Last week, we had the pleasure to join our friends at Audemars Piguet during their third year in a row as participants of at Art Basel Miami Beach. For those of you not quite familiar with this international event, this is one of the most renowned art fairs in the world with three shows staged annually in Basel, Switzerland; Miami Beach, Florida; and Hong Kong. Art Basel showcases contemporary artworks by established and emerging artists.
This year's 2017 Art Basel edition was held at the Miami Beach Convention Center with over 82,000 visitors, 268 galleries from some of the largest cities in the world including New York, London, Sao Paulo, Hong Kong, L.A., Madrid, Mexico City, Milan, Tokyo, Chicago, Berlin and Singapore just to name a few.
For this edition of Art Basel, Audemars Piguet setup two different exhibitions, one located in the a special VIP area named the Collectors Lounge within the Art Basel space at the Convention Center and the other one at the oceanfront between 21st and 22nd streets in South Beach, Florida.
At the Audemars Piguet booth located at the Collectors Lounge, the brand had an impressive layout with two watchmakers on duty and a massive tree —fully carved out of a solid block of wood by a robot and that was meant to look like drift wood— created by Chilean artist Sebastian Errazuriz. After François-Henry Bennahmias —CEO of Audemars Piguet— welcomed us all, we were able to interact with the artist and watchmakers at the booth that were showcasing the artistry of snow setting, the Florentine hammering technique behind the Royal Oak Frosted Gold and a deep immersion on the black ceramic Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar ref. 26579CE.OO.1225CE.01, its calibre 5134 and craftsmanship.
Meanwhile, by the beach and adjacent to the W South Beach, the second exhibition set up by the Audemars Piguet Art Commission with film director Lars Jan created an unforgettable spectacle of light, motion and serenity in what was presented as the Slow Moving Luminaries. Sporting our Royal Oak Offshore Diver ref. 15710ST and our Royal Oak Extra-Thin in rose gold ref. 15202OR, we embarked into this magnificent exhibit that hosted a special event every single evening.
The Audemars Piguet Art Commission supports artists in the creation of works of exceptional complexity, precision, and experiential impact on an ongoing, annual basis. The newly commissioned art works, overseen by an annual guest curator and selected by an international advisory board, are presented to the public to coincide with Art Basel's editions in Basel, Hong Kong and Miami Beach. Audemars Piguet provides the necessary resources to the invited artists and secures access to advanced tools, craft expertise, or sophisticated technology to realize important new creative projects. Lars Jan’s large-scale project was presented to the public during Art Basel in Miami Beach Oceanfront, from December 4th through the 10th.
A striking exhibition that became alive at night, showcased Lars Jan's genre-bending performance and installation works exploring emerging technologies, live gatherings, and unclassified experiences. Los Angeles based artist, activist, director, designer, writer, filmmaker, and photographer, Lars Jan, created an immersive, mechanized installation in a two-level structure on the Miami Beach oceanfront. Deeply experiential, the work features floating model buildings, a series of large-format light boxes and a film —evoking the long passage of time, ephemeral thoughts and the blurring between built and wild landscapes.
The exhibition curated by Kathleen Forde who's based in Istanbul and New York showcased Lars work in a magnificent way. Kathleen Forde is Artistic Director at Large for Borusan Contemporary, Istanbul, where she has organized numerous solo exhibitions and concurrently works as an independent curator with various institutions both nationally and abroad.
In a city gripping the very edge of the continent, “Slow Moving Luminaries” staged a hypnotic, unsettling encounter between natural and man made elements, compelling visitors to consider a cultural moment between civilization and chaos. A clear portray of the disruption created by man in our fragile ecosystems.
Finally, to celebrate yet another incredible year of Audemars Piguet's participation at Art Basel, last Friday December 8th, the brand hosted a delightful cocktail in the usual AP style with great hors d'oeuvres, endless amounts of champagne and a live DJ that played some memorable tunes 'a la South Beach.'
At the party, clients and friends of the brand we all mingled around with special attendees Olivier Audemars —the great-grandson of Edward Auguste Piguet and member of the board of directors for Audemars Piguet—, Antonio Seward —CEO for Audemars Piguet North America— and members of the ultra friendly staff at the Audemars Piguet Boutique in Bal Harbor.
As usual, when it comes to AP, we had a delightful time in Miami that culminated in a fun and yet another night to remember. Thank you Audemars Piguet for having us over.