New Exhibit: 'Warhol and Cars'
The Museum of Art Fort Lauderdale examines Warhol's fascination with cars.
November 01, 2012
Andy Warhol’s Female Fashion Figure, 1950s
There’s more than a little irony underpinning “Warhol and Cars: American Icons,” opening this month at the Museum of Art Fort Lauderdale. It’s not that the exhibition’s spotlight on automobile imagery isn’t a welcome addition to examinations of Andy Warhol’s more familiar iconography. And his stylized takes on autos over the years—from yacht-like 1950s Cadillacs to a sporty 1979 BMW that he used as a literal canvas, painting right onto its hood and grill—ably dramatize their ability to embody the heart of modern Americana as much as his silk-screened Marilyn Monroes or Campbell’s soup cans. But here’s the curious subtext: Warhol never had a driver’s license. In fact, his sole attempt at learning to drive ended with his crashing his 1974 Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow on Manhattan’s Park Avenue. Warhol’s relationship with cars was strictly as a passenger, whether being chauffeured out to his Montauk estate or whisked to nightclub openings in the back of cabs. So what do we ultimately learn from this show? First, that for all of Warhol’s identification with the school of appropriation, he was a masterful draftsman; his advertising illustrations from the 1950s, before he reinvented himself as a Pop artist, remain enchanting. And beyond that? Was he a closet gearhead? Or was he a critic of consumerism, regarding car culture—and all it represents about America— with a gimlet eye? There’s more than enough grist on display for both conclusions, which may have been Warhol’s paradoxical point about autos after all. “Warhol and Cars: American Icons” opens November 10 at the Museum of Art Fort Lauderdale, 1 E. Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale, 954-525-5500
PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY OF MUSEUM OF ART FOR LAUDERDALE
The James Royal Palm as We Knew It
As the James Royal Palm opens on South Beach, we take a look back at the original Royal Palm.
November 01, 2012
The original Royal Palm hotel in downtown Miami, 1901
The brand-spanking-new James Royal Palm hotel is all about the postmodern order of South Beach, embellished with ironic nods to the past and money. This is another stab at the Grand Hotel dialectic, and as it happens, the original Royal Palm began in the ultimate big-time era, the robber-baron epoch of America.
In 1897, the first Royal Palm opened smack dab in the heart of downtown Miami, a year after the city was incorporated by its 312 registered voters. In this 1901 postcard image of the graceful Colonial Revival property, the focus is on a portico made for high-roller entrances. At the time, the hotel was flanked by Biscayne Bay and the then-pristine Miami River, a Paul Gauguin fantasy still used by Seminole Indians; the site now boasts the rather more pedestrian Epic Hotel and Southeast Financial Center (which used to be the Wachovia Financial Center). The Royal Palm was built by Henry Flagler’s minions, part of a string of gilded glory hotels—stretching from St. Augustine’s Hotel Ponce de Leon to the Casa Marina in Key West—that accompanied his Florida East Coast Railway. Money goes to money: Colonel John Jacob Astor, who would die on the Titanic in 1912, was one of the Royal Palm’s first guests.
In 1930, the Royal Palm, after taking hits from a killer hurricane and, more prosaically, termites, was quietly demolished, going out with a whimper. In 1939, the first Miami Beach incarnation opened, on the site where today’s James Royal Palm is situated. Since then, various owners have expanded and boutique-ized the property; the current owner is KSL Capital Partners, a powerful corporation with countless hotels. Henry Flagler is long gone, though it’s interesting to think what his response would have been to a Royal Palm hotel that touts rooms with eco-friendly Keetsa pillows and iPod/mp3 docking stations.
PHOTOGRAPHY BY MIAMI HISTORICAL SOCIETY/DETROIT PHOTO COMPANY
All About Acupuncture
The Standard Spa acupuncturist invites you to go under the needles and find your center.
October 11, 2012
This month, The Standard Spa’s resident acupuncturist and astrologist, Lori Bell, will take Miamians on a five-phase journey through the world of Chinese medicine and acupuncture. In a special workshop ($30) on October 22, Bell will help students discover their core type (earth, fire, wood, metal, or water) and learn how to balance their “qi,” or life force, which is the goal of Chinese wellness practices, such as acupuncture.
"Our bodies are constantly seeking to balance and strengthen naturally. We are always changing and adjusting to stress daily, and I help balance that out by approaching the body as a whole—the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual," said Bell, who specializes in Chinese medicine and has apprenticed in China and Tibet. In her nearly 20 year career, Bell as worked with patients suffering from infertility, AIDS, and paralysis. She hosts several sessions at The Standard Spa each month and is available for private appointments. All courses also allow for unlimited use of The Standard's popular hammam bathhouse. 40 Island Ave., Miami Beach, 305-673-1717
2013 Range Rover Gets Major Updates
New model is lighter, stronger, but still prestigious.
