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Memories of Our Cultures, A Group Show With
Art Photographers

Location
The Betsy Hotel, Miami, Florida, U.S.A.
Year
2023
In Collaboration With
the betsy.png

The Betsy Announces Art Week Miami Beach Exhibitions: Hicham Benohoud, Idries Karnachi, Mahi Binebine, Hassan Hajjaj, Paul Loughney, Gaia Adducchio, Sonia Hamza, Akshita Gandhi, Bert Stern and Andy Sweet

The Betsy’s Annual Art Week Miami Beach Opening takes place on Dec 7, 2023 from 5 to 8 PM presented with AUDACE and dance interventions by the Peter London Global Dance Company (Patrons are invited to enter The Betsy Hotel via 1433 Collins Avenue.)

The Betsy Hotel (thebetsyhotel.com), a family-owned and operated luxury boutique hotel on Ocean Drive, recognized as a world-leading arts and culture hotel, announces an exciting lineup of artwork opening for Art Basel Miami Beach 2023. The principal curator is Lesley Goldwasser with guest curators Sophie Lefebreve Blache, Amanda Mullen, Paul Dreq, and Ed Cristin. The Betsy’s annual property-wide opening, with artist meet-and-greet on Dec 7 @ 5 PM, is open to the public and will feature two dance pop-up interventions by the Peter London Global Dance Company.


The Betsy’s initiatives for Art Week Miami Beach run in tandem with Art Basel Miami Beach and include a large-scale
exhibition celebrating Moroccan Culture Art and Fashion with featured artists: Hicham Benohoud, Idries Karnachi, Mahi
Binebine, and Hassan Hajjaj. In other areas of the hotel works by Paul Loughney, Gaia Adducchio, Sonia Hamza, and Akshita
Gandhi, is curated by Sophie Lefevbre Blachet with Amanda Mullen curating iconic photographs by Bert Stern. Paul Dreq and Ed Cristin curate an Andy Sweet collection.

 

Dance interventions (at the Dec 7 opening event) by the Peter London Global Dance Company (PLGDC) will celebrate the works of Moroccan artists Hicham Benohoud, Idries Karnachi, Mahi Binebine, Sonia Hamza, and Hassan Hajjaj. With costuming consultation by Mina Binebine, Peter London’s choreographed interventions will celebrate the color, emotions, and significance of the works - and explore the implications of its messaging. The Betsy and PLGDC celebrate 10 years of artistic partnership this year.
 

The Betsy’s growing permanent collection and long-term artist partnerships are celebrated with Betsy Principal Curator Lesley Goldwasser highlighting work by Charlie Spot, Nadia Huggins and Carlos Andres Cruz – on walls and in hallways throughout the property. The Betsy Poetry Rail – a poetically-inspired installation, designed by architect Allan Shulman – is illuminated nightly, with artist Carlos Betancourt projecting a new work onto #thebetsyorb, commissioned by the City of Miami Beach No Vacancy program.

Hotel co-owner and curator Lesley Goldwasser comments about this year’s plans for Betsy’s Art Week Miami Beach: "I am passionate about this year’s art collection debuting during Art Basel Miami Beach at The Betsy Hotel. It’s a privilege to give individual artists the opportunity to reach a wider world of appreciating patrons. Yet, most of all, I’m thrilled to bring global talent of this caliber together in a multi-genre context, proving once again that art is a bridge that connects us all."

 

Hotel co-owner Jonathan Plutzik comments about the power of celebrating art and artists at The Betsy Hotel: "We are a welcoming place for artists and patrons to connect. Our vision is for guests to find happiness by relaxing in an exquisitely designed space, surrounded by books, music, and great art. And when guests get to meet an artist, whose work is exhibited, it takes the experience to an even higher level. Betsy's tagline says it all. “Expect no more. This is happiness.”

ABOUT THE BETSY-SOUTH BEACH:

 

The Betsy is a family-owned and operated luxury beachfront resort in Miami Beach, Florida - and one of the preeminent arts and culture hotels in the world. Anchoring the quiet end of Ocean Drive in the historic Art Deco District, guests find 130 individually appointed rooms, an award-winning restaurant, a rooftop pool deck suspended in midair, artists in residence, property library, Panther Coffee Bar, live jazz nine times a week, and curated exhibitions. Random acts of art are also part of a Betsy guest experience, including Opera arias on the terrace, and poetry readings. Public art includes: #thebetsyorb – a highly unique design element that connects the hotel’s two historic wings, The Betsy Poetry Rail - a unique celebration of 12 writers that shaped Miami culture, both designed by award-winning Miami architect Allan Shulman, and art elevators featuring work by Max-Steven Grossman and Andy Sweet. For a list of exhibitions since 2009 at The Betsy Hotel, you can click here.

