In addition to being culturally stimulating, lively, and debaucherous, Art Basel Miami can also be overwhelmingly hectic. Thankfully, the art object masterminds at Grey Area are launching a project at Basel that centers on calm and relaxation rather than socializing and complimentary cocktails (not that there’s anything wrong with that). The Brooklyn-based company, helmed by Kyle DeWoody, is debuting a collection of seven yoga mats designed by a diverse range of artists including Daniel Arsham, Andrew Kuo, and Jon Kessler. To celebrate the collection, Grey Area will be offering daily yoga classes led by Lululemon Athletica’s instructors at the Delano, the Shore Club, and the Mondrian. “We hope to provide a calm amidst the chaos,” says DeWoody.
“Since starting Grey Area, I’ve begun to see blank canvases everywhere,” DeWoody says. A yoga enthusiast herself, Dewoody has spent countless hours in quiet meditation, her eyes fixed on her yoga mat. Rather than choosing to collaborate with artists who practice yoga themselves, Dewoody turned to artists whose unique aesthetics and sensibilities would transform the yoga experience for various practitioners.
For instance, Andrew Kuo, whose yoga mat features an image of a stretching cat from his wildly popular Instagram account, admits he has never attempted yoga himself. He is, however, open to the possibilities of taking it up. “I should probably do something while I watch TV for six hours straight,” he says. Kuo does, however, offer a good guess for what position his furry friend is demonstrating. “Is it the, ‘I can’t believe I ate the whole thing?'”
While some artists drew inspiration from the culture and practice of yoga, others, like Jon Kessler, whose mat features a $100 bill, lines of cocaine and a razor blade, took cues from the mechanics of the mat itself. “I was thinking of what else could be flat but then rolled up and I came upon the dollar bill,” Kessler says. “At that point I just went with the obvious progression of what you would do with a rolled-up bill.”
Whether you’re partial to photos of cats or piles of narcotics, there is a Grey Area mat to suit the fancy of any aesthetically inclined yogi. Like Kuo’s feline, you can reap the benefits of a good stretch in the Miami sunshine.
GREY AREA YOGA MATS WILL BE AVAILABLE ON ITS WEBSITE FOR PRE-ORDER ON NOVEMBER 29 AND FOR SALE STARTING DECEMBER 2 AT THE DELANO, SHORE CLUB, AND MONDRIAN HOTELS.
For more of Interview’s coverage of Art Basel Miami Beach 2013, please click here.