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Aqua Art Miami 2018 Programming

  • Image courtesy Aqua Art Miami

    Image courtesy Aqua Art Miami

Special Projects and Highlights:

InkMinx Mobile Tattoo Tent, presented by ArtHelix Gallery/SHIM Network (Brooklyn)

Located at the fair’s entrance, InkMinx Mobile Tattoo Tent will feature three female artists, acting as a social hub that encourages viewers to enter in and share the artists’ energy. Artist Shanzey Afzal, who identifies as the only trained and certified female Muslim tattoo artist in the United States, will create the "gateway" art event. For Afzal, tattoos are a form of a socially conscious and shared political language as a redress to specific cultures where women’s voices can be restricted or disallowed. Brazilian/American graphic performance artist Claudia Vieira will wrap the tent and surrounds the hotels outer wall with a continuous line of black vinyl tape to create a "living" drawing. American photographer Angela Strassheim will offer digital and Polaroid portraits that feature her unique blend of matter-of-fact Midwestern clarity and surreal juxtapositions. Before receiving her MFA from Yale, Strassheim worked as a certified forensic photographer in Miami. Her work was included in the 2006 Whitney Biennial that The New York Times referred to as, "surreal pictures, candy colored and strangely loving.”

Katarra Peterson and her Uppity hair braiding project, presented by ArtHelix Gallery/SHIM Network (Brooklyn)

Katarra Peterson will use the upper balcony of the fair as a platform for a modern-day interpretation of the Rapunzel folk tale. Rewritten here by a female artist of color who reimagines this story, not of how she will be saved, but rather how she will “pull up” others less fortunate. Fair visitors will have an opportunity to help her weave lengths of braided hair into a rope, and the artist will offer her “assistants” crystal ball and palm readings, general wisdom, and spiritual consulting.

The Shim Video Collective (various)

The Shim Video Collective will launch its inaugural exhibition featuring an international group of emerging and established video artists, hand selected by a panel of video curators. The videos and experimental films will each run for three minutes or less, and include submissions from X-Film Femmes (est. 2018), the global video art collective who are dedicated to presenting new work from budding and recognized experimental female film makers. Represented in the XFF screenings will be filmmakers Taimi Nevaluoma (Finland), Dorottya Szalay (Hungary), Gabriela Gaia Meirelles (Brazil), Bonnie Rychlak (US), and more yet to be announced. The video program will be looped on a highresolution monitor in the hotel lobby.

MIKIHUMO – Imponderable Cities, presented by Blackship (Miami)

Imponderable Cities by MIKIHUMO is a series of sculptures that, from a minimalist point of view, evoke the development of cities from the beginning of civilization to the present as they are submerged in the AQUA Hotel swimming pool along with video mapping on the pools back wall. Some cities have outdated architecture, while others respect machines more than nature and humans. This behavior has created a hostile climate change, affected rising sea levels and put cities at risk. This work represents urban planning that is focused on quantity and not quality, sustainability or functionality. The idea of building a city that grows organically has been displaced, which has resulted in uncomfortable and unfavorable cities that break with human interaction.

DJ Bea Pernia, presented by Blackship (Miami)

Multimedia performance artist Bea Pernia will provide the musical atmosphere for the VIP Preview, with a special live performance opening night on Wednesday, December 5th.

Conversation with artist Kevin Berlin | Saturday, December 8th at 1pm

Kevin Berlin will discuss the Worldwide Premiere of HOPE DIES LAST 2 - New Works of the Russian Ballet. Berlin’s paintings focus on the interior and secret lives of ballet dancers – depicting their hidden thoughts in sensual, mostly black and white paintings, sculpture, and works on paper. The talk will be followed by a Q&A.

Book signing and cocktail reception with artist Stephen Wilson | Saturday, December 8th at 6pm

A special book signing and cocktail reception will be held with mixed-media artist Stephen Wilson, best known for his artistic explorations in embroidery work, supplemented with cutting-edge modern technologies, like laser cutting and 3D printing. High fashion influences are prevalent in his work, expressed through his use of designer-branded packaging and luxury fabrics including Hermès silk, Chanel wool, and limited-edition Gucci boxes. The artist will sign copies of his new book, Stephen Wilson: Luscious Threads, available from Scala Arts and Heritage Publishers. Renowned art historians and critics Donald Kuspit and Eleanor Heartney will provide thoughtful commentary on Wilson’s contribution to the contemporary art field. Books will be available for purchase.

The Parsons Close Project launch from Steve Cohen and Curtis Cox (Springs, NY)

Steve Cohen and Curtis Cox are the longtime lighting and production directors for the biggest names in music, including Billy Joel, Justin Timberlake, Mariah Carey, The Eagles, Blake Shelton and Lenny Kravitz, who will be making their artistic debut as a collaborative presentation known as The Parsons Close Project. The presentation will feature Cohen’s recent paintings and assemblies, as well as Cox’s ceramics and jewelry. Cohen began painting 14 years ago to transition his ephemeral work in lighting design onto a permanent canvas. His works are an unconscious channeling of what he sees in the world every day. Cox uses computer-aided design programs to print in clay with a 3D printer or cut from sheet metal with a laser. He then uses traditional ceramic and jewelry techniques to transform the parts into a final, finished piece.

Susan J. Barron – Depicting the Invisible presented by HG Contemporary (New York)

Military veterans who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) have shared their stories with New York-based artist Susan J. Barron who has honored them by creating large-scale mixedmedia portraits that she will present in, Depicting the Invisible: A Portrait Series of Veterans Suffering from PTSD. Barron’s work shines a spotlight on thirteen American veterans who have survived the trauma of war or terrorism. The artist’s oversized black-and-white photographic portraits are painted with the subjects’ stories in their own words.