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A revolution at Design Miami

Pedro Reyes and Carla Fernández are the recipients of the 2018 Design Visionary Award.

Pedro Reyes and Carla Fernandez
Photo: Ana Hop

Design Miami/ is pleased to announce Pedro Reyes and Carla Fernández as the recipients of the 2018 Design Miami/ Visionary Award. The annual award is given to creative talents across all fields that are engaging with design including designers, curators, architects, and luminaries who have made significant contributions to the field of design that offer a tangible and lasting impact on the world around us.

Contemporary artist Reyes and fashion designer Fernández, who are married, will present a collaborative exhibition at Design Miami/ 2018 as well as design the graphic identity for the fair. “Pedro and Carla’s work has always brilliantly synthesized a spectrum of influences — from Brutalism to Mexican indigenous culture to social progressive values – into a remarkable body of work. I’m pleased we’ll be celebrating their accomplishments at Design Miami/, and look forward to seeing their exhibition at the fair” says Craig Robins, Founder, Design Miami.

Drawings by Pedro Reyes
Photo: Pedro Reyes
About their involvement at Design Miami

Reyes and Fernández will present a retrospective of works that address some of the fundamental concerns of our time and facilitate intimate human exchanges that have become rare in this digital age. The booth’s overall structure is designed by the award winners and will feature curved steel walls.

Key works on view will include Reyes’s Metate chairs, which are inspired by pre-Colombian artifacts made with three legs. The artist carves the chairs using simple tools that haven’t changed significantly in nearly 3,000 years. Also on view will be examples from Reyes’s Disarm (2008)––musical instruments fabricated from destroyed firearms––as well as Fernandez’s textile works and the duo’s collaborative works, including a map showing the names of the more than 300 original settlements on the continent of the Americas that were here before the conquest. “We are honored to be selected as the winners of the Design Miami/ 2018 Design Visionary Award,” said Reyes. “The exhibition offers us a chance to present to the attendees at Design Miami/, pieces where design has a social dimension, either by addressing social justice and peacemaking, as well as the importance of handcrafted products in a world where most processes are being automated and millions of people are losing their jobs.”

The 2018 Design Visionary Award is co presented by Design Miami’s official university partner, Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD). Following its debut at Design Miami/ the exhibition will travel to SCAD Museum of Art opening February 2019.

In addition to the exhibition within the fair, Reyes and Fernández will design a special presentation for the plaza in front of the fair this December and will host a Design Talk on Wednesday, December 5 from 3-4pm.

About the Graphic Identity

Reyes and Fernández’s inspiration for the Design Miami/ 2018 graphic identity comes from the bold graphics of the handmade protest signs, posters, and ephemera from the May 1968 Paris uprising, a revolution that signaled a social and cultural turning point worldwide and inspired an artistic movement. “Fifty years after the 1968 demonstrations in Mexico, Paris––and around the world––it is more important than ever to listen to the voices of our global society,” said Carla Fernández. “Which is why we were inspired to incorporate the colors, images, and messages from this movement into the identity, as they reflect our ongoing commitment to action and social change.” 
”We are thrilled to be working with Pedro and Carla to develop the fair’s graphic identity,” said Rodman Primack, Chief Creative Officer, “Design Miami/ is honored to support such powerful creative visionaries and to have the honor of their shared visual language inform our identity across our entire platform ––exemplifying Design Miami/’s mission to be both a marketplace for design and a leader in global design discourse.”

Disarm Guitar
Photo: Pedro Reyes and Lisson Gallery
About Pedro Reyes and Carla Fernández

Pedro Reyes practice erases the barriers normally seen between traditional plastic arts and architecture and design. He creates large-scale projects encompassing sculpture, performance, video, and participatory happenings that confront social injustices and imagine solutions for a better world. His works, rooted in his activism, explore the power of the individual and the collective, as well as the possibility to incite change through creativity, humor, communication, and art. Reyes has created two projects condemning gun culture: Palas por Pistolas (2008), in which he worked with local authorities in Culiacán to melt guns down into shovels to be used to plant trees, and Disarm (2013), in which he transformed firearms into musical instruments. His ongoing project The People’s United Nations (pUN), staged at the Queens Museum of Art, New York, and Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, includes sculptural works and volunteer delegates, putting the diplomatic duties of the United Nations into the hands of ordinary people. Reyes has presented solo exhibitions at, among others, the Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami; Dallas Contemporary; and with Creative Time, New York.

Carla Fernández’s Mexico City–based fashion label aims to preserve the cultural heritage of Mexico’s indigenous communities by partnering with craftspeople and artisans throughout the country who specialize in centuries-old techniques to create clothing, textiles, and housewares with a contemporary take on handcrafted methods. This approach helps sustain the longstanding traditions of those who collaborate with the brand; recent collections have incorporated traditional sign and mask painting, waist loom weaving, embroidery, natural dyes, leather fretwork, and ikat and foot loom weaving. In 2013, Carla was one of 11 worldwide recipients of the Prince Claus Award based in Amsterdam, which recognizes artists whose cultural actions have a positive impact on the development of their societies. In 2016, she brought indigenous tradition to the women’s March on Washington in the form of 16 conceptual garments emblazoned with powerful visual and protest statements, a part of an ongoing series titled Moda en Resistencia. Fernández has had solo exhibitions at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, MA / Museo Jumex in Mexico City / Heath Ceramics in San Francisco, CA / SIFA The O.P.E.N. Festival IN Singapore; and collective exhibitions at MAD Museum, New York; Palacio de Iturbide and Museo Amparo in Mexico City, among others.


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