Episode 03

Miami Prepares for the #ZVInvasion

By Whitewall
Whitewall Presents, December 1, 2018
Chapter 1

A Miami Take-Over

Zadig & Voltaire
Courtesy of Jessy Nite

Since Zadig & Voltaire’s first stores opened in Paris and New York, contemporary art has been a major focus of their retail spaces. Sculptures, neons, and collectibles by artists like Dan Flavin, Will Boone, Eva Rothschild, and Christopher Wool are interspersed with the brand’s latest edgy offerings. That’s thanks to founder Thierry Gillier’s passion for collecting, alongside his wife and Zadig & Voltaire artistic director, Cecilia Bönström.

The French fashion house is taking that love of art one step further for the city’s biggest art event—Art Basel in Miami Beach. Their Miami Design District store will feature a one-of-a-kind collaboration.

Zadig & VoltaireCourtesy of Zadig & Voltaire

Zadig & Voltaire connected with Whitewall Magazine and the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) Miami, to curate a selection of emerging talents with whom to collaborate.

The resulting artist customized signature pieces will be on view at the brand’s Design District store this week, as well as available to purchase starting Tuesday, December 4 online with Heritage Auctions. Proceeds from the sale will go toward the ICA.

Before the limited edition-capsule collection is unveiled, let’s meet the artists involved.

Zadig & VoltaireCourtesy of Zadig & Voltaire
Courtesy of Zadig & Voltaire.

Chapter 1 — Noteworthy

Zadig & Voltaire

Since Zadig & Voltaire’s first stores opened in Paris and New York, contemporary art has been a major focus of their retail spaces.

Zadig & Voltaire

That’s thanks to founder Thierry Gillier’s passion for collecting, alongside his wife and Zadig & Voltaire artistic director, Cecilia Bönström.

Zadig & Voltaire

The French fashion house is taking that love of art one step further for the city’s biggest art event—Art Basel in Miami Beach. Their Miami Design District store will feature a one-of-a-kind collaboration.

Chapter 2

Meet the Artists

Courtesy of Jessie Nite.

For the #ZVInvasion, artists Jessy Nite, AHOL SNIFFS GLUE, Angel Garcia, Alexander Mijares, Juan Travieso, as well as students from Miami’s Design and Architecture Senior High Carolina Rodriguez and Dexter Pomilban, were asked to put their mark Zadig & Voltaire’s signature jackets, sneakers, and bags.

Before the specially customized pieces went on view, we got to know a bit more about their recent work and practice.

Zadig & VoltaireCourtesy of AHOL SNIFFS GLUE
Zadig & VoltaireCourtesy of AHOL SNIFFS GLUE

AHOL SNIFFS GLUE
You may have seen some of Miami-based AHOL SNIFFS GLUE’s instantly recognizable street murals around town this week. Drawing inspiration from urban environments and dehumanizing societal systems, he draws on themes like mass media, pop culture, and marginalized pockets of society. His drowsy eye motif represents his unique vision of life, labor, and love for the city he calls home.

“I am completely consumed with creating every day and maximizing every second of each day. I’m either painting a wall, canvas, or any unique surface I can reclaim as a work of art. I do digital work and draw a lot. I’m always working and plotting,” AHOL SNIFFS GLUE told us of his practice. Driven by a desire to do something he hasn’t done yet, and pursue whatever and wherever his interests take him, he told us right now he’s, “been doing a lot more textured pieces, site-specific pop ups and activations, and several collaborations with cool companies I’ve admired.”

Zadig & VoltaireAlexander Mijares
Zadig & VoltaireAlexander Mijares in the studio

Alexander Mijares
Alexander Mijares not only lives and works in Miami, he was born there, too. The self-taught artist creates colorful and vibrant pieces, inspired by his Cuban and Spanish roots, as well as the energy and culture of his hometown. It’s been a mission of the internationally-recognized talent to also give back to his community, getting involved in local charities and projects in Haiti, the Dominican Republic, and Cuba.

“For my new collection, I wanted to really open up, which I have never done before. I am painting 10 self-portraits, all in black and white, of moments and emotions in my life that have got me to where I am today and made me the person I am today,” he told us of his recent paintings. “It was very challenging allowing myself to open up like I did for this body of work, but it was also uplifting—like so much weight was lifted off my back. It’s been an emotional rollercoaster for sure.”

Zadig & VoltaireAngel Garcia
Zadig & VoltaireCourtesy of Angel Garcia

Angel Garcia
Angel Garcia maintains a multidisciplinary practice in Miami. The Cuban-American artist has a background in tarology and tattooing, which serves as a reference point for her illustrations and visual practice. She studied at Brooklyn College, and recently her work has shown at Locust Projects (2018), Spinello Projects (2017), and other cultural institutions.

