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The Wolfsonian-FIU Presents 'New Voices, New Works' During Art Basel at Miami Beach
Todd Oldham is a well-known designer and an innovator of accessible design.
MIAMI BEACH, FL.- The Wolfsonian–Florida International University announces New Voices. New Works, a series of site-specific pieces inspired by The Wolfsonian’s collection and curated by designer Todd Oldham in celebration of Art Basel | Miami Beach 2009. Participating artists are Megan Whitmarsh, Wayne White, and Brock Shorno. Other events in conjunction with the installations and Art Basel include a public program featuring a series of conversations with the participating artists, moderated by Oldham; a children’s craft and design workshop led by Oldham and inspired by his new book, Kid Made Modern; and entertainment by performance artist Leslie Hall.

New Voices. New Works will be on view beginning Tuesday, December 1, 2009. It includes a series of videos in the auditorium as well as installations on the façade of the exterior, in the Bridge Tender’s House, and in the permanent collection gallery. Durkan, the hospitality br and of the Mohawk Group, is also producing original, signed, limited-edition welcome mats designed for this event by Oldham and each of the participating artists. A frequent Oldham collaborator, Durkan is a leader in innovative design solutions and high style, high performance hospitality carpet. Available in four distinct designs, each mat takes its cue from the inspirations of the New Voices. New Works installations. The 2’x 3’ mats will be on sale for $250 at The Dynamo Museum Shop, with all proceeds benefiting the museum.

Todd Oldham, New Voices. New Works curator
Todd Oldham is a well-known designer and an innovator of accessible design. Originally a New York fashion designer and the host of “Todd Time” on MTV's House of Style, Oldham is currently the mentor on Top Design, Bravo's reality competition series spotlighting interior design. Todd's career has evolved to include all areas of design, from interior design, film and photography, to furniture, carpets, graphic art, and a collection of floral design for FTD.com. Oldham is the author of Hand Made Modern, and hosted HGTV's Hand Made Modern series of specials. He designed The Hotel and Wish restaurant in South Beach . Oldham is also the author of several books including a monograph on the life's work of artist Charley Harper; a unique series called Place Space that explores br illiant, singular places and the uncommonly devoted people that create them; his newest book, Kid Made Modern; and he is the editor of a monograph on the br illiant, warped work of Wayne White (one of the installation artists).

Megan Whitmarsh, creator of “ Trash Mountain ” and “Recursive Objects” for New Voices. New Works
Megan Whitmarsh, born in 1972, lives and works in Los Angeles . She is known for her idiosyncratic and detailed hand em br oidery, a medium she has been working in since the mid 1990s. She works in a variety of low-tech media including self-published comic books, stop action animation film, soft sculpture, painting, and drawing. Her work refers to the visual noise of her youth in the 1970s and 1980s. Her work has been exhibited internationally, including shows in New York , Los Angeles , Reykjavik , Toronto , Brussels , Barcelona , Malmo , Bologna , Tokyo and Seoul .

“ Trash Mountain ” is a mountain of handmade trash that examines Whitmarsh’s discomfort with the excess and disposability of modern culture and her effort to transform her anxiety by making these objects friendly and familiar. This piece anticipates its own failure as it immediately adds ephemera to the world. It’s Oscar the Grouch meets Claes Oldenburg. She will fill the museum’s Bridge Tender’s House, fronting the museum’s Washington Avenue façade, with this mountain of trash.

“Recursive Objects,” a series of sculptures made in response to The Wolfsonian’s collection, will be covertly interspersed throughout the museum. While the varied backgrounds of the items in The Wolfsonian’s vast collection range from high design to humble utilitarian items, each piece also resonates with a sense of character. Whitmarsh notes that the act of collecting these objects creates an appealing sense of meaning and self-worth that can serve as a metaphor for the act of making art. Whitmarsh has made facsimiles of some of these objects (to replace the originals typically on view) and has also added her own inventions with similarly invented backgrounds.

Wayne White, creator of “Beauty is Embarrassing” for New Voices. New Works

Wayne White’s painting and sculptures have been exhibited in galleries and museums across the world. He was a three-time Emmy winner for his set and puppet designs on PeeWee’s Playhouse, as well as an art director for music videos such as Peter Ga br iel’s “Big Time” and the Smashing Pumpkin’s “Tonight, Tonight.” Recently, he created an art installation of a twenty-three-foot-long puppethead of the country music legend George Jones titled “Big Lectric Fan To Keep Me Cool While I Sleep” at Houston’s Rice University. A monograph of his thirty-year career, Maybe Now I’ll Get The Respect I So Richly Deserve, edited by Todd Oldham, has just been published by Ammo Books.

In “Beauty is Embarrassing,” White, whose paintings often include quirky words and phrases, will create enormous banners of words that comment on the aesthetic experience of the museum, literally becoming the giant id of the institution’s collection of art and design. The words will collaborate with the architecture to create a large-scale, humorous dialogue about the contemplation of beauty.

Brock Shorno, creator of “New Men & Unusuals”for New Voices. New Works
Brock Shorno is an artist engaged in the investigation of object, body, and space. Formal training in sculpture at Hunter College has led to his current work with video and performance. He lives and works in Brooklyn , New York . For “New Men & Unusuals,” Shorno created a series of short videos that examine the relationship between the viewer and the art object. His process involved setting parameters for selecting a dozen objects from The Wolfsonian's collection of approximately 120,000 items. He notes that collection of this size can intimidate viewers and that the desire to see everything on view in the exhibitions as viewers pass through gallery after gallery of objects mounted in places of privilege puts the viewer in a passive role in which the task of examining and understanding becomes overwhelming. Shorno chose each of the objects from The Wolfsonian for its visual appeal and also for its ability to disrupt this experience and create a space for interaction. In each video segment, he documents the actions of an invented character overcoming the passivity of viewing a massive collection. These characters are inspired by the objects they encounter to take an active role in viewing that is based on individual ways of looking.


The Wolfsonian | New Voices. New Works | Todd Oldham | Art Basel |


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