The inaugural UR1 Music & Art Festival featuring Kanye West, The Offspring and Lou Reed will launch during the most influential art week in the country, blending music with world-class artists Russell Young, Warhol Superstar Ultra Violet and Isaiah Seret across multiple genres and generations. Slated to coincide with Art Basel Miami Beach on December 8 – 9, 2012 at Bayfront Park, 34 established and emerging contemporary and modern artists will explore performance, film, new media, sculpture, street art, painting and more with 30 site-specific installations.
The 32-acre landscape designed by Isamu Noguchi, the 20th century’s foremost American sculptor, was revamped in the early 1980s to introduce Miami as the gateway to the Americas. His vision for Bayfront Park as a place for the people – “a wedge of art into the heart of the new world” – is central to the concept of UR1 Festival, whose international roster also comprises Miami-based artists Agustina Woodgate and Typoe (Spinello Projects), Bhakti Baxter (Gallery Diet) and Andrew Nigon (Primary Projects). Under the helm of Art Director David Glass, UR1 Festival’s program will further spotlight South Florida’s brand of arts at Noguchi’s historic site on a global stage. For more information, visit the website at www.ur1festival.com/art.
Prescient to Miami’s arts boom, Noguchi described his plan for Bayfront Park in the ‘80s, “I had a vision: I saw the earth as a sculpture.” This vision will be paid homage at UR1 Festival with Tribute – a multi-media program produced by KIWI Arts Group, in collaboration with Long-Sharp Gallery.
Artist, best-selling author and Warhol Superstar Ultra Violet (Isabelle Collin Dufresne) will honor the master sculptor’s iconic 100-foot “Light Tower” – the first of three Noguchi installations at Bayfront Park – with one of the most rare and powerful outdoor single-beam laser installations. Set to ignite at sundown on Wednesday, December 5 during Art Basel Miami Beach’s VIP night, a polychromatic light will shoot five miles into the sky from the tower and across Biscayne Bay, toward the Miami Beach Convention Center. LaserNet, the company that originally worked with Noguchi to bring his “Light Tower” to conception, will now assist Ultra Violet in giving the structure a second life. The luminescent laser beam will be a bridge of light, visible from central Downtown Miami to Art Basel headquarters every evening through Sunday, December 9.
Long-Sharp Gallery’s 5,000-square-foot exhibition featuring Russell Young will bring a musical sensibility to the Tribute series. Emerging on the fine art scene more than 10 years ago with a series of paintings titled “Pig Portraits,” which captured public figures with a camera used in a police station, Young’s work has since appeared in the collections of prominent figures such as President Barack Obama, Crown Prince Pavlos of Greece, and of UR1 Festival headliner, Kanye West. Tribute will showcase the artist’s pieces from the course of his earliest rock ‘n’ roll mug shots to those of legends Elvis Presley, Jim Morrison and Jimi Hendrix, with edition screenprints of Lou Reed, Mick Jagger and more. Curated by international art dealer and gallerist Rhonda Long-Sharp, this exhibit will also include work by David Datuna, the highest-selling artist at SCOPE 2011, and Gino Miles, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol, to name a few. For more information, please visit www.longsharpgallery.com.
William John Kennedy, who photographed Andy Warhol and Robert Indiana – creator of the famed LOVE emblem – in the early 1960s, will participate in Tribute with a video montage of his signature photos. Referencing the rise of the Pop Art movement and the universal impact of Warhol’s mass cultural imagery on the fine art world, Kennedy’s montage is a nod to both Noguchi’s idea for Bayfront Park and UR1 as a festival with wide variety during art fair season. The photographer’s piece will be projected on a Jumbotron on the main stage, serving as a backdrop for performances throughout the weekend. For more information about Kennedy, please visit www.kiwiartsgroup.com.
The Art of 5 Minutes
The Art of 5 Minutes (TAOFM) examines the music video through the lens of contemporary art. Isaiah Seret, director of Adidas UK’s “Take The Stage” commercial aired during the London 2012 Olympics, and Norah Jones’ “Happy Pills” and Cults’ “Go Outside” music videos, will lead an outstanding line-up of directors including: Ryan Staake (Diplo’s “Set it Off”); Philip Andelman (Lenny Kravitz’ “I’ll be Waiting”); and Gil Green (Lupe Fiasco’s “Bitch Bad”). Taking a closer look at music videos or illustrated songs, which today can only be seen via alternative new media channels, TAOFM creator Esther Park views this project as a wholly site-specific experience. A pseudo “Container Village,” consisting of large shipping containers in the northwest area of Bayfront Park, will serve as screening/exhibition studios curated by the directors as an aural, visual and spatial platform for their work.
