The name "Peter Marino" was on the well-moisturized lips of every privileged attendee at the New York Times-hosted International Luxury Conference at the Mandarin Oriental in Miami this week.
And why wouldn't it be? Of all the people on display during the Art Basel Miami Beach fair, the architect, art collector, and Warhol protege Marino seems to know about living most luxuriously.
By "on display," we mean quite literally, too. Marino's personal collection was curated thoughtfully by Palais de Tokyo's Jérôme Sans, at the Bass Museum of Art's One Way. But front and center sitting pretty is a wax sculpture of the often leather-clad Marino, hand tipping his hat at every passerby.
Every news outlet around the world seems to be frothing at the mouth for a tiny taste of Marino and his extravagant lifestyle. It's a bit odd that while most people can't afford rent, the art world still laps up the extravagant like its starving.
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Rooms at the exhibition are sponsored by Louis Vuitton, Chanel, and Dior. Those fortunate to get in (and it was packed) excitedly tiptoed, chattering and iPhones snapping away, through the gallery at both the VIP preview opening on Tuesday and last night's proper vernissage. Moreno attended both, but stayed much longer on Tuesday.
To be fair, who wouldn't want to live like this guy? His taste is clearly honed, his talent undeniable, and his BDSM gear very leathery.
But what's more impressive is how interactive the show is, and finely presented. It's about the design of it all, among other things, so it feels almost like a very fancy living space.
Walking up the ramp, the walls are covered with what looks like VHS tape and black, white, and red-only work by Gregor Hildebrandt, Loris Gréaud, Dan Colen, Rudolf Stingel, and others. It's festive but dark and modern. Though the elements are there, there isn't a Gothic or industrial feel, the energy is still warm in a way, with a hint of humor.
As you round the bend to the first space, you first encounter a display case filled with medical equipment. This sets the sort of metallic vibe, repeated in the futuristic Stingel alien-like busts and Marino's own cast-bronze boxes. But, obviously, everyone is busy vying for a selfie with the wax figure which stands alongside a wall of tasteful photographs of the man himself.
Other rooms have different themes. On the wall in the Vuitton sponsored room, the explanation is that these works are "borrowings" of other greats or use repurposed materials. There's a Richard Prince wall, and Farhad Moshiri creations -- you could call them sculptures -- bright images made from tiny beads.