Grey Area + FriendsWithYou Pool Party

Technicolor artist Jen Stark on her inflatable collaboration for Miami Art Week


As the art world heads south for their annual beachside getaway, galleries, museums and brands prepare themselves for the influx that is Art Basel Miami Beach. Among them this year will be Kyle DeWoody’s Grey Area. After the success of last year’s yoga program, which served as a calming foil to the fair (and offered seven different artist yoga mats), the gallery-meets-boutique decided to partner with Sam Borkson and Arturo Sandoval of FriendsWithYou on another kind of playful alternative, namely a collection of artist-designed inflatable pool toys.

Dreamt up by DeWoody, Borkson, and Sandoval during the worst of a New York winter, the partners invited three other artists who they thought would embody the exuberant spirit of the project: Misaki Kawai, Devin Troy Strothers and CH favorite Jen Stark. A Miami native, like FriendsWithYou, Stark jumped at the opportunity to work with her longtime friends. “Our work comes from a similar place,” says Stark. “Arturo and Sam tend to focus more on the spiritual side of things, while I tend to explore the psychedelia, mathematical side of the universe.”


Stark’s design for the Pool Party project is derived from her practice. Drawing upon her technicolor palette, the artist created a two-sided “wormhole lily-pad,” whose swirling color scheme seems to echo the fair’s lush setting. “In nature, color is an attractant,” explains Stark. “I love the idea of tapping into that psychology.” Optically engaging, Stark’s wormhole stands out among the more character focused designs created by the other artists. “My hope is that people use my design to transport themselves to another dimension,” smiles Stark. “I don’t have a pool in LA, but I’m definitely planning to use my float here.”

Created in an edition of 50, Stark’s and the other designs will be available exclusively at Soho Beach House in Miami and from Grey Area online for $300.

Images courtesy of Grey Area