FriendsWithYou Unveils 50-Foot Tall Sculpture Commissioned by The City of Miami Beach for Art Week Miami Beach

Visual Arts

FriendsWithYou Unveils 50-Foot Tall Public Sculpture, Starchild, Commissioned by The City of Miami Beach for Art Week Miami Beach 2022, Renames Earth to “Ocean” In New Body of Work

Artist Duo Takes Over Miami Beach with Public Artwork and Two Art Basel Presentations with GAVLAK and Nanzuka Gallery

Rendering of Starchild. Photo by Zack Balber. Courtesy of FriendsWithYou.

(MIAMI BEACH, FL — November 3, 2022) — The City of Miami Beach is pleased to announce a new monumental artwork by FriendsWithYou, the art collaboration of Samuel Borkson and Arturo Sandoval III. Starchild, a 50-foot tall metal sculpture, will be unveiled during Art Week Miami Beach 2022 at Miami Beach’s Henry Liebman Square (41st Street & Pine Tree Drive). The sculpture will coincide with FriendsWithYou’s participation in Art Basel Miami Beach, where the artists are showing new works with two galleries, Nanzuka Gallery and GAVLAK.

Starchild is the main character in FriendsWithYou’s newest body of work, a longform conceptual project in which the artists are renaming the Earth to “Ocean” as a means to unify the planet by a name. In this metaphor, Starchild is a key archetype inside the origin story of Ocean lore; he marks the beginning of life on Ocean — just as the artist’s iconic Little Cloud has been a key character in their oeuvre over the years, Starchild is now introduced as a symbol of light, power, and nature.

For the past 20 years, FriendsWithYou has been on a mission to promote radical kindness and positivity through their work, from their public artworks and institutional works in the contemporary art world and reaching beyond into popular culture through immersive installations and experiences, sculptures, paintings, animation, live performances, virtual reality, and digital art. The artists have gained international recognition through their public exhibitions and artworks in museums, art galleries, and public spaces across the world, including fine art exhibitions at institutions such as the Indianapolis Museum of Art, the NSU Art Museum, and Dallas Contemporary; major installations such as their Little Cloud balloon at the 2018 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, their iconic set for J Balvin at Coachella in 2019, and Little Cloud Sky, a public art installation commissioned by The City of Miami Beach; and their hit animation series “True and the Rainbow Kingdom” on Netflix. The duo are currently developing two new television shows, with the goal of bringing art to the entire world through the medium to promote positivity and compassion.

Statement by the artists

“Ocean is a collection of metaphors conjuring our combined humanity; where most belief systems highlight what’s unique to them, Ocean’s mythology aims to unearth the common myths and viewpoints that exist in everyone, deep in the human psyche, to create a mythology that everyone can not only relate to but be a part of, regardless of cultural background. The closer we get to the truth of our existence, the more we can sense the power of our nature. The unification and creation of a better society has to start with this understanding which allows us to be more compassionate to each other as well as seeing every living thing as us.”

In conjunction with the launch of Starchild, FriendsWithYou will bring their Ocean concept to Art Basel Miami Beach, showcasing work with both Nanzuka Gallery and Gavlak, where they will premiere a new plastiline sculptural painting of Ocean, titled Adventus, which was generated with the help of AI in collaboration with the artists and depicts the moment when Starchild arrives on earth.

FriendsWithYou will also be premiering a new line of accessories during Art Week Miami Beach, aptly named Friend, with the first release of the amulet, Starchild. In keeping with their mission to make art accessible to a wide audience, this new venture into fashion aims at bringing mythical albeit functional amulets to a wider audience. The Friend line is a method of signaling that the wearer is a Friend — an ally, a helper, and a kind human.

About FriendsWithYou
FriendsWithYou is the art collaboration of Samuel Borkson and Arturo Sandoval III, created with the intention to bring more joy, kindness, and love to the world. The collaboration is a vehicle for the exploration of emotional healing through culture creation and art making. Each work is created with the intention of transcendence, and nurturing care for the viewer or participant. FriendsWithYou’s meaning is in its name, in that everything in the universe can and wants to be friends with you, an aide in the promotion of love, harmony & peace in our lives. Our goal is to connect and heal as much as possible through our work, to grow the love and joy in each person, creating an exponential aggregate of sharing, healing, and compassion for each other and our living planet.

About the City of Miami Beach Art in Public Places Program 
Art in Public Places is a city board responsible for the commission and purchase of artwork by contemporary artists in all media. The program allocates funds totaling 2% of hard costs for City projects and joint private/public projects. Funds from construction projects may be aggregated into the Art in Public Places Fund and allocated for artwork at public sites and for collection maintenance. The fund is administered by a City Commission-appointed citizen’s board of seven members, the Art in Public Places Committee.


Media Contact
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