PHOTOS: Basel’s Bearded Beauties

By Kim Tamalonis
Kim Tamalonis is a Greenwich resident who graduated from Greenwich Academy. She currently teaches art at Rye Middle School and previously taught art at Greenwich Academy Tamalonis, who flies to Miami for the art fairs, said that while there, she and another Greenwich art world friend noticed the diversity of beards. A man at the next table who had joined the conversation encouraged Tamalonis to write her observations. For the next few days  she took dozens of photos, shot a video and wrote “Basel’s Bearded Beauties.”


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Photo, Kim Tamalonis

Move over L’uomo, the new harbingers of fashion, the men of the contemporary art world, turned Miami Art Week 2014 into a pop-up runway.

More than ever before, the style was all about the beards.

From those who sheared their chin manes like topiary to the elegant close-trimmed boys of Basel, they let their whiskers tell their varied stories.

Roots of the movement took hold in 2003 with the launch of the first NADA fair in a space near the Convention Center.  As the fair grew, so too did the dealers’ and acolytes’ remarkable and unparalleled flair for fashion.  The 2009 NADA migration to north Collins marked the return of panache and trending culture to the Deauville Beach Resort, once the playground of the Beatles, Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., Dean Martin and others.   December vacationers marveled at the influx of rolled jeans and barbarous bristles and soon the adjacent Walgreens couldn’t give away razors.

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Photo, courtesy Kim Tamalonis

Once relegated to 67th and Collins, this year whiskers spiraled down and out to all the fairs.  While lumberjack inspired locks accounted for some of the trend, hip-hop influenced jaw warmers conquered Scope.  At Art Basel Miami Beach, men redefined sophistication with close shorn shadows paired with bespoke suits.  This elegant crew, however, were quick to avoid the camera.  Everywhere else, excitement reigned as men took their opportunity to pose for their close-ups.  Infectious happiness from South Beach to Wynward seemed like a sign of passion for the subject of beards, but also a sign of Art Week success.

I don’t begrudge Adrian Grenier his right to bare sweet cheeks or fault the man at Art Miami on Thursday who was wearing a stunning navy suit with woven Italian matching loafers, but both seemed unaware of 2014 Miami Art Week fashion.  The following boys got it right…

Short video interview of Matthew Gardocki and the inspired story of his own beard.

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Matthew Gardocki. Photo Credit Kim Tamalonis.

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Photo courtesy of Kim Tamalonis

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Photo courtesy of Kim Tamalonis

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Photo courtesy of Kim Tamalonis

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Photo courtesy of Kim Tamalonis

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Photo courtesy of Kim Tamalonis

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Photo courtesy of Kim Tamalonis

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Photo courtesy of Kim Tamalonis

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Photo courtesy of Kim Tamalonis

Lester Montalban

Photo courtesy of Kim Tamalonis

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Photo courtesy of Kim Tamalonis

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Photo courtesy of Kim Tamalonis

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Photo courtesy of Kim Tamalonis

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Photo courtesy of Kim Tamalonis

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Photo courtesy of Kim Tamalonis

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Photo courtesy of Kim Tamalonis

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Photo courtesy of Kim Tamalonis

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Photo courtesy of Kim Tamalonis

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Photo courtesy of Kim Tamalonis

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Photo courtesy of Kim Tamalonis

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Photo courtesy of Kim Tamalonis

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Photo courtesy of Kim Tamalonis

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Photo courtesy of Kim Tamalonis

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Photo courtesy of Kim Tamalonis

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Photo courtesy of Kim Tamalonis

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Photo courtesy of Kim Tamalonis

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