John Cox At Art Basel
Art Basel Miami Beach (ABMB) is the favorite winter meeting place for the international art world.
At the nexus of North America and Latin America, Art Basel presents premier artwork from across the globe. Over 250 of the world’s leading galleries participate, drawing over 50,000 visitors each year.
Also drawing on this niche market of art lovers are the many fringe and satellite art happenings surrounding the main event. It’s these under-the-radar treasure chests of talent that are just as much of a must-see as Art Basel itself. Topping the list is an installation of work by Bahamian artist, educator and curator John Cox.
Organized by high-style magazine, Ocean Drive, the official magazine sponsor of ABMB and dubbed “the Bible of South Beach”, along with the billion dollar Bahamian resort Baha Mar, this annual by-invitation-only exclusive art event draws various ABMB VIPs, collectors, and curators to a different location every year which is outfitted with the artwork of a chosen artist or artists. This year’s event will be held at a private venue on Fountain Island and co-hosted by U.S. actress Zoë Saldana.
Excited to be headed to Art Basel Miami Beach this week. Looking forward to setting up my installation. Special thanks to the Baha Mar team and the Ocean Drive Magazine folks for believing in my work. Also special thanks to Amanda D. Coulson for channeling my work in the right direction for this project. – John Cox
Intrigued by The Bahamas Pavilion at the Venice Biennale earlier this year, Ocean Drive contacted the NAGB’s director Amanda Coulson in mid-September inquiring what else The Bahamas had to offer in terms of contemporary art. Little did they know that Coulson had been laying the groundwork for over a year and a half for Bahamian artists to gain access to ABMB – the single largest international art gathering this side of the world which only happens to be a mere 40 minutes from our doorstep. Ocean Drive’s enquiry just happened to merge perfectly with what Coulson had been aiming to do for these many months.
Upon the magazine’s request, Coulson provided the magazine’s editors and publisher with the portfolios of 10 Bahamian artists. From this array of talented artists, Ocean Drive chose John Cox and Tavares Strachan. Unfortunately, Strachan had prior commitments and so Cox was then commissioned to stage the event with his own work exclusively.
Baha Mar was one of those places where Coulson planted the seeds of Art Basel. Eager to tap into the considerable clientele that is zealous for art and culture, Baha Mar generously offered their support to Ocean Drive and the NAGB in hosting this event featuring Cox’s work.
The art component of this project was designed by John Cox and approved by Denise Goudreau, CMO at Baha Mar. The main focus of this one-night installation is Cox’s iconic ‘How Much Do You Love Me?’ (2005) installation combined with his new ‘High Chair’ sculptures as well as four large format paintings, ‘Creative Industry’, ‘Amazing Grace’, ‘Hero’, and ‘Roots and Wings’, the latter having been produced exclusively for the ‘Topping Out’ ceremony at Baha Mar.
In an interview with Amanda Coulson yesterday, she expressed, “Because of the short turn around time between being chosen and the opening of ABMB, it was decided to use mostly works that John had already produced. There are a few that are being put together on site in Miami with found materials, such as his bike ‘High Chairs’. Some work, like the ‘How Much Do You Love Me?’ scroll, has been repurposed and extended. In this case, we hope this piece will be able to wrap around the entire house, interior and exterior. This is an audience who will not have seen his work before, so we looked at it as a mini-retrospective; a way to show an entirely new audience the growth of a single artist.”
With the Minister and Director-General of Tourism, The Hon. Obie Wilchcombe and Mr. David Johnson respectively, both confirming their attendance at the event this Friday, Coulson added, “we hope this event will help show that the arts and culture of The Bahamas are the future of tourism.”
Cox who hit the ground at full sprint when he landed in Miami yesterday expressed, “There is a lot going on but I am looking forward to setting up my installation.” He added his thanks to the Baha Mar team and Ocean Drive Magazine for believing in his work. He also extended his gratitude to Amanda Coulson for channeling his work in the right direction for this project.
Source: Bahamian Art & Culture Newsletter
December 5–8, 2013
About Art Basel
Leading international galleries show work from masters of Modern and contemporary art as well as pieces by newly emerging stars. Paintings, sculptures, drawings, installations, photographs, films, and editioned works of the highest quality are displayed in the main exhibition hall, while ambitious artworks and performances become part of the landscape at nearby beaches, Collins Park and SoundScape Park.
50,000 international visitors attended the 2012 edition of Art Basel in Miami, with artists, collectors, gallerists, curators and art enthusiasts creating the excitement that makes this singular event a remarkable way to encounter art.
Art Basel is strongly rooted in the principle that galleries play an essential role in the development and promotion of visual arts, and our sectors are thus carefully defined to provide opportunities for visitors to see many types of exhibitions.