Groundbreaking contemporary works by Brendan Murphy and Mr. Brainwash are among the highlights at the prestigious and much anticipated ‘tent site’ art fair

By Brandy Billinghurst

South Florida art enthusiasts recovering from their annual Art Basel come downs, have another weekend to absorb some of the planet’s best contemporary art–courtesy of Art Miami. This time, it’s the 3rd edition of Palm Beach Modern + Contemporary, a world class fair poised for a breakout year in 2019.  Palm Beach’s Contessa Gallery, still glowing from a fabulously successful exhibit during Art Basel, will feature works from renowned artists Mr. Brainwash, Hijack, Maria Svarbova, Daniele Sigalot, and Cayla Birk, as well as the world premiere of Brendan Murphy’s latest sculpture series.

Brendan Murphy, War and Peace Series: Warrior 1 Pose

Brendan Murphy’s most recent works are the result of a pivotal period of personal stress and hardship, namely, the destruction of his Malibu neighborhood caused by devastating wildfires. Artists often produce their most poignant work during dark times, and Murphy’s “War & Peace Series” (pictured above) are no exception. Created using an exclusive process which generates a vibrant chrome-based painted finish, the series of large-scale soldiers in yoga poses garnered national attention when premiered at Art Miami 2018. New “War & Peace Series” poses will be debuted at Palm Beach Modern + Contemporary 2019. Do not miss!

Mr. Brainwash, Believe in Magic

Brendan Murphy, Lightning

Following up another blockbuster solo exhibition at Art Miami 2018, Contessa Gallery will bring the electrifying works of Mr. Brainwash to West Palm Beach. This brilliant artist with roots in the world of street art was eventually introduced to Bansky, arguably the most famous street artist alive, and has continued to blaze a path of artistic experimentation throughout his career. This year, the gallery will showcase his new paintings consisting of neon light bulbs, paper collages, and fiberglass, as well as his newest broken vinyl record collages which give both material and subject a new life by, “making singers live forever with what they sold.”

Hijack, Balloon Head

For more detailed information about the artists or gallery, which will remain open during the week of the art fair, please visit www.contessagallery.com or contact Steve Hartman at 216-956-2825 or via email at art@contessagallery.com.

Learn more about Palm Beach Modern + Contemporary 2019 at https://www.artpbfair.com/

 

Tortoiseshell: A Timeless Trend

From bags to shoes to glasses, tortoise shell is seemingly everywhere, and I’m not complaining. Especially after finally finding its way into my personal jewelry collection! I recently popped into one of my favorite shops, Sequin, on Worth Avenue in Palm Beach and couldn’t resist these faux tortoise shell earrings. Not only are they made to look like the coveted tortoise shell, they also have coral colored gems which accentuate the tortoise shell design. What girl doesn’t want to mimic Grace Kelly or Audrey Hepburn, who sported the timeless black and brown spots on a variety of their accessories, right? And the best part—they are super lightweight so they can be worn comfortably all day long!

A rule of thumb for seamless inclusion into your wardrobe: simply consider tortoise shell a neutral. A maximalist neutral that will be sure to catch everyone’s eye!

Finding Your Own Sunshine with Vivre Couture

Hand painted artwork worthy of a gallery exhibition? Lusciously tropical garments guaranteed to turn heads at any of life’s premier moments? Yes, please! Vivre Couture, a partnership between designer Kristen Alyce and artists from around the world, fuses the highest quality elements of art, design, and construction into their hyper-inspired line of wearables. Their line, which includes apparel for men and women as well as accessories including handbags, bow ties, luggage tags, shoes, cardholders, and belts represents the best of the Palm Beach experience and happens to be my latest obsession. vivre couture

What sets Vivre Couture and their “wall to wardrobe” concept apart is this team’s unmatched commitment to advance the meeting of fine art and couture fashion. Each item is carefully crafted with fine canvas and linen, then hand painted with thick bodied acrylic paints. Gowns and cocktail attire are created with in-home custom fittings and require between 24-80 hours of hands-on attention to include  designer, seamstress, and artist. Take a look for yourself at https://vivrecouture.com.

PapiChulo Tacos, bringing flavor to Jupiter

To me, the best food is the freshest with the fewest ingredients. Simple enough, right? This brings me to everyone’s favorite Tuesday night fare–the taco. Everyone is sure to have an opinion on where to find the best of this deceptively simple dish. This is where I return to my “freshest and fewest” philosophy. To be sure, there are plenty of taco spots that I happily visit to satisfy my cravings, but there can be only one spot I call the best!

