December 11, 2015  —  by

Best of ArtBasel Miami Week


It wasn’t difficult to get lost in Miami last week. A handful of art and designs fairs with hundreds of booths and thousand of works included plenty of gossip and some weird stuff too. Not to mention the most diverse events and parties that take place surrounding the shows, which gather both the intellectual and entertainment elites. Given that, one must really make an effort in order to focus on the art, this, after all should slightly matter and not be a mere excuse. As all that buzz starts to fade out, we bring to you a few names to seriously remember from last week’s Miami fairs.


Works by GCC installed in Project Native Informant’s booth at Art Basel in Miami Beach, 2015. Photo by Oriol Tarridas for Artsy.

Consisting of a “delegation” of nine artists, the GCC makes reference to the English abbreviation of the Gulf Cooperation Council, an economic and political consortium of Arabian Gulf nations. Founded in the VIP lounge of Art Dubai in 2013, the GCC makes use of ministerial language and celebratory rituals associated with the Gulf to create videos, photographs, sculptures, and installations that examine the region’s rapid transformation in recent decades. A Wonderful World Under Construction is inspired by the blurred lines between tourist promotion and nation-branding campaigns “providing branding as an essential public service” through the launch of a fictional smartphone app.

Jaanus Samma

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Sweaters from series “The Hair Sucks Sweater Shop”, 2015

In the last few years, Estonia’s Jaanus Samma has emerged as one of the most widely recognized artists of Baltic Europe, primarily for his queer themes and interventionist methods rather than any particular medium or style. Indeed, Samma belongs to a new wave of younger artists for whom research across an array of topics and mediums takes precedence over any one means of expression. Samma’s guiding force is his curiosity. Each project he pursues takes the form of an investigation, not only into the subject at hand (of late, Estonia’s gay subculture during the Soviet era) but into the very nature of making and exhibiting art.

Rafael Lozano-Hemmer

1984×1984, 2014. From the series Shadow Box 10

Electronic artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer’s public art installations combine technology, architecture, and performance using devices like robotics, projections, and cell phones. He constructs “temporary anti-monuments for alien agency,” as in Pulse Tank (2008), in which heart rate sensors send ripples across the surface of water, or the Guggenheim’s 2009 installation Levels of Nothingness, which allowed people to speak into a computer that linked voice traits to colors that were projected across the room. His Vectorial Elevation (1999), in which 800,000 participants created searchlight sculptures above Mexico City, may well be the world’s largest interactive artwork ever.

Martín Gutierrez

Suits, 2014

Martín Gutierrez likes to blur lots of lines. Gender, race, sexuality and class mixing performance, photography and video mediums in works that explore his own fluid identity and personal transformations. Seeing the world without limitation, his work pits individual concern against larger social issues. Born in California to an American mother and Guatemalan father, Gutierrez has worked as set designer, makeup artist, costumier and cameraman. Fashion scene darling, his first single “Hands Up” was snapped up by Saint Laurent Paris to soundscape their Cruise 2012 runway show, followed closely by Dior and Acne. His debut EP is released this year.

Christian Maychack

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Compound Flat #41, 2013. and Compound Flat #34, 2013.

Maychack’s wall pieces are objects that inhabit the space between sculpture and painting; in eradicating yet emphasizing the distinction between the two, Maychack enables his pieces to hover in a state of indeterminacy and paradox. The suggestion of functionality is present, yet stripped of decisive purpose. These are works that question our ability to navigate the continuum between a functional physical space and abstract pictorial space, while supplying a new framework for a visual field. In his new body of work, Maychack exposes stripped-down forms, devoid of metaphors. This continuation of his Compound Flat series delves more deeply into the lexicon of painting through the construction of wall objects. In these pieces (constructed of epoxy clay, pigment, and wood), surfaces become places where physical and sculptural, abstract and pictorial space, intersect.