South Beach's Sagamore Hotel is All About the Art

The owners of the Sagamore display works from their private collection at the hotel for Art Basel

At the Sagamore in South Beach, it's not only about the sun and sea.

It's also about the art that the owners have placed throughout the 93-room hotel as part of an exhibition called "Fundamental," which coincides with Art Basel Miami Beach. Owners Cricket and Martin Taplin have installed 16 works from their private collection.

By displaying the pieces alongside the permanent collection in the hotel, "the art world is reaching a broader audience," said Cricket Taplin, walking around the pristine white hotel. "It's more accessible t o every day people."

Showing the art in a non-threatening environment like a hotel allows people to actually learn about it. They can walk around and then go to their rooms and research about it if they like, she said.

"It should be for everyone," Taplin said.

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In the lobby there's a video of someone making bread and above the front desk there are mushrooms growing through the wall. There's also a large swing hanging from the ceiling, among other works.

There is a large Christina Pettersson work done in graphite called "I Will Still Be Here, Long After The Kingdom Cometh." On the walls leading up to the restaurant there are peices by Emil Lukas, on loan from the Sperone Westwater Gallery. There is also a Diane Arbus print called "Masked Woman in Wheelchair."

But guests can also see the permanent collection too. In the courtyard, there are four video screens encased in steel cases made with videos by the artist Megan Mclarney

Painted all along the stairway leading to the spa overlooking the pool is a mural of mirrors and spray paint called "Timescapes," by Sebastian Duncan-Dorportuondo and Jeffrey Noble. 

As in museums, the names of the artists and their personal histories hang next to each work.

"Our work is really organic," Taplin said. "Sometimes, you'll have a piece and you'll have the spot (to put it in) but when you get to the spot, it doesn' work."

Every year since 2001, the Taplins have hosted a brunch during Art Basel weekend and invited everyone from famed artists, to museum directors to collectors from around the globe.

Taplin sums up art collecting: "You are attracted to it, you want to support the artist or you can't live without it."

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