September 17, 2012
Land Rover’s iconic Range Rover has received major updates and changes for its 2013 model, which will debut at the Paris Auto Show in late September. One of the more significant revisions is the adaptation of an all-aluminum unibody that is 39% lighter than the outgoing steel body of previous generations. Contingent on the market, the new Range Rover will see reduced weight of up to 926 pounds. In the United States, a naturally aspirated 5-liter V8 drops roughly 700 pounds. Based on the laws of gravity, this re-engineering technique makes the luxury British SUV faster, stronger, and more agile with greater levels of ride comfort, refinement, and control.
Also retuned is the four-corner air suspension, which according to Land Rover, allows for improved cornering and steering as well as the pairing of the motor with new eight-speed ZF automatic transmissions. The next generation of Rover’s Terrain Response, which examines the conditions and surfaces of the road and automatically chooses the best settings for the terrain, is yet another premium upgrade to the Range.
The interior has been stretched a bit to permit for over 4.7 inches more legroom than the 2012 model, while the option of a two-place rear seating package adds dimension to the interior execution. Rounding out the offerings for the all-new 2013 Range Rover are standard sound systems by British audio maker MeridianTM; a split power folding upper and lower tailgate; and intelligent safe driver assistance technologies. U.S. deliveries are currently scheduled for December.
Sartorial Soccer Players
Domenico Dolce captures iconic soccer players for his first photography book.
August 29, 2012
RIGHT: Marco Andreolli of Club Chievo, from Campioni
Best known for being half of the design team Dolce & Gabbana, Domenico Dolce has decided to show the world that his passions also reside in photography. This month, he releases his first book, Campioni (Rizzoli; $200), available at Dolce & Gabbana Bal Harbour. It highlights 67 iconic and up-and-coming soccer players destined to take their sport into the future. Shot in portrait format, each athlete plays a character appearing against a stark, white background to highlight his personality and features. There is a palpable connection between Dolce and his subjects that can be seen throughout the book. Stefano Gabbana, Dolce’s longtime partner, adds: “In Domenico’s photos, fashion and sport meet and confront themselves. They talk about style and male aesthetic. His images do not promote a product—they are portraits. They speak to the heart.” Bal Harbour Shops, 9700 Collins Ave., 305-866- 0503
Rainy Day Reads
Buff up on your knowledge of South Florida—from foreign policy to food.
August 27, 2012
2013 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class Redefines Luxury SUVs
Luxury SUV line introduces the ultimate in family cars.
August 21, 2012
When we were invited to join Mercedes-Benz on a recent vehicle launch program, I was given the assignment and immediately let my imagination run wild with the possibilities of testing and reviewing a super-luxurious vehicle from the German lineup. I envisioned a sleek autobahn killer such as their SL550 Roadster. Then I discovered the invitation was for the international launch of the 2013 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class SUV. Was I disappointed? Not in the least. Practically speaking, a luxury SUV with a third row was ideally suited for me. Who better to evaluate such a vehicle than the father of five kids involved in soccer, football, karate, gymnastics, and trumpet lessons?
The GL-Class comes in four levels including: the GL350 BlueTEC 4MATIC with its 3.0-liter single turbo diesel V6 producing a solid 240 horsepower and 455 pound-feet of torque; the GL450 with a 4.6-liter biturbo gasoline V8 capable of 362 horsepower and 406 pound-feet of torque; a GL550 with its direct-injection 4.6-liter biturbo V8 cranking out an impressive 429 horsepower along with 516 pound-feet of torque; and the GL63 AMG with its beastly direct-injection 5.5-liter biturbo V8 that pumps out 550 beastly horsepower and 560 pound-feet of torque—all of which will undoubtedly take care of getting the kids to practice and rehearsals in record-setting time.
But most intriguing of all was the GL’s third row seating. Yes, the famed "third" row seating that other manufacturers tout but fall short on. Was the GL's third row actually usable and, dare I say, comfortable? To answer this, I subjected myself to the third row in a GL350 while our driver hurriedly shuttled me to the airport—a drive filled with sudden braking, responsive acceleration, evasive highway maneuvers, and above-average speeds. Throughout this adventure, I experienced an unexpected level of comfort in the third row. The ride was so smooth that I failed to realize the actual speeds at which we were traveling. This was a true testament to the GL350’s performance and the very comfortable and enjoyable GL-Class third row.
