What is a house without art? Dull, lifeless and boring, monotone walls void the character of a space, drown its personality and institutionalize its ambiance. Art sparks life into a living area, splashing it with color, awakening mood, emotion and inspiration. The right pieces turn a house into a home. The importance of art in living spaces was evident at the Miami Home Design and Remodeling Show this past Labor Day weekend at the Miami Beach Convention Center. Amidst an array of vendors selling tiles, furniture, kitchen apparatuses, bathroom accessories and other home goods, a group of local artists brought color and style.
Miami Art Experience set-up a miniature Wynwood for its Urban ArtSpace exhibition. The mock pop-up city was complete with a graffiti mural from some of Miami’s hottest urban artists, wire fences displaying canvases, and made-up streets named after artists, such as Abstrk Way. Artists exhibiting in the Urban ArtSpace included Monique Lassooij, Luis Valle, Nicole Sagar, and Abstrk. The mural they completed was donated to Aspira Arts Deco, a new charter school in Wynwoodm which is dedicated to the arts and design.
I caught Monique Lassooij during her live painting of “Little Possum with the Pink Bow.” All around town, she has been recreating gray, white, black, and red gothic images of spooky, innocent wide-eyed children with small creatures or fruits for her collection, Proprietary Innocence.
Finding the right artworks for a private home collection is often difficult. In the past, homeowners had to visit galleries or exhibitions to find them. Now, with the rising mainstream popularity of urban art, it's as easy as walking down a street and discovering an artist that inspires them, hence the strong presence of urban art at the show. It's definitely in demand.
But some people still prefer the traditional fine art of galleries. Local fine artists Lorie Ofir of the artist collective Yo Space was selected for the show, and Leah Guzman, who exhibits her work at GAB Studios, also had a display. Ofir also lent her dream-like, textured landscapes, a mixture of warm and cool earth shades, to a wood furniture company Larsen’s Furniture in order to provide much needed color and balance to the display, drawing visitors. She also painted live during the show.
Visit www.lorieofir.com to see more.
Guzman displayed colorful pieces like “Finding My Way Home” inspired by Florida’s plants and creatures (hawk moths, snakes, palmettos, birds of paradise, comet orchids, night jasmine and palms). She also exhibited heart inspired pieces like “Follow Your Heart.” I got a chance to talk to the artist. She said she likes to incorporate symbols such as labyrinths to express the idea of finding your path and lanterns to depict the inner search for light. “Finding My Way Home” was also inspired by Rumi who wrote, “In your light, I learn to love. In your beauty, how to make poems. You dance inside my chest where no one sees you, but sometimes I do, and that sight becomes this art.”
The next Home Show is Fort Lauderdale Fall at the Broward Convention Center from Oct. 23 to 25. For more information visit www.homeshows.net.