Miami Art Space Sues Kanye West for Overdue Rent

Miami Art Space Sues Kanye West for Overdue Rent, Who Owes Around $150.000, to Design Showroom Surface Area.

Oct 27, 2022By Angela Davic, News, Discoveries, In-depth Reporting, and Analysis
Miami Art Space sues Kanye West
Hans Ulrich Obrist, Jacques Herzog and Kanye West speak at the Surface Magazine’s Design Dialogues.
Photo by John Parra/Getty Images for Surface Magazine


Miami Art Space sues Kanye West for missed rental payments. Also, major brands severed ties with Kanye, following antisemitic comments by the rapper. Now he faces another business setback: Miami-based art and design space is suing him.


Miami Art Space Sues Kanye West – Lawsuit’s Content

Kanye West
Kanye West on October 21 in Los Angeles, California. Photo by Rachpoot/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images


Surface Media, the parent company of Surface Magazine, filed a lawsuit in Florida’s Southern District. The lawsuit says Kanye agreed to using the space as a recording studio for 25 days. Also, he ordered it cleaned of any colourful furnishings.


Ye ordered the removal and storage of more than 20 pieces of valuable art. Also, he wanted forty pieces of furniture and decor housed in the space, so it could be replaced with sound equipment.


On Jan. 5, Laurence Chandler, who managed Ye’s fashion line Yeezy, confirmed to managers of Surface Area that Ye would rent the space. She also gave a notice of using the space with a reminder to rent the space for additional time.


Miami Art Space
Via Miami Art Space website

Get the latest articles delivered to your inbox

Sign up to our Free Weekly Newsletter

Arrangements for removal of the art and furniture and customization of the space to Ye’s liking began that night, the suit states. Jonathan Smulevich, attorney for the Miami-based firm Lowy and Cook, P.A. gave a comment. “Ye asked and they delivered, and my client incurred significant costs and expenses to deliver”, Smulevich said.


Several other parties represented Kanye and they had an authority to act on his behalf. Niapa had authority to act on Ye’s behalf in renting Surface Area, the suit states. “Can we take out all artwork with color. Ye is looking to make the entire space black & white. And furniture which isn’t black or white. Also to be removed.”


A Surface Media representative, identified in the conversation as “Catie”, assured, “We have a collection of art and furniture in storage that we can bring in to replace anything with color.”


“The lawsuit’s timing has nothing to do with Kanye’s  comments” – Smulevich

Miami Art Space sues Kanye West
Kanye West at Miami Art Space


Kanye West and his employees also asked for black leather office chairs, which the suit priced at $813 for four, and a door for the makeshift studio. Also, everything is supposed to be done as soon as possible.


Surface Media hopes for a quick trial to retrieve its due compensation. Smulevich also said the timing of this litigation has nothing to do with the enormous outrage prompted by Ye’s recent rant.


Miami Art Space interior
Via Miami Art Space website


“As to who will represent Ye”m Smulevich added, “I do not know at this time. His attorneys that we were previously in contact with have advised they are no longer representing him.”


The location for the Surface Area space is on the 151 Northeast 41st Street in the city’s trendy Design District. A website for its owner, Surface Media LLC, describes it as a “shoppable showroom featuring hand-selected design objects and a curated art collection.”

Author Image

By Angela DavicNews, Discoveries, In-depth Reporting, and AnalysisAngela is a journalism student at the Faculty of Political Science in Belgrade and received a scholarship for continued education in Prague. She completed her internship at the daily newspaper DANAS and worked as an executive editor at Talas.