The GL-Class does, however, suffer from what I would refer to as “multiple personality disorder.” The chiseled, aggressive front facade is bold, sporty, and athletic, while the flowing lines of the side profile comes across as sophisticated and modern. Its design will appeal to those sporty moms and dads who still want to ride in style for a date-night out on the town.
Out of the three GL categories experienced, I was most impressed with the GL350. The GL450 and GL550 are also absolutely solid performers, but often with an entry-level vehicle, you feel as through you're sacrificing or settling. This is absolutely not true with the GL350, especially when you factor in standard features such as the ATTENTION ASSIST, created to alert the driver and prepare the brakes for maximum stopping power, and mbrace2, which provides an array of vehicle diagnostics and concierge services. And with the estimated 600-700 mile range from the 26-gallon fuel tank, you may start to walk with a certain swagger thanks to the fuel saving provided by the smooth and uncharacteristically quiet diesel.
Additionally, there are a host of attractive features, such as the panorama sunroof, massaging driver and passenger seats, power outlets for your road-trip devices, optional electronic folding rear seats, Active Parking Assist, and Active Blind Spot Assist.
The 2013 GL-Class goes on sale this September, with the GL350 hitting showrooms with a beginning MSRP of $62,400, while the GL450 starts at $63,900, and the GL550 comes in with a starting sticker of $86,900. The wicked GL63 AMG version will become available during the first quarter of 2013 with pricing not yet available.
Luxury Upon Luxury at W South Beach
The seaside hotel upgrades its penthouses for the ultimate VIP experience.
August 03, 2012
The Marvelous suite at W South Beach
The W South Beach Hotel & Residences is making life in its oceanfront suites even sweeter, revamping 26 units with new amenities and VIP concierge services. New conveniences, such as electric pressers, airport and private jet pickup, and a surprise farewell gift, will be offered to guests who book the E-WOW Penthouse, E-WOW, Marvelous, Cool Corner, or Sensational suites. All of this, plus the launch of the new W-branded DecoBikes, comes just in time for the hotel’s three-year anniversary. 2201 Collins Ave., Miami Beach, 305-938-3000
2013 McLaren MP4-12C Spider
Convertible version of the Spider offers top speed, retractable hard top.
July 11, 2012
They say things only get better with time, and McLaren proves the adage true with the announcement of a second all-new model to its line-up: the MP4-12C Spider, a convertible manipulation of the 12C. The lightweight Spider features a distinctive Retractable Hard Top (RHT) roof that folds and stows itself—theoretically making this vehicle a luxury coupe and performance convertible all in one.
Power emanates from a commissioned 616 horsepower 3.8-liter twin turbo V8 engine and is paired to a 7 Speed SSG dual-clutch transmission, which allows the British sports car to run 0-62 mph in 3.1 seconds and top out at 204 mph. Currently, orders can be placed for the $268,250 Spider from McLaren retailers across the globe with an expected delivery date in December or early January. During the Concept Car Lawn during the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance weekend, show-goers will be treated to an early viewing.
New Exhibit: Scapes at Frost Art Museum
Lynne Golob Gelfman explores the interplay of sand, wind, and sun.
July 02, 2012
No, that’s not a typo. Scapes, the title of Miami painter Lynne Golob Gelfman’s new exhibition at Florida International University’s Frost Art Museum, is purposely truncated. “They’re not landscapes,” Gelfman explains, “but they do give you a sensual sense of place.” The specific site in question? The Brazilian dunes of Lençóis Maranhenses, a largely deserted area on that country’s northeastern coast. There’s only the “undulating motion of the sea,” says Gelfman, and the shifting, sundappled hills of sand, seemingly dancing with each other as the wind picks up. It’s a hypnotizing effect Gelfman has inventively captured in her dune series (part of the show) by many reflective layers of metallic paint and acrylic. The end result is beguiling patterns that warp and woof depending on your line of sight, as well as the angle of the sunlight streaming in through the Frost gallery’s overhead skylight. None of this marks a dramatic stylistic departure for Gelfman: She’s been creatively mining a fusion of post-painterly abstraction via Helen Frankenthaler and trippy op art via Bridget Riley for several decades now. But in dune, Gelfman has fashioned some of her strongest, most viscerally seductive brushwork yet. Scapes is on exhibit through September 2, The Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum, 10975 SW 17th St., Miami, 305-348-2890. Related works are at Wynwood’s Alejandra Von Hartz Gallery through July 31.
PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF GELFMAN