Thomas Fuchs and Michou Mahtani are the brains behind the luxury home-accessories company Thomas Fuchs Creative, an industry favorite known for its refined shapes and craftsmanship in tabletop, barware, and lighting. After transplanting their NYC-based company to Miami, as longtime collectors themselves they were inspired to open their home to the art and design community for a quarterly soiree.
Drawing gallery directors, collectors, artists, and other luminaries to the newly tony Brickell neighborhood, each dinner features one visual artist as the evening’s focal point. Fuchs and Mahtani cover their walls with selected works and integrate the artist’s aesthetic into a dramatic tablescape, while Fuchs, an avid cook, crafts eclectic menus and prepares meals influenced by everything from a color palette to the artist’s cultural heritage. “An amazing sensorial experience,” enthused attendee Gaspar Saldanha of Design Miami.
For their next dinner, the pair gears up for impending Art Basel with Brazilian sculptor and painter Frida Baranek, whose work comments on industrialization and the environment in Brazil. Baranek has lived in and worked in Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Paris, Berlin, New York, and London, and was most recently nominated by the Frost Art Museum in Miami and the Smithsonian Institute for “Women Who Make History.” Her pieces incorporate fibers, steel wires, and iron tubing into her woven work for a surprisingly light, fragile composition.
Baranek—who has shown at the Venice Biennale, the Bienal de São Paulo, MOMA in New York, and the National Museum of Women in Washington, among many others—collaborated with Mahtani to develop the evening, inspired by her recent trip into “Zero Gravity.” Baranek explored themes of weightlessness and space, transforming the 12-foot dining table into a live sculpture of undulating wires. Table settings of TFC’s Murano glassware and melamine floated in three layers of suspended mesh material, enthralling guests and mimicking a Baranek sculpture. The ½ + ½ Collection from Thomas Fuchs Creative is hand-poured melamine resin in Pop Art shades of hot pink, orange, and acid green with navy and white, available through Barneys New York, and will be available internationally for Spring 2019 exclusively through Harrods in London, Le Bon Marché in Paris, and Rinascente in Milan.
Guests enjoyed pesto pasta, painstakingly prepared to evoke the serpentine shapes in the artist’s featured works, while taking in the rest of the private viewing amid phyllo pizza with feta and spinach, Honeycrisp apple and pecan salad, and chocolate mango cookies. Jordana Pomeroy, head of the Frost Museum, says, “I left quite sated, enveloped by the warmth of our hosts, the convivial conversation, and, of course, the sake.”
Celebrating the work of talented artists is always central to the Tavolo dinner series (tavolo is “table” in Italian), but the most important thing to Fuchs and Mahtani is being with friends and connecting the community. “The guest list and combination of people are almost more important than the meal, the artwork, or tablescape,” says Mahtani.
Guests included Jill Deupi, head of the Lowe Art Museum, and Professor Victor Deupi; Doug Evans, Director of Pamm; Mikolaj of The Webster; Franklin Sirmans, Director of Pamm; Maria and Michael Provok; and Daniel Campana of Miami Botanical Garden. Previous events have featured Miami-based artist Tony Vazquez, winner of the 63rd All Florida Exhibition, and artists Judith Tani and Andres Ferrandis.