Contact · About · Bios

Art Basel Miami Beach: Misael Soto on a very big towel

misael soto

It was kind of windy yesterday, but that didn’t stop Misael Soto from executing his plan to lay out on a huge towel he constructed. The purpose of going out to 6th Street on Miami Beach was to bring strangers together to lounge around with him on the sand.

Misael’s work is playful, fun, and speaks about community and friends. He got about twenty people to commit to chatting with him and becoming new buds on the big blue towel, while others just sat around on it. According to Soto he wanted to, in a public arena “break the barrier of how people set aside their own space.” When folks go to the beach, the towel is their real estate for the day. He said, “I wanted to subvert that with a big ass one that is for everybody. It’s everybody’s beach towel.” He’ll probably be on 17th Street again on Sunday.

Look how big it is!


Art Basel Miami Beach: Farley Aguilar takes over Scope Art Show

farley aguilar scope

Today is the preview of Scope Art Show, which is put together by THL friend Daniel Laburu and will feature one of my favorite people and artists Farley Aguilar. His cryptic and haunting paintings will be taking over Booth B23, curated by Anthony Spinello. Make sure to stop by. Farley’s work is the shit (there’s an art term for ya).


Art Basel Miami Beach: catch this graffiti mural being created now at Bakehouse Art Complex

lalo vargas bac graffiti

Graffiti culture as we know it strengthened and expanded during the eighties. In South Florida, a community of artists who have been tagging away for the past three decades have come together on a project. Reuniting through a Facebook group, Miami Graffiti History aka MGH80’s, members Aurelio Roman aka DMS organized a memorial and gathering of writers, even ones from out of town. Over a dozen artists will be working on a massive mural on a wall outside of the Bakehouse Art Complex this Art Basel. There will be DJs and dancing.

This image was created by Lalo Vargas aka END with TIME and GWIZ to memorialize a friend who passed away, Ocho Placas tattoo shop’s Jose L Carrera aka Nasty Nes.

Check it out live till Dec. 2 at 561 NW 32nd Street.


Bhakti Baxter and Jenna Balfe talk about the must-see-everyone-will-go art blowout tonight in the DD


It’s Sunday already, and we’re all taking fearful baby steps toward Basel. It’s only days away and shit has already begun.

Tonight at 3825, Bhakti Baxter’s space in the Design District, there will be a Miami style, art blow out. If you want a good taste of what we have to offer artistically as a city, this is the event you should attend. There will be performances and a Balance BBQ Sculpture by Baxter and Jason Hedges, presenting a medieval cooking device. The show is a collaboration with NDS shop and Diet Gallery’s Hard Poems in Space.

We happened upon Baxter and Jenna Balfe who will be performing at the show and accosted them for a chat.

Tell me about the show.

Bhakti: The show is to celebrate the space that four or five artists have been working in in the last eight years and it’s closing because it will be demolished the beginning of next year. We wanted to have one last throwdown at the space.

More (744 words) »


Final Art Basel post: thank God it's over

dorsch gallery record candy

This year, Art Basel kicked my ass. It ripped me apart, knocked me down, it pushed my head down the toilet. It threw me onto the street, stepped on my hand and laughed in my face. And then it peed on me.

Every December, Art Basel Miami Beach and all of the satellite fairs and galleries open their doors, throw parties, and take over South Florida. They bully the masses into having fun. Do people look at the art? Yes, people do! Surprisingly. The point of Basel is to bring curators, gallerists, and buyers from all over the world to one place where they can buy and sell and borrow art. But what’s really neat is that next to the Parisians and New Yorkers are girls from Sweetwater and Westchester, looking at art and actually liking what they see. Usually it’s something pretty tame or lame, but taste is relative (not really, but let’s just say it is). The whole deal is neat. I could write 1,000 grants for something like this. Let’s bus in kids from West Kendall in the hopes that they will be exposed to something cultural and find interest in it instead of learning about the different sizes and kinds of rims. This is good Basel.

More (666 words) »


Attempting to capture the madness: Art Basel Miami Beach 2010, etc. slideshow

nathan vuong paper rad basel

Here are my pictures with commentary from events that took place in Miami during ABMB this year. Go to the slideshow on Flickr to read about each picture. I’m still drafting a post about my experience. Enjoy this while I write.


The Atlantic let Alesh write for them about Art Basel

Alesh wrote a Basel breakdown with a really beautiful slideshow for The Atlantic! Yay! Make sure to read it here.

see more basel
The pictures are actually right here.


Alesh, Liz, and Brook Dorsch shimmy their way through an interview in Wynwood

dorsch gallery

Alesh Houdek and Liz Tracy accosted Brook Dorsch at his gallery during the Wynwood Art Basel art walk to discuss barbecue, Hello Kitty, The Big Lebowski, and, of course, the art!

Keep your eyes peeled for a THL Basel rundown after the madness has ended.

Thanks to Brook Dorsch for taking time out of a busy evening to talk to us and Nicolette Bartollini Pollo for filming.


Pre-Basel anxiety: Justin Long

justin h long

This interview could be called, “Liz Tracy, you are no Charlie Rose.” I hate being filmed, but Justin was down to let me ask him questions on tape, and it saves me a ton of time.

Justin Long is an artist, he grew up in Miami on the river, where his family owns Long’s Motorcycles. Justin has a very awesome abode above the shop, where there are always boys beating each other, playing pool, cooking, or riding BMX in the living room. He lives a good life, or at least an enviable one. Here’s something I wrote about him for the Miami New Times.

