“Urban alchemy”¹/ lifestyle curating/ integrating art into everyday life, all of this I love. I also love that New England has stayed true to its European roots resulting in things like the beauty of Nantucket or our areas coveted “charm” We.all.love.this. But there is beauty on the opposite end of this spectrum that is causing quite a whirlpool in Miami right now. The creative yin to our yang if you will. When I sense a trend I am on it so listen up New Englanders. If you are in search of a tropical posh oasis book your stay now.
I also have a thing for ‘newly appointed utopia communities’² (Smart Growth done right) which became heir apparent as I approached FAENA Hotel Miami Beach. It’s hard to explain but this isn’t just a typical hotel that’s recently opened (December 2015). It is a conjoined movement involving big thinkers, the town mayor, a celebration of Latin American Art, oh – and a hotelier with serious vision (Alan Faena.) So please read on.
“I am here for lunch” I lied. I was here for so much more “Ah, very good. Right up those stairs ma’am.” The valet gestured up a white stair case to two hotel attendants flanking either side of a pair of doors. They politely greeted me and opened the doors as I gently stepped on the floor mosaic. As I entered into the foyer of the FAENA Hotel Miami Beach I realized it was true, FAENA is an “idea that turned into a culture” with a whole lot of red accent color. In retrospect I find it odd that I didn’t even notice the opulent art wing, I mean foyer, when I walked through the double doors. But that’s because my eyes were only on her, Damien Hirst’s gilden golden mammoth.
I knew I might be caught off guard once experiencing FAENA Hotel but I never thought a tear would surface (who gets so emotional over interior design anyways?) Luckily as soon as I passed through the foyer and opened the doors to the courtyard, the gusty wind evaporated that tell-tale tear. But this isn’t typical modern architecture. This is co-creation from one who is in alignment with their highest self coupled with some serious gumption. So it’s actually God happening and you can feel it.
I walked right up to Damien Hirst’s ‘Gone but Not Forgotten’, turned around and faced FAENA Hotel to take it all in.
Hirst in his own words courtesty of www.damienhirst.com states;
“The mammoth comes from a time and place that we cannot ever fully understand. Despite its scientific reality, it has attained an almost mythical status and I wanted to play with these ideas of legend, history and science by gilding the skeleton and placing it within a monolithic gold tank. It’s such an absolute expression of mortality, but I’ve decorated it to the point where it’s become something else, I’ve pitched everything I can against death to create something more hopeful, it is Gone but not Forgotten.”³
Hirst’s viewpoint notwithstanding, I must add that the juxtaposition of a 10,000 year old Ice Age mammal flanked by palm trees while glistening gold in the Florida sun is be-YOND. The owner of Alan Faena, purchased the piece recently giving it a permanent address here in Miami.
Think about it. 10,000 years ago a female mammoth fell down in mud in her frozen world and became fossilized forever (a zillion to one odds thank you very much). Then an artist with a touch of the macabre ingeniously pressed gold relief over said bones and encased them in glass (viola, ART.) Soon thereafter a hotelier visionary (let’s just call it what it is, Miami’s second coming) purchases her gold, fossilzed-bones-encased-in-glass-and-now-called-art and puts them in the tropical garden of his insanely fabulous hotel. I.mean.#WOW. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the art encapsulated here.
I sat down to process all my emotions from FAENA Hotel with its ‘Gone but not forgotten’ and ordered a salad and cranberry seltzer poolside. Then I started to look around me for things like Gigi Hadid. I also took time to study the murals in the foyer and realized there is a lot going on here in terms of symbolism and humanity’s strides and future possibilities. I also realized that not many would even understand the hidden mysticism for another hundred years. A little research on the murals proved to me that that was the whole point. Mr. Faena wants his hotel to be forever and for guests to see these murals decades from now and look back and say “Ah!”
Please enjoy or come visit to partake in the FEANA utopic community building that the mayor has now declared a national day of celebration after (December 1st.)
Alan Feana, you are bringing the va-va voom, beauty or bust heart of the Latino culture (with a touch of Morocco) to the northern hemisphere and awakening us all. Thank you for existing.
Cheers and Enjoy,
¹Quoted from Alan Faena
²W Magazine http://www.wmagazine.com/culture/2015/11/faena-district-miami-beach/photos/