One of Miami’s darling galleries, Spinello Projects, presents site-specific installations by artists Agustina Woodgate, Typoe and Sinisa Kukec. Woodgate’s “1111 Billboards,” unveiled as a commission for Locust Projects in 2011, will be revamped this year to cover the upper portion of Noguchi’s “Light Tower” during UR1 Festival. Whereas Ultra Violet will be reigniting the structure with a laser beam, Woodgate – a rising star in the contemporary art world – is renewing its façade with hologram-like, reflective material. A reoccurring theme in the young artist’s work includes adapting innovative use of materials to pre-existing architectural elements.
Typoe, whose most recognized works include “Confetti Death,” is carving a bust that marks a bold departure from his familiar materials and symbols of skulls, spray-paint cans and gunpowder. Aptly dubbed “Bust,” the sculpture molded after an antique Victorian woman will tower 14-feet and is made of foam and resin. Its clean finish is pristine white and glossy, and like much of Typoe’s concepts, will offer the viewer ample room for interpretation.
Sculpture, Murals and Mixed Media
In addition to the “Light Tower,” Noguchi’s installations at Bayfront Park include the “Challenger Memorial,” and the “Slide Mantra” — a 10-foot high white carrara marble slide that captured the artist’s belief that play could lead to a new appreciation of sculpture.
UR1 Festival’s David Glass has planned a dynamic sculptural survey that embraces Noguchi’s philosophy in form and composition, including modernist, surrealist and contemporary genres. Artists presenting sculptural works: Bhakti Baxter, Books IIII Bischof, F.R.E.E. Interactive, Sinisa Kukec, Gino Miles, Andrew Nigon and Johnny Robles.
Glass’ program further celebrates Miami’s acclaimed outdoor murals with Douglas “HOX” Hoekzema, Francesco LoCastro, Ruben Ubeira and Kiki Valdez. Ascribing his most recent influences to the emerging “Graffuturist” movement that focuses on process and energetic movement, HOX will create two large-scale murals. In addition to using the vibrant colors indigenous to Florida’s street art palette for an 800-square-foot elliptical wall near the Bayfront Amphitheater, he will unveil a uniquely monochromatic black and white mural on the south wall adjacent to the “Light Tower.”
Brandon Opalka, who notably painted a 130-foot tree on its side spanning the length of Dorsch Gallery’s west wall during Art Basel Miami Beach 2009, will bring this concept to life in a series of mixed media installations. For UR1 Festival, Opalka will install fluorescent lighting on the trunks of the fairground’s palm trees, before applying layers of shrink wrap as both a protective film and canvas for painting. The intersection between nature and material is a running theme in the artist’s work. When complete, Opalka’s trees will conjure images of flora re-imagined, with graffiti-painted trunks glowing from the lights within.
UR1 Music & Art Festival’s featured artists include filmmakers Isaiah Seret, Ryan Staake, Gil Green and Philip Andelman; visual artists Ahol Sniffs Glue, Jean-Michel Basquiat (Long-Sharp Gallery), Bhakti Baxter (Gallery Diet), Books IIII Bischof (Primary Flight), David Datuna (Long-Sharp Gallery), Mark Diaz, Jim Dine (Long-Sharp Gallery), Douglas “HOX” Hoekzema, F.R.E.E. Interactive (Pencils & Sawblades), Robert Indiana (Long-Sharp Gallery), Sinisa Kukec (Spinello Projects), Keith Haring (Long-Sharp Gallery), Benjamin Hollingsworth, William John Kennedy (KIWI Arts Group), Roy Lichtenstein (Long-Sharp Gallery), Francesco LoCastro, Gino Miles (Long-Sharp Gallery), Andrew Nigon (Primary Projects), Brandon Opalka (Dorsch Gallery), Johnny Robles, Typoe (Spinello Projects), Ruben Ubeira (Michael Margulies Agency), Kiki Valdes (Michael Margulies Agency), Ultra Violet (KIWI Arts Group), Andy Warhol (Long-Sharp Gallery), Augustina Woodgate (Spinello Projects) and Russell Young (Long-Sharp Gallery); and fashion designer Karelle Levy (Krelwear).
UR1 Music & Art Festival
Date & Hours
Saturday and Sunday, December 7 – 8, 2012
11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. rain or shine
301 N Biscayne Boulevard
Miami, FL 33132
Two-Day Festival Pass: $149 plus service charges
Tickets available online at www.ur1festival.com; pre-sales end December 8 at 9:00 a.m.
Open to all ages
Admission includes access to the art fairgrounds and performances by Kanye West, The Offspring, Lou Reed, Keane, FUN., Santigold, Ghostland Observatory, Erick Morillo, Sven Väth, Pete Tong, Bob Sinclar, Reboot, Dan Deacon, Kevens, Sven Väth, Dubfire, Carl Craig, Guy Gerber, Stacey Pullen, Onur, Özer, Tobi Neumann, Seth Troxler, Damian Lazarus, Davide Squillace, The Martinez Brothers, Cassy, Matthias Tanzmann, Dyed Soundorom, Dan Ghenacia, Luna City Express and more.