Art + Design in Miami: Perspective Shift

Mastering the art of the double-take

Zipping past thousands of exhibitors in dozens of venues during Miami Art Week, it’s easy to miss a piece here and there. After a while, you start to appreciate artists that make you look twice. Toying with perception, detail and physical distance, we found a number of artists that draw in the eye with playful manipulations of perspective. Read on for highlights of the visual shenanigans.

Ghostly figures and extinct technology come together in Nick Gentry‘s series of floppy disk portraits. We came across “History Line” (2012) through Robert Fontaine Gallery at Scope, and immediately stepped up to the multimedia work for a closer look.

Hong Seon Jang‘s “Type of City” (2012) is an entire metropolitan landscape made from movable type. Varying lengths of type enable low-lying regions and skyscrapers to emerge from the canvas, and the viewer is left to explore miniature metal avenues and examine the once-ubiquitous printing technology. The work was seen at Pulse through David Smith Gallery.

While the masses were ogling Chuck Close‘s woodburytype photographs of celebrities Kate Moss and Brad Pitt at Art Basel, Adamson Gallery at Pulse was also showing selections from the artist’s recent series of portraits created from stamping paint from felt-tipped dowels. The detail was incredible, as each dot was composed of several concentric colored circles. While perfectly cohesive from a distance, a close inspection of the paper showed stacks of colors within each pointillist dot.


Miami’s Zadok Gallery was a treasure trove of incredible art outside of the fairs. Undoubtedly the most mesmerizing of their works was Li Hui‘s “Cracked” (2012), an installation that consisted of a panel of crimson lasers that beamed down on a broken mirror. Hui creates an impressive physical presence out of the light, causing visitors to stop and reconsider the relation between light and material form.

Kim Rugg‘s work is absolutely breathtaking—something you’d know if you caught our video on her process a few years back. This year at Pulse with Mark Moore Gallery, Rugg displayed “North America” (2012), a National Geographic wall map that the artist dissected into vertical strips before reassembling it in reverse.

Discovered at Chemould Prescott Road‘s booth at Art Basel, “Untitled (The Wave)” (2012) by Hema Upadhyay is a near replica of Hokusai’s famous woodcut. However, the homage is created from quotations that have been cut into thin strips, and the painted background includes a metropolis that is absent from Hokusai’s version.


Sabrina Gschwandtner culled 16mm film from the FIT archives and sewed them together into geometric compositions to create her “Film Quilts” series. The films are mostly instructional videos on textile crafts, and the found strips have been combined with Gschwandtner’s personal footage. The series was found at LMAKprojects at Pulse.

Mark Wagner is a busy bee. Spotted at Pavel Zoubok Gallery at Pulse, his work “Stealing from the Bees” (2012) is an oversized one dollar bill collaged from real currency that has been carefully cut and arranged. With missing edges seemingly stolen by the bees themselves, Wagner’s large-scale work plays with fiscal culture, work and our relationship to nature.


David Datuna showed a few works at Scope this year with Long Sharp Gallery, mostly dealing with American politics. Positioning mangled eyeglasses over a collage, Datuna is able to creatively magnify certain elements. In the case of “Due Date” (2012), an impregnated American flag hovers over newspaper clippings.

Seen at Vitamin Creative Space at Art Basel, “Grand Visionary Transformation of the Auspicious” (2012) is a large representational piece composed of smaller scenes that fill the canvas. Zheng Gougu‘s portraits of monks and surrealist faces dot the landscape, creating a world of color and symbolism.

With contributions from James Thorne, Karen Day, Evan Orensten and Ruediger Glatz