“Lately I’ve been working on a series of gimp paintings—trying to explore my relationship with boundaries, care, and fetish. I’ve also been making sculptures out of air dry clay that look very bodily and in a state of decay. The themes in my work are pretty consistent—even in tattooing I make drawings with leather or latex, body hair, or am working with mystical and tarological elements,” Garcia told us.

Zadig & VoltaireJessy Nite in the studio
Zadig & VoltaireCourtesy of Jessy Nite

Jessy Nite
Miami-based Jessy Nite is recognized for her site-specific, interactive works that place conceptual art in public spaces. Her use of color and custom typography carries a playful, deep-rooted narrative, across a variety of disciplines. Her murals, sculptures, and installations can be seen across the country and the globe. She’s exhibited in London, Zurich, Viennea, and Bangkok.

“I have been working on large scale installations based in metal,” Nite said of her current practice. “I have one going up at Facebook headquarters and another coming in the spring to Homestead’s Robert Is Here farm.”

Zadig & VoltaireJuan Travieso
Photo by Dillon Buss
Zadig & VoltaireCourtesy of Juan Travieso

Juan Travieso
Cuban-born Juan Travieso currently lives and works in New York and New Jersey. He employs a realist painting technique with surreal elements like spatial splicing, bright palettes, and geometric abstraction. His compositions often look like digitized renderings, informed by the awkward, artificial simultaneity of 3-D models, and devolve in moments to pixelated digital facsimiles, reminding us of the unavoidably temporal nature of disappearance. An activist and environmentalist, as well, he has exhibited in New York, Miami, Boston, Los Angeles, and internationally.

“What I am working on in the studio is a whole new body of work that deals more with the figure. I’m trying to add fashion and landscape to my paintings. The human body is such a powerful vehicle to tell stories,” he shared with Whitewall. “I am also continuing to work on various series that I have been expanding over a few years now. I see myself continuing to explore these subjects of biodiversity and environmental issues. These crucial ideas are very important to me.”

Zadig & VoltaireCourtesy of Juan Travieso

Chapter 2 — Noteworthy

Zadig & Voltaire

AHOL SNIFFS GLUE's drowsy eye motif represents his unique vision of life, labor, and love for the city he calls home.

Zadig & Voltaire

Miami-based Jessy Nite is recognized for her site-specific, interactive works that place conceptual art into public spaces.

Zadig & Voltaire

The self-taught Alexander Mijares creates colorful and vibrant pieces, inspired by his Cuban and Spanish roots, as well as the energy and culture of his hometown.

Chapter 3

Meet the Student Artists

Zadig & VoltaireCourtesy of Carolina Rodriguez

The #ZVInvasion project not only tapped Miami-based and connected artist, through the ICA, it reached out to promising young artists currently enrolled in the city’s Design and Architecture Senior High (DASH). The talented Carolina Rodriguez and Dexter Pomilban share below what they’re working on lately.

Zadig & VoltaireCarolina Rodriguez
Zadig & VoltaireCourtesy of Carolina Rodriguez

“Recently in my paintings, I have been exploring the concept of altering places that already exist and further adding scenes on the walls to paint a connection that certain subjects have to an individual area. This theme intrigues me because it allows me to implement memories that have to do with various people and places that are crucial to my life. I use a combination of laying down acrylic paint with pallet knifes and brushes to create a layering affect. I use both conventional and unconventional surfaces as my canvas. I have always been comfortable using acrylic paint with brushes, but just recently started using the pallet knife as a tool. It allows me to add a different type of expression and texture to the images I depict,” Rodriguez said.

“This idea of showcasing individuals in certain settings that encompass this feeling of nostalgia has always appealed to me. I take most of my inspiration from environments around me and depicting them in my art, ranging from beach and underwater settings to more urban, street environment.”

Zadig & VoltaireDexter Pomilban
Zadig & VoltaireCourtesy of Dexter Pomilban

“I’m working towards becoming an Industrial designer, specifically the transportation design side of this field. Cars are something that I am really passionate about, and I see them as a form of art, sculptures. Right now, I’m working on an FCA-sponsored project that asked me and my peers to design the ultimate status vehicle for a celebrity, and the celebrity I chose was Idris Elba, someone who looks as cars the same way I do. This gives me the opportunity to just get really creative and see how far I can take a sculpture on wheels,” said Pomilban.

Chapter 3 — Noteworthy

Zadig & Voltaire

The #ZVInvasion includes collaborations with Design and Architecture Senior High (DASH) students, Carolina Rodriguez and Dexter Pomilban

Zadig & Voltaire

In her work, Rodriguez has been exploring the concept of altering places that already exist and further adding scenes on the walls to paint a connection that certain subjects have to an individual area.

Zadig & Voltaire

Pomilban is working towards becoming an Industrial designer, specifically the transportation design side of this field.

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