For Brandon Boyd, frontman of the nu-metal band Incubus, so much depends upon the "very patient, caring models" who sit for his ink-stained watercolor paintings.
Boyd says he prefers to freeze on the moment, midway through his portraits, when his female "friends" lose themselves "in reverie." He'll draw their expressions with ink, then spill water on the portrait, swishing the watercolors with a paintbrush to create an abstract inkblot.
"Spill it. Wipe it with a brush. Hands off. You're done. Walk it off," says Boyd, describing his technique Wednesday at the Scope Miami Beach fair, where his watercolors are on exhibit for Miami Art Week. He'll also appear 5-7 p.m. Dec. 3 for signings of his two art books at the Webster boutique (1220 Collins Ave.).
Boyd, still recording Incubus' eighth studio album (their first since 2011's "If Not Now, When?"), calls his watercolors a "side project," a meditative catharsis in which "you wander nowhere and everywhere at once inside your head, and it feels psychedelic."
Boyd stained one painting, "Poncho #1," while his friend Stephanie posed on a stool in his Venice Beach, Calif., home. Stephanie, he says, "got lost for a moment," so to recapture this "muddle of introspection," he smeared watercolor on the drawing.
"I like my art, but in a year, I will only see the flaws in it," Boyd says. "The same thing with music, too. But you can keep evolving the song while playing on tour. Music is more fluid, like a painting that never really dries."
With their female subjects appearing in different states of undress, Boyd's paintings hardly seem out of place at Scope. On Wednesday, the long-running beachside fair seemed to dovetail sex and contemporary art in almost every booth. More than usual, anyway: Los Angeles' De Re Gallery depicted a woman covered in dirt striking nude poses, while Paris' KY Gallery went for subtlety, presenting a sculpture of Pez dispensers that formed the Playboy bunny logo. New York's Taglialatella Galleries took aim at subliminal advertising in a dozen pop-art prints, substituting common logos for their sexier counterparts: "Kellogg's Porn Flakes" and "Pornographic Pictures."
Later in the evening, debuting fair Superfine! House of Art and Design beckoned from an air-conditionless warehouse in Little Haiti. Chris Baio, bassist of the cerebral indie-pop band Vampire Weekend, brought danceable intensity to his side project from a square island stage inside the warehouse. Baio, affecting a low, brooding baritone over his glitchy electronic anthems, galloped to different corners of the stage in a white tuxedo.
Superfine! simmered with a loose, freewheeling vibe. Haitian food vendors served pork ribs and fresh sugarcane juice. A dancer, clad only in a leopard-print thong and sneakers, roared at passers-by. And a massive chandelier installation by Little Haiti artist Diego Montoya, titled "Ascend With You," cast a turquoise glow over the room with its suspended sculptures of fluorescent light tubes and human figures bejeweled in twinkly blue sequins.
Brandon Boyd's booth at Scope Miami Beach is open 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Dec. 3-6 at 801 Collins Ave. Admission costs $25-$35. Go to Scope-Art.com.
Superfine! House of Art and Design runs 1-11 p.m. Dec. 3-6 at 8300 NE Second Ave, in Miami. Admission runs $5-$10. Go to Superfine.Design