As the art world decamps to balmier climes for their final major fair of the year, Art Basel Miami Beach, juggling previews and parties becomes an art in itself. For some, the primo happenings are just an elevator trip away, thanks to Miami’s thriving hotel scene, which is luring fairgoers with a blockbuster line-up of exhibitions, installations and glittering soirées.
The Nautilus, a Sixty Hotel, is one such locale carving out a place in Miami Beach’s creative scene. Alongside Rene Ricard, Kelsey Montague and Suzy Kellems Dominik, it has tapped Sarah Bahbah for an exhibition of the Los Angeles-based photographer’s work. The 25-year-old Instagram cult favourite had her viral breakthrough in 2014 with the series ‘Sex and Takeout’, depicting people in the buff with various food.
From the series ‘Summer Without a Pool – Season One’
‘This year’s theme is the nexus between art and literature, the idea of the artist as poet, and the narrative of his or her visual-being reinforced by the written word,’ explains Jason Pomeranc, co-founder and creative director of the Sixty hotel group. ‘The new generation of young artists including Sarah Bahbah, has shown this to be an incredible partnership where I believe using text and spoken word can heighten the emotional experience.’
Bahbah’s wry photographs, with film-still qualities, delve into age-old themes of love, heartbreak, and anger, rendered in her particular brand of feminine ennui. Pomeranc adds, ‘Whether it tends to be romantic, or a political statement, or a statement on society, I find this personally very touching and something I see more and more of young artists doing today.’
Elsewhere in the hotel, Suzy Kellems Dominik’s provocative neon sculpture and light show of an orgasm is sure to have tongues wagging; Kelsey Montague has teamed up with Gran Centenario to give the hotel her signature wings; and Half Gallery is presenting a painting by Rene Ricard at the bottom of the hotel’s pool, in true Miami style. Some of the hottest tickets in town include the Paul Sevigny art viewing party, and the ACRIA brunch to support the end of AIDS, (both on Friday 8 December, by invitation only).
It’s a lot to take in, even for the most seasoned of fairgoers. Thankfully, New York’s very own spa-café Chillhouse is making a guest appearance at the Nauti Grind on the lobby level, so you can detox as hard as you retox.