Written by Allen Morris, original article here.
With the arrival of Art Basel and Art Miami, the war of art is on!
This is different than the Art of War by Sun Tzu. But in many ways there is a war of art as investors compete for the pieces of modern and contemporary art that flood into Miami the first week of December each year.
To buy the works of the next rising stars in the art world or to own a cherished piece by Jeff Koons or a classic Warhol, art is more than a great investment that stands the test of time. Art has also become woven into the world of Florida real estate.
It’s no accident that Jorge Perez, the largest developer of condominiums in America and avid art collector, has underwritten the new Perez Art Museum Miami (PAMM). One of the ways he differentiates his condominiums in the marketplace is with the striking statements of the sculptures and paintings in his projects.
In the new SLS LUX Hotel and Condominium Tower, co-developed by Perez and myself, we are infusing art around, in front of, and inside our luxury tower. In front is a striking and world famous sculpture by the famed Colombian artist Fernando Botero, wrapping around the lower eight floors is a mural by artist Fabian Burgos, and inside are works of art by other famous contemporary artists. The interior design scheme itself is an art form with a team of “artists” in George Yabu and Glenn Pushelberg (Yabu Pushelberg) from New York.
Why all this interest in art in Florida real estate?
- Art defines who we are; our culture and values. It makes a statement about the places we live and work.
- As a developer, we use art as a distinctive way to differentiate our projects from everyone else’s. It’s an important amenity that speaks to the quality of the project.
In the case of SLS LUX, we may have gone ‘overboard’ with the acquisition of our multi-million dollar sculpture out front. But it lets the residents of our luxury condominiums and the outside world know that this project is ‘over the top’ inside as well as out.
It’s the War of Art…in Florida real estate.
We plan to break ground on SLS LUX in December (our 80th project). Shortly after that, the Allen Morris Company will break ground on The Hermitage Apartment Homes (our 81st project)on a full city block in downtown St. Petersburg, FL. As you may know, St. Petersburg is named after the famous city in Russia, and The Hermitage is named after its famous museum.
The Hermitage lobby will be an active, revolving display of art by the most accomplished local artists in a joint venture with the Morean Arts Center and Gallery in St. Petersburg. Our club dining room on the penthouse level will be named the Backus Room after the famous Florida landscape artist, A.E. “Beanie” Backus. The walls will be covered with examples of his diverse Florida landscapes from the Allen Morris collection.
Fountains and sculptures and designs integrated into the actual building materials will complement the artistic signature as you approach and enter the building. It’s a way of saying to the community and to the residents that this is more than just another apartment building. This is inspiring – and an inspiring place to live.
That’s why we define our mission statement as to Inspire, Impress, and Improve. To Inspire people with the beauty of our projects, to Impress them with the excellence of our services, and to Improve the quality of life of all those we touch. Art in Florida real estate is integral to inspiring, impressing and improving.
If you want to see an example, drop by our offices in Alhambra Towers in Coral Gables for a personal tour of our collection of paintings and sculptures that help define who we are.
It’s the War of Art…a battle in which everyone wins!