When you think Hello Kitty, the mental montage probably goes something like this: Hallmark, eight-year-old girls, white cat with no mouth and exactly six whiskers, Mariah Carey, toilet, beer, douchebags, and this gun. Notice that nowhere in that sequence are the words art or basel. Well, all of that is about to change when Sanrio celebrates its 50th Anniversary at Art Basel with a pop-up shop called Small Gift Miami. It's housed in an 8,000-square foot custom space in Wynwood so it'll be tough to miss.
The exhibit, curated by Roger Gastman (a consulting producer on Banksy's Exit Through the Gift Shop) and Zio Fulcher, will feature art inspired by the Japan's Tourism Ambassador (yes, seriously). Artists such as Shepard Fairey were asked to create work inspired by their favorite Sanrio character. There'll also be a 35-foot visual timeline of the history of the cutesy brand.
Among the work on display, expect a gothic Hello Kitty chandelier, a less gothic and more octopus-looking chandelier, and plenty of pop art portraits of the famous feline. There's one of her as the Queen of Hearts, and another with her as part of the Rolling Stones tongue logo (because Stones fans love stationary that smells like artificial strawberries). The Hello Kitty face even makes it onto a flurry of tote bags worn by Japanese school girls as they bend over.
The space will also feature a sweets counter, a retrospective of the brand's many twee characters from years past, a gift shop, one random painting of Danzig and his band pumping iron in a garage, and a pop-up tattoo parlor where patrons can get inked by artists Grant Cobb and Charlie Roberts. Pedophiles, this is your cue to get branded.
Small Gift Miami (173 NW 23rd Street, Miami) opens Thursday, December 2 and runs through Sunday, December 5.
Keep Miami New Times Free... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Miami with no paywalls.