The Billionaire-Backed Related Group’s Art Buying Spree, And The Works Being Unveiled At Art Basel Miami


By Chloe Sorvino

Billionaire Jorge Perez’s Related Group is unveiling millions of dollars of art this week across Miami, but those paintings and sculptures won’t eventually make it into his now-eponymous modern art museum like his vast private collection will.

Some unveiled at Art Basel this week will stay in outdoor spaces for public consumption. Others will become fixtures in the company’s high-end condo developments that dot Miami and South Beach.

The company has had a particularly aggressive year buying up pieces for its corporate collection, and that’s in part because Related Group recently added an art director to its employee roster. Patricia Garcia-Velez Hanna, who is also Perez’s personal art consultant, has doubled the size of the collection since coming to Related Group about a year and a half ago.

“I’m trying to bring in artwork from the inception of the project. We try to incorporate artwork so that it’s something that is inherent in the project,” Garcia-Velez Hanna said. “Related is committed to not only providing artwork to the residences of its projects but also for the people who live in our city.”

When a piece goes into an apartment building, it becomes an asset to the condo association – and can become a key factor in making a buyer fall in love with a property, Garcia-Velez Hanna said. She added that she is constantly looking for statement pieces “that can work well in a public space, and can be impactful in a lobby, for instance.”

“We look for internationally recognized artists and pieces that will trigger a conversation. Other times we’re looking for emerging artists who will strike a chord with different cultures,”  Garcia-Velez Hanna said. “Our buildings have such a diverse community, we want the pieces to make a resident strike up a conversation and make a viewer want to know more.”

Vibrant works in Related Group developments have helped to brand the company as the one where art lovers buy homes, and that has helped sales, said Carlos Rosso, president of the condo division at The Related Group.

“Art is the big differentiator from project to project. It provides the buyers with identities, particularly when we do outdoor, public art,” Rosso said.

The branding push likely stems from the top down: Perez, the founder and CEO, is a well-known art collector, especially in Miami circles. In 2011, he donated $35 million to the Miami Art Museum – which has since been renamed the Perez Art Museum Miami – and has pledged to funnel pieces of his personal collection into its halls.

A rendering of SLS Lux, a new Related Group development in Miami. Courtesy of Zakarian Martinez PR.

A rendering of SLS Lux, a new Related Group development in Miami. Courtesy of The Related Group

Now, Rosso is preparing for several big Related Group events during Art Basel week, and the ultra-luxurious building aptly named SLS Lux, which launches Thursday, exemplifies the company’s focus on incorporating art into its projects. The property, developed with SBE Entertainment Group, boasts amenities include butler service, pre-arrival grocery delivery and on-site currency conversion, but the art will likely take center stage during the groundbreaking event.

SLS Lux’s public grounds feature a large bronze “Male Torso” by major Latin American artist Fernando Botero. The building also includes works by Matias Duville and an exterior art mural installation by Fabian Burgos.

“No one does it at the scale we do it, but no one also does branding like we do it,” Rosso said.

Photo Courtesy of Zakarian Martinez PR.

Torsion 1 by Julio Le Parc. Photo by Alberto Tamargo

Related Group also unveiled two sculptures, one which will be public, by Argentinean artist Julio Le Parc at 444 Brickell Avenue this week. Company officials hope that the intricate installations will become the centerpiece of the massive development, a reportedly $100 million investment that will be renamed One Brickell once it launches next summer.

Torsion 1, a stainless steel behemoth that resembles an industrial yet whimsical forest, is prominently displayed in the public space. Sphère Rouge is indoors, and will move to a different Related Group project in 2015.

Le Parc, who lives in Paris and is known as one of the pioneers of the Kinetic and Optical Art movement, said he is happy the piece will “touch a greater number of people.” Related Group is hoping One Brickell becomes a well-trafficked area, and is planning to create a three-tower development with 1,200 apartments, a 200-room hotel with convention space and 200,000 square feet of office space and street-level retail.

“This can, in my opinion and experience, add to the community a smaller degree of optimism as it touches each person’s life in a unique way,” Le Parc said.


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