Art Basel Miami 2021 is heating up to become the art event of the year (if not the last two). And this Fair is expected to draw a much younger and more female audience than ever before. Millennials are acquiring art at a voracious pace and are hungry for pieces and products that are spawning whole new creative categories. From NFTs to tufting, visual albums to 3D immersive exhibits, it seems that the art world is transforming before our eyes, shapeshifting and growing like some gorgeously mutant kudzu, surrounding us with a cacophony of sights and sounds at dizzying speed. And it shows no signs of stopping. Sprung from digital seeds sown during the pandemic, artists are tapping new venues and devices to express their vision and share their sounds. And like lost children now found, we are rushing to meet them. 2020 witnessed a marked shift in personal values slamming head first into the dark void of experiences. What emerged was a rapacious hunger for art. And it is no surprise. Artists have always been the second responders. After plague, pestilence, disaster and death, artists emerge, conjuring up new worlds we need to see and offering new words we need to hear. Art is the language that connects us and transcends us, ribboning the past and summoning the future in a call and response that has no end. Toni Morrison once mused on the need for creating during times of deep distress. Her answer resonates today:
This is precisely the time when artists go to work. There is no time for despair, no place for self-pity, no need for silence, no room for fear. We speak, we write, we do language. That is how civilizations heal.I know the world is bruised and bleeding, and though it is important not to ignore its pain, it is also critical to refuse to succumb to its malevolence. Like failure, chaos contains information that can lead to knowledge — even wisdom. Like art.”
Mr. Rogers told us in times of trouble to ‘look for the helpers.’ The artists are here. We are safe.
This week, we glory in Harry Style’s latest take on pleasure, don super hero capes, watch new cities emerge, and cower as futuristic human adornment take on a new sharpness. We see humans doing what we do best: dream, dare, design and do. Because after all, creation is the ultimate form of optimism. And we believe the future looks bright.
You’ve Got Male
Adrogyny has been a rising tide in the beauty and fashion worlds for over a decade, but usually it sits in service to a feminine brand’s inclusivity stance. Ready for a sex change? Two brands are firing some serious shots of fierce fabulosity, regardless of the box you check. First up, Harry Styles, the first man to ever score a solo Vogue cover, is now launching his own beauty line, Pleasing. With an initial offering of organic nail colors, he sees the brand as an ambassador of life’s everyday pleasures, as well as a happy means to ‘dispel the myth of a binary existence.’ “I really think that the essence of Pleasing is finding those little moments of joy and showing them to people,” muses Styles. Happiness literally at our fingertips? Let’s see a show of hands!
Second up…You’ve got Nail. Egonlab plays right on the edge – not of gender but of the ever diminishing line between reality and fantasy. Their SS 2022 launch of nail jewelry speaks to all of us who desire a little bit of extra after months of life underground – yet crave some armor against the unseen foes still lurking in the real world. Who better to inspire than the very avatars we have been fronting in all our online games? Ready to accessorize for the metaverse? Strap on some of these babies…. you might just dazzle ‘em to death!ow of hands!
I’ll Take the Local
Hyper-Localism has been a huge trend roaring out of the pandemic. During our lockdown, we found ourselves back on a physical map we had long stuffed away in an old bedroom drawer. Months later, we find ourselves embracing and fiercely protecting these spaces from mass gener-icide. One development in New York is betting that the hunger for local flavor is reflective of a long term appetite. The Tangram Project is an $800 million dollar development in Flushing, Queens set to open in February. What makes it unusual is its commitment to reflecting the Asian origins of the town around it. The mixed use build will feature the U.S. flagship location of a restaurant popular in China – Xiao Long Kan Hot Pot; machi machi, a Taiwanese café known for its bubble teas, and Miniso, a Japanese purveyor of housewares. Tenants will be required to display signs in both Chinese and English. The movie theater will offer movies with subtitles in Chinese while the Orange Theory will be the first in the nation to offer group classes in both English and Chinese. Helen Lee, an executive leading the development, says Tangram is simply first in showcasing the trend to return retail to its roots of reflecting the needs and wants of its own community. We bet this is a taste of home we all are hungry for…
Pint Sized Protection
Some of the most powerful activists on the planet don’t meet the height requirements at Disneyland. But size don’t mean a thing when it comes to kids’ appetite to make real change. From recycling to composting, any parent will attest to their progeny’s enthusiasm for planet-saving action. Now, one collaboration looks to put real tools in these eco-warriors’ small hands. E.ON x Scamp & Dude Air Heroes capes enable children (and their parents) to take action against the growing issue of air pollution around schools. The capes deputize the children as ‘Air Heroes’ who can help fight pollution simply by wearing one of these capes on their walk to school. Each cape contains an innovative, patented fabric created by theBreath which absorbs and disintegrates air pollution, helping to clean the air. The hope is to shift the road to school from a car to a caped-crusader catwalk. One small Ka-BLAM to pollution – and one big step for mankind.