Known for his provocative pops of color and hyper-realistic aesthetic, fine art photographer Tony Kelly’s indelible work has graced magazine covers (GQ, Vanity Fair) and anchored brand campaigns (Steve Madden, il Makiage) during a decorated career. His brash visual style is hard to miss, not unlike that of Alan Faena, the eccentric Argentine real estate developer and hotelier whose lavish properties in Buenos Aires and South Beach are famous for in-your-face luxury. (Who else would have the gumption to greet guests with a massive wooly mammoth skeleton plated in 24-carat gold by Damien Hirst?)
The plush environs of the Miami hotel are the subject of Kelly’s new series, Red Room, a voyeuristic view into the glamorous—some would say outlandish—lifestyle of the inhabitants of Faena World. Appearances by the brand’s signature royal red are the common thread throughout the photo journal, coloring the one-piece swimsuit of an upside-down contortionist posing the splits, the heels poking out of the sea next to a shark fin, the dress of a woman perilously dangling from a guest room balcony. Whether it’s a pair of bejeweled hands knifing into a steak or puckered lips preparing to sip a ruby-hued cocktail, a seductive quality permeates the collection of images and induces a sense of intrigue in the viewer. Kelly’s Faena Miami Beach looks like an interesting place to spend a day, if nothing else.