Artists the Haas Brothers Want to Turn Aventura Mall Into an Art Space
Amid Aventura Mall’s selection of stores that make your eyes sparkle (and wallet cry) is a whimsical collection of art carefully curated by businesswoman Jackie Soffer. Under her gaze, the largest mall in Florida has become not only a shopping mecca but also a bona-fide cultural destination.
Consider, for example, the mall’s set of macabre, smiling sculptures by Ugo Rondinone. They look like characters from Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas. The disembodied eyeball benches by Louise Bourgeois just outside the entrances of Louis Vuitton and Nordstrom compose an alluring piece that captures the scene-to-be-seen quality of all shopping places.
The works, many of which were created by the art world’s biggest names, imbue the mall’s gleaming promenades with a zany, soulful quality that sets Aventura apart from other Florida malls — and from those across the nation. Aventura’s artful approach to mall-managing has, evidently, been working. Whereas other malls have collapsed into shadows of their former selves while online shopping become increasingly popular, Aventura is wrapping up a 315,000-square-foot expansion — a state-of-the-art wing designed by Venezuelan architect Carlos Zapata that houses Zara, Topshop, and a Tesla showroom. Because of the new addition, the mall is already being dubbed the “most extra” place to shop in the Sunshine State.
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