Feast Your Eyes: The Razzle of Basel Begins with Artist Karel Fonteyne

A month ago, our MGFD Café was a parking lot outside the Miami Beach Convention Center. Today, some of the finest design houses in the world have put together their finest pieces for a show that we are thrilled to keep espressoed and fed. It is a tense, purposeful silence that floats through the tent above low conversations. Gone are the buzz saws, the drills, and the dust, here is the design. This is Design Miami/.

The international art community has descended upon us for Art Basel, one of its most influential global forums, and back in the Design District Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink and Harry’s Pizzeria have dressed for the show.  The walls in our flagship’s main dining room shimmer with a new installation by talented artist and our restaurant designer Carl Myers. In the Gallery Room and at Harry’s hang the works of Karel Fonteyne curated by Director Chana Sheldon of our neighborhood art cooperative, Locust Projects. Natural objects are photographed with a technical camera and printed in extremely high resolution in these limited edition, embossed prints. The starkness of a rose branch or a pine needle is seen so vividly it’s felt, and contrasted by the comfort of each piece of nature.

Karel spent his childhood in Belgium. He wandered through the woods drawing inspiration from all that surrounded him. “In photographs I work more like a painter by starting with an idea that I sketch putting the different elements of my emotions together.” Like a recipe, starting with ingredients. Not surprisingly, Karel likes to cook. “It is for me the same as making my photographs, giving the ingredients a twist by putting them together in another way so you create an unexpected taste.” Like food for the eyes.

For forty-five years Karel has taken pictures. He has lived in Italy, New York, Tokyo, Spain, and France. From 1981 to 1994 he worked as a fashion photographer, with images gracing the covers of Vogue Italia and Vogue Japan. “[The photo] has to keep the onlooker awake,” he said, “so it has an impact on his way of thinking.”

Art Basel Week is about finding what is eye-catching, discovering a piece that unearths something within you, stumbling upon a work that causes an impact on you in that moment, and forever. Embrace this inundation of forced thought. Come say hello at Design Miami, and find Karel’s work at Art Miami in booth 16. Happy Basel Miami, it’s showtime.

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