Jonathan Chancellor | 9 December 2012

Villa deflation captures post-GFC net worth sentiment at Miami's Basel art installation

Villa deflation captures post-GFC net worth sentiment at Miami's Basel art installation

It was at Art Basel 2005 when architect Luis Pons unveiled his "Fabulous Floating Inflatable Villa" (pictured below) floating proudly offshore in Miami, a gargantuan inflated art installation taking aim at the ego-driven McMansion culture of the era.

Now in the wake of mindless excess and uninspired grandeur, Luis Pons has re-introduced the work as The Deflated Villa to Basel 2012, but this time it's on vacant abandoned land within its intended metal columns for the building foundations.

The art installation reflects his observation of society’s reaction to the aftermath of the United States real estate bubble.

The work, which symbolises the deflation of American egos and plummeting home values, was installed on a lot originally intended for development, but a casualty of the downturn.

The villa was on display at 79 NE 41st St. in the Design District during Art Basel, December 6 to 8.

"It's contained to represent how we have been trapped by the current situation and our past excesses," Pons says. "A new, more conscious society has emerged over the past several years, one with new values that is much more introspective," Pons told the Miami culture blogger Grace Stainback  on the Miami New Times.

"It's an analogy to represent the disparity between where we were in 2005 and where we are today.

"The fact that we are all coping with and surviving the crisis, and adapting to so many changes is significant. We will not go back to the way we once were."

Pons suggests reusing an already existing piece of art to create something new also carries meaning.

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