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PULSE kicked off yesterday with a powerful start, returning to Indian Beach Park for its 13th edition, and this time, under new leadership of Director Katelijne De Backer. The fair’s presentation of 70 galleries—including 15 new additions, like WHITE CONCEPTS, NIL GALLERY, Ginsberg Galeria, and Litvak Contemporary—is a maze of contemporary art magic, complemented by interactive booths, lounges, and tons of color. This year, PULSE will also include “PROJECTS.” The activation will highlight on-site artist commissions, as well “SOLO” presentations by artists like Tony Gum, Andy Dixon, and Lissa Rivera—all of which are nominated for the PULSE PRIZE, judged by Piper Marshall, Lolita Cros, Roya Sachs, Tommy Ralph Pace, and Kathryn Mikesell.
In both the north and south tents, we caught sight of some interesting new pieces—some political, some digital, and some interactive. Ty Poe’s colorful skull artwork at Art Lexïng caught our attention immediately, as did the booth’s pieces made of stickers by Ye Horgxing. Apart of PROJECTS, we caught Phoenix Lindsey-Hall’s installation Never Stop Dancing, courtesy of Victori + Mo, which features white lights and slip cast porcelain and proves to be the best place to take a photo. We can never get enough of Zoë Buckman’s feminist art, so for that we wound up at Winston Wächter Fine Art for her installation of lingerie, featuring sewn-on political messages. Across the booth, we were mesmerized by Alan Rath’s Yet Again—a robotic installation presented by PROJECTS, courtesy of Hosfelt Gallery. Galerie Urbane Dallas showed great side-by-side pieces by Donald Martiny and Melinda Laszczynski that were both welcoming and thought-out, and Flowers Gallery was full of amazing pieces—particularly Patrick Hughes’ mesmerizing Silver Serenissima. Around the bend, we thoroughly enjoyed the subjects in all of Milanese artist Fulvia Mendini’s works at Antonio Colombo Arte Contemporanea. Mindy Solomon Gallery showed some fun ceramic works, and nearby Galeria Leyendecker presented a colorful booth full of wonderful installations by James English Leary and Marita Fraser. Tucked around the corner of the lounge and across the way from the iconic beach hut is Sam Friedman’s acrylic on canvas piece from Joshua Liner Gallery. The gallery also showed fun framed pieces with a modern-meets-contemporary twist, like I’M HAING A DIALOGUE WITH THE UNIVERSE AND YOU’RE JUST SITTING THERE by Wayne White, and a great piece made of old album covers by David Ellis entitled Bird Pyramid.
It was hard to walk by Jonathan Ferrara Gallery without stopping in our tracks. From afar, we witnessed the front of the booth manned by an African-American male, perched high above on a plinth, reading Who’s Afraid of Post-Blackness?: What It Means to Be Black Now—a protest-geared installation by New Orleans-based Ti-Rock Moore. In the gallery’s booth, we also caught: wonderful fabric, thread, and paint works by Gina Phillips; an installation of roses, Branded Rose, made of Ralph Lauren button down shirts by Carlton Scott Sturgill; and other works like Vector, Fallen, and Legacy VI by Paul Villinski. Next door, we caught Shelley Adler’s piece Home at Nicholas Metivier Gallery, giving us Alex Katz-like vibes, and around the bend, Elad Kopler’s colorful work at Litvak Contemporary.
We were fascinated by Brooklyn-based photographer Lissa Rivera’s photographs at Clamp Art—all gender-bending images exploring the evolution of identity, sexuality, and gender through the lens, focused on her domestic partner and muse. Next door, we saw the eye-catching floral creation by Joanne Carson entitled Sprout at Black & White Gallery. And across the way, we were entranced by Hathaway’s booth, with artist Christina West’s pigment Hydrocal works as the stars. The solo exhibition “How Much Does It Cost?” by Andy Dixon at Beers London’s booth were colorful and inviting, beckoning more than attention. The booth was covered in the artist’s wallpaper, showing a painted Lamborghini, and his take on Miami through colors were seen in a painting mimicking a Versace shirt.
SVA Galleries showed some amazing artists, like Andrew Jilka, Audun Grimstad, and Aya Rodriguez-Izumi, and we stopped by YoungArts’ booth to catch its stellar curation by Helen Tumer, featuring a colorful large-scale painting of an elderly couple and other fun artworks placed throughout the space. At Nil Gallery, we loved the works by Zhuang Hong Yi, and we couldn’t not stop and stare at Ginsberg Galeria’s work by Mariu Palacios. The work by Devan Shumoyama at Samuel Freeman Gallery was a refreshing and delightful surprise, which we chatted with the gallery’s founder about. London-based Lisa Wright was seen at Coates and Scarry’s booth, standing in front of her wonderful pieces featuring subjects with a cyclical pattern style iconic to Wright. On our way out, we participated in Aya Rodriguez-Izumi’s Wish piece, presented by PROJECTS, to write an uplifting message on a wooden slab and hang it on the nearby tree.
And of course we could not miss Jasmine Wahi’s interactive photo booth installation PUSSY PHOTO BOOTH PROJECT with Project For Empty Space by the exit. The photo booth, led by Wahi and the gallery’s co-director Rebecca Pauline Jampol, featured a stack of pink protest signs that were both insightful and transparent. Guests are encouraged to choose a sign that speaks to them and pose for a photo, instilling the “grab back” message women around the world resonate deeply with right now, and always.