For the 18th edition of Design Miami (until 4 December), the collectible design fair, curatorial director Maria Cristina Didero has chosen a hopeful theme. The Golden Age: Looking to the Future invokes creative optimism across time and space, celebrating idealised histories, alternative realities and the intrepid creation of objects for tomorrow—even amid the uncertainties of today.
Katie Stout'sUpside Down Fruit Lady (2022)
R & Company Gallery
Brooklyn-based Stout satirises the trappings of domesticity with her whimsical, ribald objects, fusing traditional craft techniques with the anarchic, feminist legacy of decorative art. “I feel confident that I made the most fucked-up piece at Design Miami,” she says. “She’s an upside-down fruit lady turning into a tree. You can turn her on by touching her butt.”
Rotganzen's Various works (2022)
Rademakers Gallery, $35,000
Rotganzen, a Dutch design collective in the tradition of American Pop art and the Italian Radical Design movements, intervenes within the visual language of everyday objects to inject an element of surprise. “Rotganzen is connecting something old with something new, vintage aesthetics with playfulness and drawing on popular American iconography that everyone can understand,” says gallery founder Pien Rademakers.
Leena Similu's Best Actress (2021)
The Future Perfect, $7,000
Los Angeles-based Similu makes ceramic sculptures about her experiences of motherhood and pregnancy, returning to the themes of facial pareidolia and her West African origins to ground her mask-like pieces.“The work is past, present and future happening at the same time,” says Future Perfect's sales director Kay Jaramillo, “She’s inspired by parenthood, heritage and what those two intersecting ideas mean to her.”
Kim Simonsson'sYear of the Moss Children (2022)
Jason Jaques Gallery
Finnish artist Simonsson’s work is inspired by the forests and folklore of his home country. His life-sized ceramic Moss People series features bright green, beguiling figures that peer at the viewer in eerie, silent wonder. “He was the main attraction at this year’s lille3000 triennale, where ten giant Moss Children marched down the promenade from Lille’s train station towards their opera building,” says gallerist Jason Jaques.
A$AP Rocky's Shroom Cactus (2022)
Italian furniture brand Gufram is presenting a hand-painted Shroom Cactus, a new edition by rapper and fashion maven A$AP Rocky and his design studio Hommemade. The piece was originally designed by Guido Drocco and Franco Mello in 1972, and has been reimagined for its 50th anniversary. “Working with a multidisciplinary artist like Rocky has been incredibly inspiring for me,” says Gufram’s Charley Vezza. “He is a big collector of our pieces. This made our collaboration genuine and incredibly easy to bring to life”. A$AP Rocky adds, “Since I’ve always advocated for mushrooms, it was only right that we made a cactus with [Gufram].”
Randy Polumbo's Organelle (2022)
Cristina Grajales Gallery, $55,000
Installation artist and master builder Polumbo creates materially complex environments and objects that reflect the majesty of the natural world. “Recently Randy has been fascinated by mushrooms and their properties, specifically mycelium,” says gallerist Cristina Grajales. “He’s using the mycelium as a base, combining the grotto detail with mercury paint and handblown glass elements.”
David Hicks's An Offering (Blue) (2020)
Mindy Solomon Gallery, $22,000
The monumental ceramics of California-based Hicks reflect the organic shapes of American flora. “All his work is inspired by the farms and landscape surrounding his home. It’s very autobiographical,” says gallerist Mindy Solomon.