Art and Music Intersect at Basement Miami
Basement Miami at The Miami Beach EDITION is excited to reveal the second installation of commissioned artwork by nationally recognised and Miami contemporary artists – Kehinde Wiley, Olivia Steele, Alex Becerra, Jessy Nite and Marlon Pruz. Basement Miami continues to support local emerging artists alongside established talent with commissioned custom, artist-designed bowling balls, light installations and site-specific murals.
Since opening in December 2014, Basement Miami has redefined the nightlife experience in the Magic City. This one-of-a-kind entertainment venue, a vision of hotelier and nightlife guru Ian Schrager, was designed to ignite the ultimate sensory experience. Basement Miami is a sophisticated and multidimensional playground for the young at heart with a nightclub, bowling alley and ice-skating rink – all outfitted with cutting-edge visual and auditory entertainment systems.
Miami-based contemporary artist Jessy Nite was commissioned by The Miami Beach EDITION to redesign the walls in Basement Miami to capture the energy and audience of the club. Her artwork incorporates a mix of pastels and geometric patterns with an iridescent finish that causes the walls to appear in flux. Jessy’s style of tropical modernism reflects much of the design elements seen in Miami and is also influenced by her travels throughout the Caribbean and South America, as well as the physical space and building of each installation. Jessy was recently commissioned by Nike to create the artwork for the window display at their newest store on Lincoln Road. More recently, she held a solo exhibition of new work titled, “Lighten Up,” at Start LA gallery.
“Basement is a complete nightlife setting, where lights are constantly changing in sync with the music, so I wanted to play into that idea and extend it further,” said Jessy Nite. “I wanted to create something that engages the audience while they dance and move throughout the space rather than a static piece.”
Contemporary light artist Olivia Steele was commissioned to create a series of neon lights for Basement Bowl and Skate. Suspended in time and motion, her works, “P.S. I Loved You” and “I Had Too Much To Dream Last Night”, decorate Basement Skate with an air of romanticism and nostalgia that are often associated with ice skating rinks. In Basement Bowl, “What If This Is All Real?” is situated above the lanes and reflects off the black mirrored walls of the bowling alley, which creates a visual echoing throughout the space. These are recent additions to the existing works by Steele that were installed at Basement in 2015 that have been popular Instagram-worthy pieces amongst anyone visiting the venue.
Steele’s artwork inspiration is grounded in a tradition of finding phrases that inspire reflection. With one sentimental, one philosophical and one playful piece, Steele hopes to transport visitors stopping by the hotel to a space where reality merges with the sublime. All the works together reflect the contrast between Basement and the rest of the resort and are made to activate the energy of the space.
EDITION commissioned world-famous artist Kehinde Wiley, Los Angeles-based artist Alex Becerra and Olivia Steele to create the second series of custom-designed artist bowling balls. Kehinde created the black bowling ball with an overlay of white and red flowers and vines. Alex designed the black bowling ball with green foliage and a portrait of his dog Fletch. Olivia designed the bowling ball with “Future Memories” inscribed in neon pink superimposed over dark clouds, which attributes to her light installations in Basement.
Miami-based fine arts illustrator and muralist Marlon Pruz designed the Basement Miami DJ booth and the Larry Lounge billiards table. Marlon said he drew inspiration from all things Miami and aimed to create a nature-meets-party vibe, specifically with the mural of alligators in a Cadillac on the DJ booth. Marlon added playful elements to each of his pieces, including a whimsical yet subtle line within the artwork on the billiards table that states, “Loser buys everyone drinks.”
Basement Miami is an international draw amongst visitors and local Miamians alike, and has been known to host celebrities, such as Rihanna, Drake, Leonardo DiCaprio, Ellie Goulding, and an endless mix of other artists, musicians, athletes and super models.