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DESIGN
Highlights from Miami's Art Week 2009
by Karen Day
on 14 December 2009

Hitting the beach earlier this month to check out the festivities surrounding Art Basel Miami Beach, we of course met an overwhelming array of inspiring artists and designers who filled us in on the backstories behind their work. Below, we've gathered up a cursory survey of our favorites, but keep an eye out for upcoming longer profiles of artists such as Brian Dettmer, Kate Clark, Yeo-Seon Youn, Roberto Mollá and Jill Sylvia. You can also read about already featured artists Atsushi Takahashi and Jeremy Dean in earlier posts.

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Shepard Fairey continues his anti-propaganda propaganda, tacking a new poster onto the end of a site-specific mural (which features collaged images of Fairey's works from his recent massive show Supply & Demand at Boston's ICA) in Miami's Design District. Created to round out the mural, the poster outlines his manifesto using different font weights, which reads as his ubiquitous Giant image from a distance. (Pictured above left.)

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At Design Miami we watched OK Go's interactive performance, Les Danseuses (twirling fans) of Atelier Oï and explored the installation from Design Miami's Designer of the Year, Maarten Baas (above right). Dutch jewelry designer Ted Noten's contentious handbags packed heat with guns engraved into acrylic, uniting accessories with fine art (above left).

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We did some happy shopping at the FriendsWithYou studio and new boutique, which Sam Borkson and Arturo Sandoval filled with limited edition toys, clothes, paintings, sculptures and prints.

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At Art Asia we saw Japanese artist Nobuhiro Nakanishi's "Fog" layer drawing, who prints photographs on transparent film to create one multi-dimensional image. Also a standout was New York-based, Korean-born artist Ran Hwang's "Dreaming of Joy" piece, a large bird comprised of red string.

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One of the more exciting fairs this year, Pulse put forward a host of stimulating art. At the Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery we fell in love with Airan Kang's LED digital book installations and our appreciation grew for artist Jim Campbell's ethereal LED animations.

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Also at Pulse, Mark Wagner exhibited a massive homage to Lady Liberty consisting of 14 individual illustrations. The Brooklyn Artists Alliance co-founder drew on his dollar bill renderings from his series "Smoke In My Dreams" to form the cohesive piece made entirely from dollar bills (above left). London-based Dan Hays' entropic paintings break down to beautiful grids, but offer an even more captivating image from afar (above right). Focused on how media filters reality, Hays paints pictorial images to represent his discontent with society's obsession with flawless pictures.

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Kiel Johnson exhibited pieces from his "Publish or Perish" collection, including stereos, tapes, flutes, microphones and more, comprised of nothing but card and chipboard, tape and glue. Meticulously constructed, a birds-eye video shows his method for creating the pieces, all designed without the aid of a computer.

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At Nada, Patrick Jackson displayed his "Tchotchke Stacks" at the François Ghebaly gallery. Publicized by a Simpsons-inspired poster, Mr. Burns explains the tchotchkes are "signs of love—the perfect decorations for some drone's cubicle."

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Nike's Stages event and the Wolfsonian Museum's opening reception proved just as art-filled as the fairs themselves. Of the 26 talented artists exhibiting at Stages, the colorful work by Brian Donnelly—aka KAWS—stood out for both its vibrancy and seamless mesh of graffiti and fine art. After watching the eccentric Iowa-based performance artist Leslie Hall, we took in the work of Nymphenburg Porzellan (above right), producers of intricate porcelain art since the 18th century.

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Hosted by Sushisamba, Graffiti Gone Global highlights include artists Jana Joana, Aiko Nakagawa and Cycle (from left), whose works illustrate graffiti is way more than illegally tagging brick walls.

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