PRINCIPAL CURATOR - LESLEY GOLDWASSER, CO-OWNER OF THE BETSY HOTEL:

 

She is also principal curator of exhibitions and ambient music at The Betsy-South Beach. In nine dedicated galleries, as well as hallways and stairways providing 20,000 sq. ft. of space to showcase (mostly) photography, Goldwasser curates new collections annually to premiere in tandem with Art Basel Miami Beach. She also maintains a separate collection of almost 1000 additional works that rotate periodically throughout The Betsy Hotel.
 

FEATURED ARTISTS – FROM THE BETSY'S NEW SHOWS 2023:

 

Akshita Gandhi (b. 1988): is a Photographer and Multimedia Artist championing sustainability, gender equity, and creativity, with an MFA in Fine Arts from the Lotus Institute in Dubai. Based in Mumbai, Gandhi manipulates images by painting over them, working digitally with repetition and distortion, and collaging to study obscurity/perceptibility and construction/deconstruction, broadening the boundaries of the photographic medium. Gandhi has had her work shown in galleries and art fairs in Asia, Europe, India, the Middle East, and the United States. She’s also worked with the United Nations Chamber of Music Society, Katerblau, a German music festival, New York designer Frank DeBourge, and India’s Kurtees, a fashion label, and Celesté, a premium tea brand. @iamakshitagandhi


Bert Stern (1929-2013): was born in Brooklyn, New York. In his youth, he worked as a messenger and clerk in the mailroom
of Look Magazine where his photography talents were discovered. Recognized as a trailblazer in advertising photography, Stern experimented with unconventional techniques, including videotape, screen-printing, photo-offset combinations and computerized printouts, working on advertising campaigns for brands such as Canon, Dupont, Pepsi-Cola, US Steel, and Volkswagen. His work appeared in VOGUE magazine, and he was soon recognized as the prototype fashion ‘photographer as media star’. Stern’s best-known body of work is a collection of over 2,500 photographs taken of Marilyn Monroe over a three-day period six weeks before her death, known as "The Last Sitting.” bertstern.com

 

Gaia Adducchio (b. 1979): is an Italian artist trained in film and television, who became a photographer. In April 2023 she received the title of Membre Sociétaire de la Société du Salon d’Automne (Corporate Member of Salon D’Automne) from the board of directors of the Salon D’Automne of Paris in France. @gaia_adducchio


Hassan Hajjaj (b.1961): is a Moroccan contemporary artist who lives and works in London, UK, and Marrakech. Hajjaj is also known for subverting the Western viewer’s expectations as he deconstructs the “tourist gaze that fetishizes veiled women” and situates them in a purposefully jumbled, animated light, illustrating the multidimensional facets of Moroccan society. Hijjaj’s work is in the collections of the Brooklyn Museum; British Museum, London; Nasher Museum of Art, Duke University; Newark Museum; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art; Victoria & Albert Museum, London; Farjam Collection, Dubai; Institute du Monde Arabe, Paris; Kamel Lazaar Foundation, Tunisia; and Virginia Museum of Fine Art. @hassanhajjaj_larache


Hicham Benohoud (b 1968): lives in Marrakech. Benohoud’s work is in the Tate Modern, Centre Pompidou, La Maison Rouge - Fondation Antoine de Galbert, Fonds National d’Art Contemporain de Paris, Fonds Départemental d’Art Contemporain du Conseil Général de la Seine-Saint-Denis, Artothèque de Nantes, Calcografia Nacional Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando de Madrid, and Musée d’Art Contemporain d’Anvers. He received the Prix Photo Service Prize in Arles and the Prix Visa pour la Création, awarded by Cultures France @hichambenohoud


Idries Karnachi (b. 1993): was born in Morocco, lives in Lile (France), and is co-founder of Studio Nos-Nos. Trained as an urban architect, Karnachi imagines surreal scenes by combining everyday objects, or situations with imagery imbued with poetry or humor, sometimes engaged or simply pleasant. His collages are visual narrations inviting viewers to freely interpret their meaning. @idriesk


