miami art week 2016: despite it being winter, the ‘high tide’ installation presented in miami’s wynwood arts district emits a distinctly warm and beachy vibe. john margaritis — founder of new york sunshine, a line of limited-run hand screen t-shirts — has realized the fashion-cum-art experience in occasion of miami art week 2015. 130 feet of wavy wooden shelving displays an edition of 300 hand-dyed indigo shirts, each numbered as an edition of art, which gradually become deeper, darker blue as visitors immerse themselves within the space. 

the shirts gradually become a darker blue as visitors immerse themselves within the space
all images courtesy of new york sunshine



new york sunshine started as john margaritis’ side project to make some extra summer cash, joined by a crew of friends sharing similar passions — in particular all things new york. the brand has grown from hand-silk-screening shirts and selling them damp and sandy out of the back of a surf van into one that sells across the united states, as well as paris and japan. the entire 700 square foot miami space is transformed for ‘high tide’, with a lifeguard stand welcoming visitors at the entrance, shirts transitioning from white to deep blue hung on shelves running parallel on both walls, and a floor covered in sand topped by a boardwalk down the center. the installation gives viewers an opportunity to feel as margaritis does at the shoreline: entering the ocean, and moving deeper in.

the waves of wooden shelving lead out through the front door 



‘this project has allowed me to take myself back to the beginning,’ margaritis said. ‘I started out doing everything by hand, and, as the brand grew, I wasn’t able to do that anymore. when I first began conceiving of high tide, the one thing I was most excited about was getting very hands on again. each shirt was individually hand-dyed and the shelves hand- made in a studio in new york.’

the shirts slowly shift in hue from pure white to dark blue 



‘high tide’ is based on a photograph of a basketball hoop in the ocean from margaritis’ 2014 ‘hoop dreams’ series. the installation aims to make the visitors feel as if they can stand on the shoreline, safe and calm. when moving deeper into the installation, the swells grow and the spectrum of blue intensifies, representing moving away from that safety and giving up control. there is an intensity and unpredictable danger that is unique to the ocean, and  ‘high tide’  is margaritis’ interpretation of that intensity, his lens for you to view it through. you can move at your own pace. you decide how deep you submerge. swim at your own risk.



swim at your own risk

the front of the mock storefront is made to mimic a lifeguard house 

image © designboom

image © designboom

image © designboom

making of the installation
image courtesy of john margaritis

image © designboom