With an astute eye and mixed media approach, multidisciplinary art director and designer Alex Proba’s client list includes Nike, Google, Kickstarter, and Target. And now, just in time for Miami’s Art Basel, her New York-based firm Studio Proba has been hand selected by visionary collector and developer Craig Robins for the Design District’s annual Design Commission. Proba took the opportunity to put forth a large-scale physical and virtual installation entitled Tomorrow Land, designed in collaboration with fellow creative studio Enjoy The Weather. For her part, Studio Proba created a series of playful and primitive sculptures, seating, and ornamentation, all strategically placed throughout the experimental and extravagant luxury shopping area to encourage interaction and bold reaction. Luxeicon caught up with the German-born artist to discuss the unexpected motive behind this latest project and where she sees her optimistic work taking her next.
What does it mean to you to be selected for the Miami Design District’s 2021 Design Commission?
The last few years have been unprecedented—beyond what any of us could have predicted. This project means more to us now than it would have in any other time. With every piece of art that Studio Proba releases to the world, we have one main goal: We want to make you happy, if only for a second. We are honored to be able to create art and share it with the world on such a large scale.
What is the most creatively challenging part of public installation work and what have you learned from previous large-scale commissions that influences your approach now?
Honestly I think partnering with Enjoy The Weather inspired me to not only think bigger in the real world but also the digital world. The Tomorrow Land app inspired me to do more projects that are able to be experienced even if someone can’t visit “the place”. Especially now, the world we live in, it will be a wonderful experience to be able to share the app with my family and friends even without their presence in Miami. It is connecting the world on another level. I love that.
What do you hope visitors will take away from your contributions to Tomorrow Land?
We all need positivity and joy in our lives—even in hard times like these. Our work is a celebration of colors and patterns that positively stimulate senses. Art is an emotion for me, one that can transform an environment by adding life and personality. And then Enjoy The Weather is literally bringing art to life, adding another level of excitement through VR. We hope that interactions with the art will create a space that radiates hope for a better future together.
How did you interpret the curatorial theme of Comfort and Joy: A Call To Action?
It almost weirdly feels like the first big event since the pandemic started. People are ready to go out and enjoy life and feel free again. Studio Proba work is never dark or serious and just the colors and patterns alone evoke positivity, at least that is my hope. This paired with a wonderland of magical shapes placed around the neighborhood/s should translate a feeling of excitement and joy. Tomorrow Land lets the visitor be live participants in the joy which brings them even closer to the world of my little magical creatures—their own ones.
It’s been described as an interactive playground. How do you hope visitors do indeed participate in the work when they visit?
We hope that the visitors will be mesmerized by our sculptures and that they feel inclined to download the app and add their own sculpture to Tomorrow Land to be found by others in the VR space. Our goal is to fill Miami and the world with the sculptures.
When you are in Miami, what’s on your must-visit list? Where do you like to go to get inspired or meet with other creative minds?
I think it will be on the way to the shows, by passing and bumping into each other. The real life conversations and viewing of art and design.
What other cities or districts would you most like to turn into your canvas next and why?
I would love to do more in Europe, as that’s where I am from and that’s where my entire family still is. Another one on the bucket list would be the desert somewhere in Morocco or Saudi Arabia.