Mahi Binebine (b. 1959): is a Moroccan painter and novelist born and currently living in Marrakech. Binebine moved to Paris in 1980 to study and teach mathematics, eventually turning to painting and novels. Binbine’s paintings are part of the permanent collection of the Guggenheim Museum in New York. @MahiBineBine


Paul Loughney (b.1972): received an MFA from Rutgers University. He has participated in solo and group shows nationally and internationally at Lesley Heller Gallery,; Peter Freeman, Inc; Frosch & Portmann Gallery; La Fratirnidad, Mexico City; Borowsky Gallery, Philadelphia; Orange County Center for Contemporary Art, Santa Ana, CA; Kunsthochschule fur Medien, Cologne, Germany; and Subspace Gallery in Berlin. His work can be found in the permanent collection of the Nobel Collection in Zurich; New York Public Library; and the Brodsky Center at The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. He lives and works in Brooklyn. @paul.loughney

Sonia Hamza (b. 1975): is a visual artist and writer with art that marries textiles, graphic design, and photography. She studies tapestry, creating transfers using light-sensitive products. She regularly exhibits in France and abroad, and in 2022, won the 2nd Discovery Award at the Festival Encontros Da Imagem in Braga, Portugal. @Sonia.hamza

 

Andy Sweet (1953-1982): is known for his documentary and street photography. He photographed the life and residents of South Beach, with a particular focus on the Jewish community, many of them Holocaust survivors. The discovery of Sweet's test prints in a family storage unit has garnered new interest in his documentary photography. Some of his surviving prints have been restored over the last decade. A documentary on his life and work was released in 2018. Andy Sweet died in 1982. @andysweetphotolegacy


Carlos Betancourt (b. 1966): was born to Cuban immigrant parents in San Juan and came to America with his family in 1981 when he was 15, settling in Miami. Despite an early pursuit of architecture, he pursued design, working in photography, painting, sculpture, installation, and performance art, among others. In 1995, he was named by People magazine one of its 50 most beautiful people in the world and by the early 2000’s his works were exhibited internationally. Betancourt’s work is part of the permanent collection of the National Portrait Gallery. @CarlosBetancourtArtist

Bunny Yeager (1929-2014): was a model turned pin-up photographer who helped jump-start the career of the then-unknown Bettie Page. Her legacy is her cultural impact, from pin-up photography and fashion, helping to popularize the bikini, and influencing other artists such as Cindy Sherman, who read Yeager's guides on photographing nudes and making self-portraits. Yeager became famous for making everyday women, from stay-at-home mothers to airline attendants, feel comfortable enough to bare it all. Her photos of Page in a leopard-print bathing suit standing next to a real cheetah are still well-known today. She did her last photography shoot at The Betsy Hotel in 2013. #BunnyYeager

 

Carlos Andres Cruz: a professional dog photographer based in Bogota, Colombia. On a visit to Miami Beach a few years ago, Carlos serendipitously came across Katie and Betsy, the Betsy Hotel’s CEOs (Canine Executive Officers), playing ball on the beach. Carlos began shooting – and these photos are exhibited permanently in the Underground Gallery @thebetsyhotel. Katie (short for Katherine Hepburn) sadly passed away in 2019, and Rosa arrived on the scene shortly after, taking on her role as assistant CEO and chief cheerer-upper to Betsy, who still misses Katie deeply. @LafotoPerreria
 

Andy Sweet (1953-1982): is known for his documentary and street photography. He photographed the life and residents of South Beach, with a particular focus on the Jewish community, many of them Holocaust survivors. The discovery of Sweet's test prints in a family storage unit has garnered new interest in his documentary photography. Some of his surviving prints have been restored over the last decade. A documentary on his life and work was released in 2018. Andy Sweet died in 1982. @andysweetphotolegacy
 

Carlos Betancourt (b. 1966): was born to Cuban immigrant parents in San Juan and came to America with his family in 1981 when he was 15, settling in Miami. Despite an early pursuit of architecture, he pursued design, working in photography, painting, sculpture, installation, and performance art, among others. In 1995, he was named by People magazine one of its 50 most beautiful people in the world and by the early 2000’s his works were exhibited internationally. Betancourt’s work is part of the permanent collection of the National Portrait Gallery. @CarlosBetancourtArtist

