Art Basel Miami Beach: America’s Premier Art Show is Underway

MIAMI—With Art Basel Miami Beach officially underway, the Miami Convention Center is brimming with some of the finest examples of 20th and 21st century art from around the world. Ironically, one of the most striking new works at the show—a life-sized deer clad in crystal balls—was originally purchased on eBay.

Under the convention center lights the sculpture by Kohei Nawa glistens like an enormous animal-shaped bauble.

Detail of “PixCell-Red Deer.”

On view at the SCAI The Bathhouse booth, “PixCell-Red Deer” draws passersby eager for a closer look and when they peer into the crystal balls they see deer fir. The work is composed of a taxidermy deer Nawa bought online and methodically covered in glass orbs.

From left, Plastic toy cauliflower and eggplant covered with crystal balls by Kohei Nawa at SCAI The Bathhouse.

According to Fumiko Nagayoshi of The Bathhouse, the artist purchases all of his source material on the Internet, including the stuffed New Zealand deer and two smaller pieces also on view at the fair that are composed of toy vegetables.

Art Basel Miami Beach is open to the public from Dec. 6 to Dec. 9, 2012. More than 200 galleries from the United States, Canada, Europe, Latin America, Asia and South Africa are showing the work of more than 2,000 artists. The premier show has also spawned a countless array of other art fairs and events around the city that are capitalizing on the presence of artists, art dealers and collectors from around the world.

All photos © Arts Observer

“Heiligenfigur (St. Michael) Figure of Saint (St. Michael),” 2008 (polyester, paint) by Katharina Fritsch at Matthew Marks Gallery of New York.

“U.S.S. Bremen Turnaround,” 2012 (charcoal and paint on paper) by Gary Simmons at Metro Pictures of New York.

“A Survey Exhibition,” a solo show of Simmons’s work over the past 25 years is on view at Metro Pictures from Nov. 29, 2012 to Jan. 19, 2013. The artist will also participate in Art Public at Art Basel Miami, contributing two large-scale billboards that spell out “I wish it could be morning all day long,” to the outdoor exhibition.

From left, “&,” 2012 (powder-coated aluminum, bulbs) by Peter Liversidge and “400% (Death Grin/Ernst Face),” 2010 (terra-cotta and painted aluminum) by Nathan Mabry at Sean Kelly of New York.

“United Enemies – A Play in Ten Scenes,” 1994 (10 offset prints in four colors, edition of 35) Thomas Schutte at Skarstedt Gallery of New York and London.

“Electric Chair,” 2003 (chair and electric light bulbs) by Darren Lago at Annely Juda Fine Art of London.

“Vita on the Beach,” 2011 (oil on board) by Chantal Jaffe at Victoria Miro Gallery of London.

“Soap and Water,” 2007 (soap, steel, bronze, water) by Robin Rhode at Lehmann Maupin of New York.

“Adventures of Huckleberry Finn – On the Raft (after Mark Twain),” 2011 (matte acrylic, book pages on canvas) by Tim Rollins and K.O.S. at Lehmann Maupin of New York.

“Coca Cola,” 2011 (Han Dynasty pottery 206 BC-220 AD) by Ai Weiwei at Galerie Urs Meile.

From left, “Bookcase,” 2011 (wood) and “Isabelle de Bourbon,” 2012 (oil on burlap) both by Manolo Valdez at Marlborough Gallery of New York.

“Sun” by Bjorn Dahlem at Galerie Guido W. Baudach of Berlin.

“PixCell-Red Deer,” 2012 (mixed-media) by Kohei Nawa at SCAI The Bathhouse of Tokyo.

“The Folding House,” 2010 (wood, steel, aluminum, glass) by Spartacus Chetwynd at Sadie Coles of London.

Beaded work by Maria Nepomuceno at A Gentil Carioca.

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