Artist: Farah Al Qasimi
Title: Plant Market/Stray Flowers in Swimming Pool/Still Life with Sample Text and Piña Coladas, 2021
Medium: Photography and Vinyl Wall Wrap
Location: Miami Beach Convention Center, East Lobby
Miami Beach Legacy Art Purchase (2021)
The City of Miami Beach purchased visual artist Farah Al Qasimi’s Plant Market/Stray Flowers in Swimming Pool/Still Life with Sample Text and Pina Coladas at Art Basel Miami Beach. The piece garnered the greatest number of public votes as part of the city’s annual Legacy Purchase Program. The piece was presented by Helena Anrather Gallery at the 2021 art fair.
“Miami Beach is proud of our robust Art in Public Places program, and we are excited to add Farah’s incredible piece to our collection as this year’s Legacy Purchase,” said Mayor Dan Gelber. “We look forward to displaying it for visitors from around the world to enjoy as they explore our amazing community.”
Al Qasimi’s latest project explores the earthly fabrication of Paradise. Her photographs often explore the language of adornment and its relationship to identity, probing the ways in which we construct self-image through our surroundings, and in this new body of work she turns a sharp, caustic eye on commercial fantasies of paradise, examining how they lure us into stores and showrooms and proliferate through commodities, advertising images, and pre-packaged experiences. Above all, Al Qasimi asks how these powerful myths and alluring visions shape our ideas about how we should behave and even who we are. These days, the artist suggests, paradise is no longer just a thing you can buy, but a backdrop for the life you’re supposed to have.
Farah Al Qasimi (b.1991, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates; lives and works in Brooklyn and Dubai) works in photography, video, and performance. Her work has been featured in exhibitions at Jameel Arts Centre, Dubai; the San Francisco Arts Commission, San Francisco; the CCS Bard Galleries at the Hessel Museum of Art, New York; Helena Anrather, New York; The Third Line, Dubai; The List Visual Arts Center at MIT, Cambridge; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Toronto; and the Houston Center for Photography, Houston. Al Qasimi received her MFA from the Yale School of Art. She has participated in residencies at the Delfina Foundation, London; the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Maine; and is a recipient of the New York NADA Artadia Prize and the Aaron Siskind Individual Photographer’s Fellowship. Her work is in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge; and NYU’s Grey Art Gallery, New York.