Go inside the worlds of art, fashion, design, and lifestyle.
This week, be sure to stop by the temporary Absolut Art Bar at the edge of Collins Park in Miami Beach. This year, the Art Bar was designed by artist Ry Rocklen, and will feature specially designed cocktails, along with a daily Bloody Mary bar (from 1-3PM daily…we may be most excited about this), a ping pong table, a basketball court, and a pretty fantastic lineup of nightly performances.
Whitewall spoke with Rocklen about the design of the bar, his “Trophy Modern” series, and what he looks for in a cocktail.
WHITEWALL: Your new Absolut Art Bar, “Night Court,” will investigate the culture of competition and success and include a pingpong table and a large basketball court. Will there be drinking games?
RY ROCKLEN: There will be games including ping pong and chess and there will be drinking – it is a bar after all, and we’ll be serving some really amazing cocktails – but no drinking games.
WW: You’re working with Absolut mixologists to create site-specific drinks. What do you look for in a cocktail?
RR: I like a cocktail that isn’t super sweet. Maybe a drink that is a little sour and spicy. I like the potential of a cocktail, in its ability to express the skill and creativity of the bartender, as well as the preferences of the drinker.
WW: You take abandoned objects and turn them into spectacles. Do you see a similarity between a discarded object and an object that is a spectacle?
RR: I suppose if you are an ant a breadcrumb is a spectacular object. It is a matter of perspective, and that is what I have to offer with my work. I don’t expect people to see the world the same way I do so I will work on an object to bring its potential to light. This work often involves faceting the surface of a found object to exaggerate the aspects of the object I find beautiful so they are visible to the viewer.
WW: Night Court will use aspects of your recently unveiled “Trophy Modern” design. Can you tell us more about “Trophy Modern” both as furniture and as a lifestyle?
RR: Put simply, “Trophy Modern” is a furniture company that makes furniture out of trophy parts. Despite the gaudiness of their materiality, “Trophy Modern” furnishing are meant to appeal to even those with the most discerning aesthetic sensibility. “Trophy Modern” design takes inspiration from Rietveld, Judd, Corbusier, Wright, Eames, and the Memphis Group amongst others. The furnishings in all their shine and color celebrate those who use them. On “Trophy Modern,” everyone is a winner.
WW: You’re also responsible for performances and music around the bar. What’s in store for us in Miami?
RR: Every evening of the fair, “Night Court” will have incredible performances to offer. There will be performance artists like Bodies International, Dynasty Handbag, Barry Johnston, and TMO LIVE, as well as music from Bouquet, Mykki Blanco, Ariel Pink, Nite Jewel, and Glasser. In addition, “Night Court” will host a nightly national anthem singing contest.
WW: Aside from “Night Court,” is there anything this year in Miami you are most looking forward to?
RR: The Beach!