Following a public vote by Miami Beach residents, two photographs and a wallpaper by Abu Dhabi-born, Dubai- and Brooklyn-based artist Farah Al Qasimi have been acquired by the city from Art Basel in Miami Beach (ABMB) through the Legacy Purchase Program. The works are featured in New York gallery Helena Anrather’s booth in the fair’s Positions sector.
The artist’s bold images, installed against a popping photographic wallpaper, received 533 public votes. The works are from her recent series chronicling attempts to create paradisiacal spaces on Earth—from cities and businesses across the US named Paradise, to private paradises like domestic spaces fitted with restorative flourishes during the pandemic lockdown. The series also reflects the artist’s biography as a grandchild of Lebanese immigrants navigating the expectations and exclusions of the American dream.
“Miami Beach is proud of our robust Art in Public Places program, and we are excited to add Farah’s incredible piece to our collection as this year’s Legacy Purchase,” mayor Dan Gelber said in a statement.
Al Qasimi’s works will be installed inside the Miami Beach Convention Center, where ABMB is held. The fair venue is also home to past Legacy Purchase Program acquisitions, including the Sanford Biggers quilt acquired last year during the fair’s virtual edition from David Castillo Gallery.
Miami Beach residents selected a mixed media work by Ebony G. Patterson in the inaugural edition of the program in 2019, though an Amoako Boafo portrait painting was just three votes behind. Rather than hold a recount—a controversial practice in Florida—the city opted to acquire both works, which are now on view in the convention center.