Papichulo Tacos Palm BeachFortunately, I have found my personal El Dorado, courtesy of the cozy and authentic PapiChulo Tacos. Recently opened, and nestled near the Jupiter Lighthouse, the eatery attracted me with its creative cocktails and menu promising authentic Mexican-style street food. Homemade tortillas? Check. Mexican Shrimp Ceviche? Of course. Housemade Sangria? Yes, please!

And yes, I had the perfectly prepared street corn smothered gloriously in chipotle mayo, along with the quesadilla stuffed with cheese straight from Oaxaca. So many salivating choices on my path to the main event. For my first visit, I tried Carne Asada, Pollo, and Repollitos (crispy brussel sprouts with secret sauce and queso frecso, YUM!). Each was to die for in their own unique way, but I’m wondering what it would take to get a bottle of the chimichurri sauce! Hands down, dare I say, best tacos I have had in Palm Beach County. I plan on returning ASAP to taste what I could not manage to order before being rolled out. Get a peek at their menu and specials here: https://www.papichulotacos.com/menu. Tell them Brandy sent you!

 

Siamak Hariri’s aesthetic reverence and deep respect for sacred spaces results in works of enduring value

It was only natural that award-winning Canadian builder and developer Great Gulf would partner with world renowned architect Siamak Hariri for the design of its first luxury condominium in Florida, La Clara, slated for completion 2021.  Great Gulf is a vertically integrated firm in business since 1975 and has 18 projects under construction in North America; this is its first foray into Florida. Hariri is internationally renowned and feted with 60 major architectural awards.

Among Siamak Harari’s most notable masterpieces is the Bahá’í Temple of South America  which he discussed on a TED talk, receiving over 1.8 million views on line. A graduate of Yale School of Architecture, Hariri, age 53, has in his own words, a “profound interest in light, form, site, material, and craft.”  In 2003, Siamak answered an open call for the design of the first Bahá’í Temple in South America, a continental temple, an extraordinary milestone for the Bahá’í community. Siamak needed to create a circular sacred space, with 9 sides, 9 entrances and 9 paths to the temple from all directions welcoming people from all faiths and background. With no models to draw from, he asked himself “how do you design sacred space today?  How do you define what’s sacred today?” He found his answer in Bahá’í quote which led him to illumination from within.  See his TED Talk presentation below.

Siamak Hariri focused on illumination — from the temple’s form, which captures the movement of the sun throughout the day, to the iridescent, luminous stone and glass used to construct it. This same illumination and is the inspiration behind Harari’s design of La Clara.

La Clara– Blending sacred space with community

Like all great communities, La Clara offers the perfect balance between privacy and surroundings.; clarity and luxury.  Light, sacred space, clarity and community are evident throughout:  La Clara’s deep private balconies face south-east toward the water and over-sized windows are throughout the residences.  The flowing spatial interiors, are carried throughout the entertainment room, fitness center and all common areas.   Outdoor amenities include swimming pool with cabanas and a dining area.

“La Clara takes great advantage of Hariri’s vision and talent, particularly with regard to the light and vistas in each unit. Great Gulf has supported his vision wholeheartedly, and it has committed to launch as a good neighbor in our community,” said Chris Leavitt, Director of Sales for La Clara.

 

La Clara

Residence Private Balcony

For more information, please visit La Clara or email sales@laclarapalmbeach.com

Tel 561.898.2171

 

 

Mr. Brainwash continues to be highlight of Art Miami

Last year Mr. Brainwash painted Contessa Gallery’s booth causing quite a stir, this year Contessa’s Mr. Brainwash caused a media frenzy. The solo exhibit was highlighted on CBS Evening News and Miami Herald.  

Mr. Brainwash (born Thierry Guetta in 1966) began his artistic career over 17 years ago documenting the underground world of street artists. Eventually this endeavor introduced him to Banksy, who is arguably the most anonymous and famous street artist living today. With the encouragement of Banksy, Guetta began creating his own street art.

In 2008, Mr. Brainwash produced an explosive first solo show, Life is Beautiful. The epic display hundreds of breakthrough works revolutionized the art scene not only in Los Angeles, where the show was held, but worldwide. This phenomenal exhibition skyrocketed Mr. Brainwash’s popularity. His artistic evolution is chronicled in the Academy Award nominated documentary, Exit Through the Gift Shop, coincidently directed by Banksy. Known for his stylistic combination of pop and street art, Guetta creates his works by brilliantly fusing together historical pop imagery with contemporary cultural iconography. This year, the special exhibition showcased energetic and never before seen works by Mr. Brainwash at Art Miami which employed neon light bulbs, paper collages, broken vinyl records, metal and fiberglass.

