Radiohead and One Direction announce special one-off projects! Miley Cyrus is doing a live performance with Marina Abramović! Tino Sehgal Selfie Project on South Beach!
Not true, but such collaborations aren't entirely improbable during Art Basel Miami Beach. M.H.Miller at ARTnews scathingly referred to Art Basel, Miami Art Week's propagator, as "an annual product-placement festival for liquor and fashion brands that runs for a few days in South Beach." Evidently not a fan. And Miller is not alone.
While its reputation among the "real" art types isn't exactly shining, Miami Art Week is still the zenith for commercial partnerships, product launches, and PR stunts. Everyone has a price, it seems. Hundreds of unlikely collaborations between big brands and artists will be launching over the course of this week: but are they really unexpected? Here are the craziest collaborations and most erroneous promotions to land in our inboxes.
Airbnb's Urban Theater
Airbnb, Belong Here Now, by Design With Company
Design With Company have collaborated with travel behemoth Airbnb to create an "urban theater" at Design Miami, a space for "unpredictable occurrences that feel personally curated." Which pretty much sounds like staying at home and going on Chatroulette. But probably with fewer people live masturbating.
The Uber Yacht
Traffic during Art Week in Miami is hell. Uber, the utopian transport service, are responding by offering a faster way to get around, that of course incorporates the kind of ostentatious luxury appropriate for Miami types. Teaming up with Stella Artois (an alcohol brand is a perfectly responsible choice for a transport company) the UberBOAT will pick up six people for $35 and drop you off anywhere in their request zone. It's not clear what the fee is for vomiting on board.
Round the Clock Caviar
The absurdest offering to be doing the rounds is the introduction of 24/7 caviar delivery by ROE. Why? “You Don’t Need a Reason. You Are at Art Basel.” Right. Same goes for making art then.
Op Art Gluten Free Vodka
Emory Vodka, the premium "gluten free" vodka will embark on an "aggressive guerrilla marketing campaign" at Basel, in order to capitalize "on the unique brand marketing platform that Art Basel and Miami Art Week provides." The bottles are embossed with an 'anthology' of optical artwork by NYC based Blake Emory. If you're thirsty, you'll drink anything.
Adrien Missika x Natuzzi
The Italian furniture company Natuzzi are opening their first flagship store in the US and have invited French artist and self-styled "professional tourist" Adrien Missika to build an installation (a giant hammock) on site, inspired by his time immersed in sofas in the store's creative HQ in Puglia. We can almost smell the pleather.
GOD by Gufram, Designed by TOILETPAPER
In the Untitled Lounge, you'll find a surprising appearance from the subversive and influential photo publication TOILETPAPER, who have collaborated with design firms Gufram and Seletti, to create some unusual rugs (that are actually kind of amazing) and three unconventional furniture items, including a tombstone. You wouldn't expect to see TOILETPAPER doing a commercial gig at Miami, but when you see what they've done, it all makes sense.
Campbell's Soup Skateboards
MoMA Design Store Andy Warhol Skate Decks
MoMa Design Store launches limited edition skate decks featuring artwork by the Pop Art King at The Skateroom, at Delano South Beach. We can't fault the cause though: all purchases support The Museum of Modern Art and Skateistan—an international NGO initiated in Afghanistan that empowers children through skateboarding and education.
Vaping With K-Hole
PAX, a leading vaporizer manufacturing, are releasing ten special edition devices in collaboration with K-Hole art collective, at a rooftop event in South Beach on Friday—each "K-PAX" device is numbered and bears the K-Hole stamp, and is on sale at $1000. As the collective explain: "If you’re going to spend $1000 on something, it might as well be chrome."
Exit Through The Alternative Gift Shop
Image: stefernie via Flickr Creative Commons
Brian Whiteley, who set up the now defunct Select art fair and is the founder of this year's new satellite, called Satellite, has curated a special project, inviting artists to create their own Miami Beach Gift Shop. A recreation of the classic seafront souvenir store, the artists have made their own version of beach towels, bongs, and tack.
—The ArtSlant Team
(Image at the top: Seletti Wears Toiletpaper, Fingers rug)