Walking to the pool deck at the Mondrian South Beach this afternoon was like stepping into Alice's Wonderland, except with more alcohol and less clothing. For their installation for Art Basel Miami Beach, FriendsWithYou, made of the duo Samuel Borkson and Arturo Sandoval III, created an inflatable playground, surrounding the hotel's pool area with giant, shimmering blow-ups. The jewel-toned work, Somewhere Over the Rainbow, was presented by Paul Kasmin Gallery and Paper Magazine.
According to FriendsWithYou, "We wanted the experience to be like you made it to the end of the rainbow, a place where healing colors radiate people as they chill and play with our work making their own adventure." But we're definitely not in Kansas anymore. With bright lights, uplifting music by Norman Bambi, and revelers floating on the huge, inflatable forms, this magical scene was like a trippy giant's playroom of enormous plastic gumdrops and popsicles.
FriendsWithYou's work often deals with magic and healing—mysticism for the modern age. Their most recent project "Psychic Stones" involves colorful forms cast in resin each holding their own spell. Somewhere Over the Rainbow falls in line with this spiritual agenda, a spellbinding and immersive work that leaves viewers in a laid back and satisfied trance.