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Coinciding with Art Basel Miami, FriendsWithYou has unveiled its flagship boutique at 3930 NE 2nd Avenue in Miami, Florida. In their whimsical and inimitable style, they have created their very own fun house for their fans stocked with new limited-edition stuff — from clothing and toys to prints, books and art. We are also looking forward to our collaboration with Friends With You in 2010 on some special TCH projects.
Magical spiritual powers are not the only talents Miami-based art collaborative FriendsWithYou can claim as theirs. They also have a special skill for creating cuddly, cute and somewhat clever toys, events, experiences and other playthings for us mere mortals. We would never imply that their Fun Houses and other such entertainments are just for kids because if they were, we’d feel too envious to be nice.
In 2008, the FriendsWithYou duo — Sam Borkson and Arturo “Tury” Sandoval III — participated in the Hexagone (A hex is gone) group art show in Miami, curated by Jose Mertz. The FriendsWithYou playroom was filled with gigantic inflated buddies and called Wish World.
Also in 2008, a FriendsWithYou Fun House was part of the 944 Magazine’s Crime on Canvas surrealistic pop art show at the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas. And later in the year FriendsWithYou created another Fun House interactive exhibition for the SCOPE Miami lounge. SCOPE took place in the Wynwood Art District where the FriendsWithYou studio is also located.
Earlier this month, FriendsWithYou created another Fun House interactive exhibition for the SCOPE Miami lounge. This year’s SCOPE had nearly 90 exhibitors from more than 20 countries in a new 60,000-square-foot space in the Wynwood Art District where FriedsWithYou’s new studio is now also located.
The Fun House is a giant, anthropomorphic bounce house intended to help unleash the visitors’ inner brats and in doing so, take advantage of the healing power of fun. This is in keeping with FriendsWithYou’s mission of sharing the message of “magic, luck and friendship with the global community.” - Tuija Seipell
Andee Hess, founder of Portland, and his Oregon-Based Osmose have done their magic in Miami where they have helped revive what was a tired Coral Gables neighborhood bank by turning it into Small Tea, a tea boutique concept by Daniel Charles Joseph Benoudiz.
Small Tea extolls the benefits of real human connection via the consumption of tea under a canopy of 1,250 boxes wrapped in abaca or manila hemp, a type of banana-tree fiber used for baskets in some tea-growing areas.
We, of course, notice the elegant use of wood and wood slats, and oval and rounded accents, all of which helps evoke a tranquil sense of order and serenity.
Last fall, Hess and Osmose helped Portland’s Stumptown Coffee establish its swanky presence in New York’s Greenwich Village with reclaimed church pews and other previously loved pieces creating a great been-here-forever atmosphere. - Tuija Seipell.