The blog of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
What if, instead of schlepping off to Home Depot, you could furnish your house with art you fell in love with while visiting galleries? Hand-painted sofas, light-box beds, glittering lamps. For most of us,
that's pretty much a dream — but one you can fantasize about at Praxis International Art. At the exhibit "Home: Dream Home," the living room, dining room, bedroom, bathroom and kitchen are all decorated with art pieces from an impressive group of local artists.
The designer, er, curator, of this show is Grela Orihuela, executive producer of the film company Wet Heat Project (which made features about Bert Rodriguez and Hernan Bas) and all-around art lover. During her years of art gazing and film making, she made a mental note of the functional works of art that she would use to furnish her ideal home. Then she thought, well if I can't buy it all, I can at least show it off. Almost all the pieces in this show she saw exhibited before (two are specifically crafted for it), so she went to the artists and picked out the works. Most are indeed functional, although painting and sculpture are included, too — but hey, what respectable house would go without, so we can put them in the functional column as well. All are also for sale, and since Orihuela cannot be the proud owner of them all, she hopes others will feel encouraged to pick something up — and sit on it.
In the living room is a sofa and chairs painted by David Rohn, a table by Emmett Moore, complete with a small sculpture topping it by Typoe, and some paintings on the wall from Mette Tommerup. Over in the study, a rug made from the stuffing of stuffed animals comes from Agustina Woodgate, and the Ikea stool set was crafted by Nicholas Arehart. There's a must-see paper-towel roll with some very special, stencil-looking wording from BooksIIII Bischof, who also made the street-art "wall paper" in the dining room. There, check out the bowl of square strawberries on the table.
In the bedroom, Rodriguez made the bed and bench with low-lights, while a terrific lamp light piece from Paul Myoda electrifies the room. In the bathroom, another light piece, this time from Kyle Trowbridge, means more when you find out where the script on it comes from; but you'll have to discover that on your own.
There are many other unique and interesting pieces, from the likes of Natasha Duwin, Brian Burkhardt, Jose Felix Perez, Gean Moreno and Ernesto Oroza and Michael Loveland, to name only some of them. It's a big, creative home catalogue, no longer just a dream. Oh, and on the way out, take a break on the outdoor bus bench from Loriel Beltran. You won't break it, promise.
"Home: Dream Home" opens Saturday, July 9 and runs through Aug. 13 at Praxis International Art, 2219 N.W. Second Ave., Miami; www.praxis-art.com.