Chaplin Subway, Original Stencil and Mixed Media on Metal, Plywood an Fiberglass

 

Mr. Brainwash, Life is Beautiful, 2018
Enameled Steel Sculpture

 

Mr. Brainwash, Imagine, 2018
Neon Light Bulb on Paper Collage

 

Mr. Brainwash, Marilyn Monroe, 2018
Broken Vinyl Records on Canvas

About Contessa Gallery

Founded in 1999, Contessa Gallery offers artworks of exceedingly high quality as well as art acquisition counsel to collectors, museums and institutions. Areas of expertise include pre-20th century, Modern and Contemporary sculpture, paintings, photography and works on paper. While many galleries focus primarily on artist representation and promotion, Contessa Gallery is collector focused. The gallery’s mission is to assist clients in developing collections that have deep personal meaning. Contessa encourages its clients to view their collections as a legacy that can be passed down through generations or to institutions.

The gallery continues to expand its clientele and reputation through its participation in prestigious art fairs, such as; Art Miami, Art New York and The Armory Show – Modern. At the philanthropic level, Contessa Gallery aims to make a difference in the community through the contribution of time, expertise, sponsorship and educational programming for museums and organizations dedicated to the arts.

For more detailed information about the gallery or artists please visit their website: www.contessagallery.com or contact Steve Hartman at 216-956-2825 or via email: art@contessagallery.com

Carolina Wickenburg is a New York–based sculptor whose work ranges from life–size public statues to portraits of her impressive clientele of European royals and distinguished art patrons. Her sculptures are striking, emotive and figurative pieces cast in bronze.

“Her Hippos” are born

Carolina’s foray into wearable sculpture was prompted by her love of jewelry and matured into a fundraising project for breast cancer research. Her hand–sculpted hippos are cast in gold, silver or brass, and inlaid with emerald eyes. Baby Hippos have recently been added to the family! Adopt a baby hippo and support Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

 Why was the hippo your inspiration for this project?

“Sculpting is an ancient, yet timeless, art form. The hippo is an ancient Egyptian mythological figure; a protector of women. The hippopotamus seemed the perfect subject for its reassuring, strong yet sensuous form, as well as its mythology. They came together for me. They made sense.”

 

How did you come into sculpting in particular?

“With a major in Psychology and a minor in Art, I began my career as a social worker focusing on the assimilation of immigrants into their local communities. During that period, we opened a community arts center. My early work there brought sculpture to my attention and that’s when I began to dabble. I quickly realized how much I enjoyed this hands-on approach to art.”

 

Do you prefer to sculpt in stone or clay?

“While I enjoy transforming stone into “flesh”, stone remains rigid and structured. The malleability of clay, however, allows for spontaneity and the freedom to let the piece evolve naturally, and as needed. The tactile feel and flexibility of the clay. The three-dimensionality of it. It’s magical.”

Tell me about your creative process?

 “Hah! I do enjoy the process, but the creative part of sculpting is highly intense, intricate and introspective. You are very much in the moment.” With an eye for detail, Carolina follows a strict approach to capture her subjects using photographs and live sittings. After completing her piece in clay (which can take up to 6 months or more depending on the size), a rubber mold is made and eventually a Bronze piece. Her goal is to capture the essence of her subjects. In her full-bodied pieces, she uses the body’s anatomy, its muscles and facial features to evoke an emotion or capture a feeling. For her portraits, her goal is not only to resemble her subjects and convey their essence, but to make each portrait a piece that stands on its own.  After every portrait is complete, Carolina prides herself in asking “would I like to have this sculpture in my house?” Her answer has to be “yes”. She finds portraits the most difficult of her works.

Carolina

 I have heard that you were born to be an artist. Tell me about that.

“I am surrounded by artists!”, she laughs. “My father was very creative. He was an avid painter and my brother is highly artistic.  And as you might expect, I married into an “artsy” family as well.”

About Carolina Wickenburg

 Born in Havana, Cuba, Carolina immigrated to the US at an early age. She and her Austrian husband, reside in New York (when not traveling to the family hotel, Casa Mia, in Austria). They have two sons. As a successful NYC based architect hailing from a long line of artists (including world-renowned Alfred Wickenburg), and with a creative eye himself, her husband recognized Carolina’s talent and encouraged her to pursue art shortly after their marriage.

Please visit Carolina Wickenburg Sculpting to see her works.