Miami Worldcenter, the 27-acre “city within a city” at the heart of downtown Miami, enlisted international art dealer and curator Jeffrey Deitch to spearhead the curatorial vision for the $4 billion mixed-use development’s public art program. Deitch will collaborate with Primary, a Miami-based curatorial collective with a focus on public works, to bring Miami Worldcenter’s aesthetic vision to life.
Deitch has been an artist, writer, curator, dealer, and advisor on the modern and contemporary art scene for nearly 50 years and served as director of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. He has been especially active in Miami, advising private collectors and public art projects since 1982. Deitch is known for the art performances and curated projects that he has presented in conjunction with Art Basel Miami Beach every year since 2002.
Primary (Books Bischof, Cristina Gonzalez, & Typoe Gran) is a context and research-driven curatorial collective with a focus on public art. Based in Miami, Primary’s contributions to contemporary muralism have sculpted the international urban perspective since 2007, delivering a distinct brand of outdoor and gallery-based projects that harness the defiant spirit of the counterculture.
“Miami has become one of the leading centers of contemporary art,” said Deitch, “with its prestigious art fairs, public and private museums, and its innovative public art projects. The art program at Miami Worldcenter will enhance Miami’s stature as an international art destination.”
The first group of artists slated to display their works throughout Miami Worldcenter are:
Nina Chanel Abney
Nina Chanel Abney is a contemporary artist who explores race, gender, pop culture, and politics in her work. Combining representation and abstraction, Abney’s paintings capture the frenetic pace of contemporary culture through a bracing use of color and unapologetic scale.
Abney’s large-scale mural at Miami Worldcenter, the first piece to be completed under the development’s site-wide art curation program, is bright, colorful, and active, and honors the heritage of Miami’s historic Overtown community.
“I created pictorial language to tell an imagined narrative that investigates community renewals and removals. The mural location, a tunnel formed by the dark passageway under the building, inspired me to consider the legacy of preserving sacred spaces with story,” says Abney. “I hope to spark a dialogue around gentrification and encourage a curiosity amongst viewers to engage with and learn about the previous and adjacent neighborhoods.”
Woody De Othello
Woody De Othello is a Miami-born, California-based sculptor of Haitian heritage. The subject matter in De Othello’s art spans household objects, figurative elements, and the natural world. His sense of humor enlivens his work.
Viktor El-Saieh is a Miami-raised artist of Haitian and Palestinian heritage who explores folklore, politics, and culture through the lens of Haitian political-mythology.
Nick Cave is an American sculptor, dancer, and performance artist. Cave is best known for his Soundsuits–wearable fabric sculptures that are bright, whimsical, and other-worldly. This is his first ever outdoor figurative sculpture.
Trenton Doyle Hancock
Trenton Doyle Hancock is a Texas-based artist working with multiple mediums. Influenced by comics, graphic novels, cartoons, music, and film, Hancock is known for his visual work that focuses on the mythology and representation surrounding the eternal battle between good and evil.
Additionally, Miami Worldcenter has created an art advisory committee, comprised of distinguished curators and museum directors who will have a role in shaping the artistic landscape of the $4 billion development. The committee is comprised of Franklin Sirmans, director of Pérez Art Museum Miami; Alex Gartenfeld, artistic director at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami; Nicholas Baume, director and chief curator of Public Art Fund; and Cecilia Alemani, director and chief curator of High Line Art in New York and artistic director of the 2022 Venice Biennale.
As the second-largest urban mixed-use development in the United States, Miami Worldcenter will be the city’s epicenter for where lifestyle and business intersect, comprised of a diverse mix of residential, commercial, and hospitality uses, complemented by 300,000 square feet of retail, restaurant, and entertainment space. The development’s curatorial assemblage is devising an art program befitting the region’s most transformational project.