Bunny Yeager (1929-2014) was a model turned pin-up photographer who helped jump-start the career of the then-unknown Bettie Page. Her legacy is her cultural impact, from pin-up photography and fashion, helping to popularize the bikini, and influencing other artists such as Cindy Sherman, who read Yeager's guides on photographing nudes and making self-portraits. Yeager became famous for making everyday women, from stay-at-home mothers to airline attendants, feel comfortable enough to bare it all. Her photos of Page in a leopard-print bathing suit standing next to a real cheetah are still well-known today. She did her last photography shoot at The Betsy Hotel in 2013. #BunnyYeager


Carlos Andres Cruz: a professional dog photographer based in Bogota, Colombia. On a visit to Miami Beach a few years ago, Carlos serendipitously came across Katie and Betsy, the Betsy Hotel’s CEOs (Canine Executive Officers), playing ball on the beach. Carlos began shooting – and these photos are exhibited permanently in the Underground Gallery @thebetsyhotel. Katie (short for Katherine Hepburn) sadly passed away in 2019, and Rosa arrived on the scene shortly after, taking on her role as assistant CEO and chief cheerer-upper to Betsy, who still misses Katie deeply. @LafotoPerreria
Charlie Spot (b.1994) is a mixed media photographer. He combines street and light box photography through digital software. Once finalised he applies his works to unconventional materials, which are often found in recycling skips or antique markets. His work focuses on human identity, psychology, how we interact with one another and how the interconnection between people affect their lives. Within this Charlie explores mental health, individuality and personal empowerment. @charlieSpot


Nadia Huggins (b. 1984): was born in Trinidad and Tobago and grew up in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, where she is currently based. A self-taught artist, she works in photography and, since 2010, has built a body of images that are characterized by her observation of the everyday. Her work merges documentary and conceptual practices, which explore belonging, identity, and memory through a contemporary approach focused on re-presenting Caribbean landscapes and the sea. @NadiaHuggins


Ray A. Tenorio (b. 1987): was born in Havana. Influences in his work include his Latin roots, Expressionism, urban mythology and fashion. Ray is a team member at The Betsy Hotel in Miami Beach, where his work is on permanent display. @MyArtyPeople

 

Robin Hill: is an award-winning photographer specializing in architecture and design, based in Miami and New York, raised in Nottingham, England. Hill sees his work as a metaphorical tripod with architecture, design, and fine art all coming together within the camera that sits atop the tripod. He was awarded architectural photographer of the year from the Florida AIA in 2015. @RobinHillPhoto
 

Tamary Kudita, (b. 1994): a product of dual-heritage and born in Zimbabwe, can trace her heritage back to the Orange Free State, historical Boer state in Southern Africa. An award-winning photographer, she maintains an active studio practice and has exhibited in Zimbabwe and outside the country. Her investigation into the impact of colonialism on the family structure has resulted in exhibitions delving into the history of the post-colonial identity. @africaToTheWorldZw
Bios, Guest-Curators - New Shows, 2023

 

Amanda Mullen: is a Miami Beach-based fashion entrepreneur and blogger with knowledge of and appreciation for contemporary art. Ed Cristin is an art consultant and artist rep specializing in historic photographic and art archives. He is the archivist/agent for photographers Andy Sweet, John Loring and painter Lee Oskar and was the archivist for photographer Bunny Yeager 2010-2016.
 

Paul Dreq: is lead concierge at The Betsy Hotel with special expertise in art sales. His mother is an accomplished painter.
Sophie Lefebreve Blache is an Independent Art Curator, founder of George & Georges, co-founder of French Arts Associates and author of four books. She is also an expert in photography, and is regularly invited to Rencontres Internationales de la Photographie in Arles.

 

Youness Bouchida: is the visionary entrepreneur behind Initiative AUDACE, launched in 2021. Its mission is to support Moroccan artists and designers with the aim of emerging and succeeding globally. Born in Fez, he grew up in Casablanca and studied in France. is a mixed media photographer. He combines street and light box photography through digital software. Once finalised he applies his works to unconventional materials, which are often found in recycling skips or antique markets. His work focuses on human identity, psychology, how we interact with one another and how the interconnection between people affect their lives. Within this Charlie explores mental health, individuality and personal empowerment. @charlieSpot
 

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