CK Reed on People Watching at Design Miami.LA

The L.A.-based artist and designer sat down with Surface to reflect on the highlights of the West Coast edition of the fair: from scene-stealing mirrors at the Future Perfect to Carmen D’Apollonio’s lamps at Friedman Benda and the decidedly un-fairlike atmosphere of leisurely idyll at the Holmby Hills estate where it was held. Her next stop? An exhibition at Winston's Gallery Los Angeles during L.A. Design Weekend.

Credit: Courtesy of CK Reed

In the last few years, I started going back to South Florida for Design Miami. I enjoy design fairs more than fine art fairs. I’m more interested in interior design. 

I don’t really go to get inspired for my own art. I like the people watching; I like creating illustrations about what I saw and what people were doing. I definitely get inspired if I see something really unique and a really interesting material done in some way that I’ve never seen before. That is exciting. That’s what I liked about going to Design Miami.LA.

I had a great conversation with Rafael from The Future Perfect. In the illustration, I ended up showing this mirror from a new collection with Bower Studios and Genesis Belanger. I haven’t seen anything like it. I often feel like when I go to these fairs, the gallerists don’t have the time, or they can tell I’m not going to buy anything so they’re not interested. He gave me the time of day and told me about the piece and what it means. That made the experience. I felt like I understood what the piece was about. It was enlightening.

Then, I was next to these beautiful lamps by this artist who I just started following, Carmen D’Apollonio. I went to her solo show at Friedman Benda near Chateau Marmont. I’m looking at these lamps, then I look down on the floor, and there’s dog pee! I know people really love bringing their dogs everywhere, but come on, this is fine art. 

I went outside and this woman walks by on her phone, FaceTiming, and has this little dog (I’m not saying it was her dog), in a flower dress. The dog was in a dress—an actual dress!

What was great was this huge grassy lawn in the back. People were buying bottles of wine and hanging out. I don’t see that at design fairs. It felt like, “Oh, are we at a park in Paris?” That’s the rosé bottle and the two people sitting on the polka dot stool. Bottles of rosé were everywhere.

I love my community here. I love my neighbors. We’re similar thinkers.

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