

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Courtesy of Spinello Projects
Kris Knight, Bougainvillea Goth, oil on prepared cotton paper, 2014
Amid the chaos at the Miami Beach Convention Center, the noise of dozens of side fairs, and all the museums with their gala exhibits, how does an individual gallery possibly get noticed during Art Week?

Just ask Locust Projects, which has made a habit of hijacking headlines and making a splash dating back to 2012's blockbuster show with Theaster Gates and including last year's buzzy work by Nicholas Hlobo's "Sketch for an Opera," which drew hordes.

See also: Design Miami Celebrated Ten Years With Emmett Moore, Coral Morphologic

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ICA Miami: "Goodoo" Dolls, Melting Ladies, and Mental Help (Photos)

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Carolina del Busto
As far as new museums go, the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) is unique in that it's currently setting up shop within the Moore Building in the Design District. Oh, yeah, and it was forged out of a dispute from the people behind the board of directors over at North Miami's Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA).

While the ICA waits in hopefulness for a more permanent building to call home, the museum has seen fit to officially open its doors to the public during Miami Art Week. It's only the best possible timing.

See also: Miami's Newest Museum Offers Some Serious Art Therapy

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