I look terrible here, and you probably won’t be able to hear Justin, but here it goes.
Thanks to Eric Madrid for filming this.


OHWOW will now be OHEOW?

There was some secret, big news is that Our House West of Wynwood (OHWOW) is moving east to 81 NE 40th Street in the Design District. There’ll be two big events there, It Ain’t Fair 2010 and Skins.

The It Ain’t Fair group exhibition was designed by Rafael de Cárdenas, starts the 2nd at 8 p.m. and Skins’ opening reception is at the same time, same place. Curated by Alex Gartenfeld, this show looks at tattoo culture (which seems a given from the name). Who doesn’t like to look at or talk about tattoos? Nobody.

There’s the OHWOW store at the Standard Miami Beach, where I may want to spend, but which I will not be able to afford. The opening reception is on Dec. 1 at 6 p.m. It’ll be open through 2011. Lastly, these guys rented an island in Biscayne Bay where people “on the list” will be motorboated to from the Mandarin Oriental. Sounds like Lost, but with art? We’ll see.


The Heat Lightning's bikable Basel maps

THL bikable basel flyer small miami beach

thl basel flyer small

We at THL will be biking most of Basel. I’ve got my 300 pound bike ready for the road. This map was made to help people get to where they need to go, on a bike or otherwise. Check out the full-sized maps after the jump. Thanks to Venessa Monokian for creating these guys and Leah Lujan Tracy for the lil’ logo.

More (55 words) »


The Heat Lightning's massive guide to Art Basel related activities

nathan vuong paper rad basel

In an additional effort to quell pre-Basel anxiety, THL thought it’d be nice to give you guys a little treat. We met with artist Venessa Monokian and created a simple map to guide strangers around town for the Art Basel activities. We’ll be posting them later today. Keep a lookout for them, and give them to your friends.

To also assist you on your Basel-time adventures, I complied this massive list of activities that you may or may not want to attend. It’s messy, and I mostly left commentary out of it, but here it is! Yelp also has a huge Basel list. Here’s a NY Times Basel thing. Miami Herald on Basel Parties.

Please add other events in the comments, too. I will update when I hear of new things.


Arts for a Better World VIP/media preview from 6-8:30, NW 22 St at NW 1 Ave in Wynwood. Our very own Venessa Monokian will be showing there. Cocktails and cupcakes from some dude on “Cupcake Wars.” Special tribute to those poor Haitians and a Sacred Four Directions Ceremony, which is great, because it was just Thanksgiving, and you know, white man, Indian, etc. Do-gooder stuff.

Veuve Clicquot’s got some Once Upon A Dream thing with champagne and bedtime stories from 6-10 on Tues, and 4-6 Wed-Fri. Sounds pervy.

Opening at the de la Cruz Collection Contemporary Art Space opening from 9am – noon, 23 NE 41 St.

MOCA + Vanity Fair/Vanity Fair International Party kickoff party celebrating Bruce Weber Haiti/Little Haiti and the opening of Jonathan Meese: Sculpture. 770 NE 125 St, RSVP Required General Admission $25. 21+

ANTI-ART BECOMES ART #2: Art Babble 2010 at Churchill’s, 5501 Northeast 2nd Avenue, presented by Laundry Room Squelchers and Roofless Records, with HARRY MERRY, DINO FELIPE, XELA ZAID, AMANDA GREEN, RAT BASTARD.

Bardot, 3456 North Miami Ave, MOCA Shakers After party with performance with Agape featuring Nadia Harris & DJ Ess & Emm

More (2466 words) »


Pre-Basel anxiety: Jillian Mayer

jillian mayer heart

I wrote back and forth with artist, aerial acrobat and break dancer Jillian Mayer who is one of the few people I know that I don’t believe had even one year of looking awkward in high school She’s been getting a lot of attention lately for making really thoughtful and beautiful artwork that often takes a look at what it means to be a woman. Of course, I didn’t ask anything probing about feminism (I will next time, though, be prepared) since we’re all so busy with the upcoming madness. Luckily, Jillian gave us a very fine interview anyway without any mention of yoni symbolism in her art.

Shivers, Jillian’s dog, is even working on a new project, offering dating advice on Twitter, as of yesterday. Add @ShiversTheDog to your feed (is that even proper Twitter talk?)

You recently won the Guggenheim Video Biennale, which offered you a lot of attention from everyone, including Interview Magazine. Super and truly congratulations. How did it feel to be literally and figuratively in the spotlight everywhere, not just here in Miami?

I realized that I am not very good at speaking and my unbrushed hair makes me look like a crazy lady. I should download some tutorials where I can learn to sound much more profound and use sound bites, which I hear is part of the trainning once a person is elected to public office.

I also often look like a crazy lady. I have a “food in my teeth problem.” So, you’ll be showing at David Castillo and the De La Cruz Collections during Basel, can you tell me about what’ll be up?

More (770 words) »


Pre-Basel anxiety: Carlos Rigau

carlos rigau

Each December in Miami, the massive art fest Art Basel descends upon the city like a dark, drunk, and exhausting cloud. Yes, it’s certain to be fun at times, and isn’t easily forgotten, but beforehand, I think many of us are filled with nervousness about the 3,000 events that will be taking place all at the same time, the flowing free drinks, and the terrible sleeplessness. This year, I’m attempting to combat my own pre-Basel anxiety by interviewing people I think are pretty great about what to expect. Hopefully, these few posts will whet your palette for what’s to come, artistically at least.

I interviewed artist and curator Carlos Rigau, who you’ll learn more about by watching the following video.

More (120 words) »