Bill Claps attending the Yara Bashoor Arts&Philanthropy cocktail in Miami
For the first time ever at Art Basel Miami, five of the top contemporary artists were asked to create handbags which were auctioned by Sotheby’s Gabriella Palmieri to benefit mainly Make-A-Wish® Southern Florida:
John Armleder, Bill Claps, Domingo Zapata, Mariella Agois and David Noonan produced their very special art on alligator handbags by the Florida-based designer Yara Bashoor.
The bags were displayed for the first time at an event on December 1 in a gorgeous waterfront setting on Palm Island where 200 guests followed the auction of Sotheby‘s. Gabriella Palmieri enthusiastically auctioned them for the charities Make-A-Wish® Southern Florida, Doctors without Borders, Miami Children‘s hospital, PorEso! and the Bill Clasp Foundation.
John Armleder and his handbag at the Yara Bashoor cocktail in Miami
Each handbag expresses uniquely the form of art each artist is known for:
John Armleder, the most reputable Swiss artist and whose artworks range in the 6-digit range, drew his inspiration from the 1996 movie “Eraser” where Arnold Schwarzenegger’s character kills an alligator by saying “You are a luggage now.” John Armleder decorated the clutch of Yara Bashoor with the tag “Now you are a handbag.” Armleder supports Doctors without Borders.
Bill Claps expressed a statement of inspiration, “Jump into the stream, follow your dream” on a black alligator clutch with golden morse codes, characteristic of his recent works expressing ideas of art talk. “This is the first time I ever collaborated with fashion and it was a lot of fun,” he said about his partnership with Yara Bashoor. He supports his non-profit organization PSAL Bill Claps granting scholarships to students.
Domingo Zapata painted a tote bag in his typical expressive style featuring “KISS ME,” an allegory which he has used in other of his artworks in the past. “As a father of two children I chose the Miami Children Hospital which is dear to my heart,” Zapata explained.
Mariella Agois painted the small shoulder handbag in an abstract, striped and geometric way. She supports the Peruvian nonprofit Por Eso!, an organization helping malnutrition in children living in the majestic mountains of Cuzco.
David Noonan known for transforming black and white historical imagery into striking collages and large-scale silk-screened tableaux on linen or film created a tote with his motif owl on white linen on black alligator. He supports Make-A-Wish® Southern Florida.
“Women make a statement with their handbag. When they carry a beautifully designed and handcrafted handbag painted or modified by a renowned artist, it is the epitome of style. You showcase your one of a kind work of art when you wear it,” explains designer Yara Bashoor. She founded an eponymous handbag and accessory company in Miami Florida using primarily American alligator skins and who had the inspiration for this unique partnership with artists during Miami Art Basel.