New exhibition “I’m Not a Trophy” to open at The Sagamore

Written By Brooks Vanderbush
October 23, 2019 at 4:05 PM

Trophy hunting and South Florida do not usually go hand-in-hand; and one certainly does not expect to be presented with the stark reality of it upon check-in at one of South Beach’s most iconic hotels. But, thanks to the visionary resident art advisor of the Sagamore Hotel, Sebastien Laboureau, guests and visitors alike will soon experience exactly that. And so much more.

Artist Arno Elias

“When curating this exhibition for The Sagamore Hotel, I was inspired to showcase how
fine art can be used to convey a powerful message with the goal of improving the world
we live in,” Laboureau said. “’I’m Not a Trophy’ will offer a unique and memorable artistic experience that has a purpose of sparking new ideas, creativity, and conversations among the art community.”

Slated to open in early December 2019 during Art Week, the exhibition will remain on
view through February 2020. An Opening Reception for “I’m Not a Trophy” by Arno Elias will be held at The Sagamore Hotel on Wednesday, December 4, 2019, starting at 7 p.m.

“I’m Not a Trophy” is titled after the charitable organization founded by Elias dedicated to creating greater awareness for the rapid extinction of endangered species and indigenous cultures around the world through a visually compelling campaign.

Curated by Laboureau, pieces featured in “I’m Not a Trophy” will include iconic African animals, such as lions, elephants, rhinoceros, gorillas, giraffes, cheetahs, and the last of the wild tigers in India. Other artworks on display will be from international guest artists who are involved with the cause.

Aficionados of art at the Sagamore Hotel will know that Laboureau is not new to the scene. He is a titan of Miami art, and has helped guide the resurgence and direction of that scene for some time now through his efforts at the Sagamore Hotel and beyond.

“The Sagamore Hotel is a very special, historic, and iconic art venue in Miami,” explains Laboureau. “Many hotels nowadays lay claim to the term ‘art hotel,’ but over 20 years ago when the Taplin family purchased the Sagamore, using it to showcase their own private collection was quite innovative. The Taplins were some of the most respected collectors of the community, and slowly but surely the Sagamore became quite an attraction all year long for collectors and art lovers alike.”

“Three years ago, the hotel was purchased by a new family, who realized the DNA of the hotel was so intertwined with art that there was no choice but to continue the legacy, and they embraced that,” continued Laboureau. “The vision now is to create a cultural platform that is quite unique and innovative. I am not really aware of any other hotel running a cycle of three to four exhibits per year, along various curated themes, showcasing art at a very high level. We’ve hosted groundbreaking exhibits featuring Cuban Art, Urban Art, and much more. The Sagamore is the only art institution in Miami open 24/7, offering free admission to the public. In all of the shows that I curate, I take great care in showcasing the diversity of mediums, and highlighting local artists, sometimes for the first time ever, alongside world-renowned artists. I also often mix with the secondary market, for example with works by Warhol or Lichtenstein. We work with galleries, with dealers, with private collectors, and with artists directly. It is really a great promotion platform for them, and all of the artworks are for sale.”

Currently running at the Sagamore is “Remix”, which showcases a diversity of artworks all dedicated to music, including hyper-realistic hand drawings of cultural contemporary icons by Robert Leone (which marks his Miami debut), innovative cement portraits by Italian artist Mario Loprete, as well as whimsical and joyful photographs and assemblage by US artist Robert Rabanne.

Other “Remix” exhibition highlights include award-winning photographs of music icons by Markus Klinko, 3-D metal artworks by Benda, a young Israeli artist who also makes his debut at this exhibit, and works by local artists.

“Remix is quite an extraordinary exhibit showcasing almost 100 artworks of music icons,” says Laboureau.

“My objective with this platform is for the public to react to it. Usually they smile, they take pictures, they mingle with friends around the artworks; this is what art is about, to create a dialogue, to make you think, to create memories, to share.”

As Laboureau looks to the future of both the Sagamore and Miami Beach as a whole, he sees a bright future for the Arts, and indeed nothing brings him greater joy than that vision.

“Art has been part of my life since day one, not only visual arts, but also music. Art is an infinite source of happiness. Every day I discover new artists, new experiences. Art is an intimate path. Tastes may change over the years, but art itself remains eternal. I often say ‘You cannot lie in front of Art.’ By that I mean that through the creation of an intimate dialogue, and the emotions present there, your soul and innermost self is laid bare. It is a wonderful experience, and art is an amazing thing to have in this world.”

Exhibition slated to open in early December 2019 during Art Week, the exhibition will remain on view through February 2020. The Sagamore Hotel is located at 1671 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach, FL 33139. You can learn more about their visual art program at is a nonprofit source of theater, dance, visual arts, music and performing arts news. Sign up for our newsletter and never miss a story.

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