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Once a year, like a beach babe shedding her bikini for a black turtleneck and tortoise-shell glasses, Miami morphs from global party capital into the sophisticated belle of the international art world.
More than 50,000 visitors will flock to Dade this week for hours of artistic insanity, all headquartered at the Miami Beach Convention Center. Inside, 260 of the world’s top galleries will showcase art worth a total of $2.5 billion — roughly the GDP of Guyana. With a resurgent economy and booming art market, experts expect record sales topping $500 million.
But Basel‘s impact resonates miles beyond the Monet-swapping confines of the convention center. Twenty-two satellite fairs will convert the entire tip of the peninsula into a rambling art-lovers’ paradise, from South Beach to Wynwood to Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden and beyond. And dozens of concerts, club parties, and DJ sets will turn the 305 into a mini South by Southwest extravaganza.
The only drawback to Basel week, really, is that Miamians can be in only one place at a time. Where to be? That is the question.
That’s why New Times has assembled the Magic City’s most comprehensive guide to the best fairs, the edgiest works, and the craziest parties. Raise a glass. Basel tov! It’s the best time of year in the 305.
Above is a handy-dandy map of all the fairs. Below is the key, and at the end of this page are links to the rest of our informative guide. So read on!
1) Art Asia Miami December 4–9. 110 NE 36th St., Miami. $20.
2) Scope Miami December 5–9. 110 NE 36th St., Miami. $15–$20.
3) Overture Miami December 5–9. NW 34th Street and Buena Vista Boulevard, Miami. $15.
4) Context December 5–9. 3201 NE First Ave., Miami. $10–$20.
5) Red Dot Miami December 5–9. 3011 NE First Ave., Miami. Day pass $15, week pass $25.
6) Art Miami December 5–9. 3101 NE First Ave., Miami. One-day pass $20, multiday pass $40.
7) Artexpo Miami December 5–9. 3011 NE First Ave., Miami. $15.
8) Miami Project December 5–9. NE First Avenue and 29th Street, Miami. $20–$45.
9) Fountain Miami December 6–9. 2505 N. Miami Ave., Miami. One-day pass $10, weekend pass $15.
10) Seven December 4–9. 2200 NW Second Ave., Miami. Free.
11) JustMadMia December 6–9. 2136 NW First Ave., Miami. $10–$15.
12) Pulse Miami December 6–9. Ice Palace Studios, 1400 N. Miami Ave., Miami. $15–$20.
13) Pool Art Fair December 7–9. Sky House Marquis, 1100 Biscayne Blvd., Miami. Free.
14) Miami River Art FairDecember 5–9. Miami Convention Center, 400 SE Second Ave., Miami. $10–$30.
15) International Contemporary Jewelry Fair December 5–9. InterContinental Miami Dock, 100 Chopin Plaza, Miami. $20.
16) NADA Art Fair December 6–9. Deauville Beach Resort, 6701 Collins Ave., Miami Beach. Free.
17) Ink Miami Art Fair December 5–9. Suites of Dorchester, 1850 Collins Ave., Miami Beach. Free.
18) Design Miami December 5–9. Miami Beach Convention Center Parking Lot, Meridian Avenue and 19th Street, Miami Beach. $15–$55.
19) Art Basel Miami Beach December 6–9. Miami Beach Convention Center, 1901 Convention Center Dr., Miami Beach. $24–$90.
20) Select Fair December 6–9. Catalina Hotel, 1732 Collins Ave., Miami Beach. Free.
21) Aqua 12 December 6–9. Aqua Hotel, 1530 Collins Ave., Miami Beach. $10.
22) Untitled December 5–9. 12th Street and Ocean Drive, Miami Beach. $20.
23) Verge Art Miami Beach December 7–9. Essex House, 1001 Collins Ave., and the Clevelander, 1020 Ocean Dr., Miami Beach. Free.
Fifty years ago Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr. and Tony Bennett played the Deauville Beach Resort in Miami Beach. Now a handful of college students will have their day at the Deauville.
The New Art Dealers Alliance, known as NADA, hosts one of the higher profile satellite fairs during Art Basel. This year’s will be held at the iconic Miami Beach hotel.
Four college seniors at the New World School of the Arts will show video installations at the NADA fair. The pieces will be piped into every TV of every room in the Deauville (channel eight, if you’re looking). The videos will also play on bigger screens in the main space of NADA.
For the past few years, a handful of New World students have been selected to create and show work during Art Basel week.
Something in the Water
Filmmaker Grela Orihuela and her husband, Bill, are both avid art collectors and at some point they started to notice many of their favorite artists were coming from their own back yard.
“We used to joke that there was something in the water at New World,” said Orihuela. “We wanted to be part of that that nurtures it.”
So, three years ago, they started the project for NWSA students, called HOTBED.
NADA runs from Thursday, Dec. 6, through the Sunday, Dec. 9, at the Deauville Beach Resort (6701 Collins Ave., Miami Beach, FL). For more information, check NADA’s website.
See an excerpt from Sebastian Duncan-Portuondo’s video installation here.
See an excerpt from Azizi DeSouza’s video installation here.
Then put down that cocktail and visit the satellite fairs that surround sunny South Beach’s annual art party
The White Cube Party at Soho Beach House for Art Basel Miami (Jennifer Greylock/Getty)
The annual Bacchanalia that is Miami Art Basel is barely underway, and already reports from sunny South Beach describe a debaucherous scene where bedroom art weirdos pop bottles with rap stars, wealthy collectors and dealers anoint new darlings, and lecherous hanger-ons with big tans and bigger hair pose for pictures and drink on other people’s dime. Miami isn’t exactly a sleepy beach town by any means, but the pre-parties for the pre-parties for the pre-parties have been going on since Tuesday, and there’s still two days left, and so, so, much art to see.
That’s right: art, the very reason Miami becomes the centre of the universe this time of year. The week’s nucleus is the Miami convention centre, where Art Basel proper takes place. But with the onslaught of satellite fairs that have crept up around the city in recent years, for many (re: people who aren’t rich), Basel is an afterthought. Canadians who’ve made the trip south and are looking out for who’s repping them have especially little reason to visit the New York and London-dominated convention centre, whose lone Canadian exhibitor is Toronto’s Jessica Bradley. We suggest checking out the smaller fairs, where CanCon is a plenty. If you can pry yourself out of that luxe feather-topped mattress, please see below.
The NADA fair at the Deauville Beach Resort has been described as a must-see for collectors in search of “emerging or overlooked” talent. Jon Rafman is neither. On the strength of his universally obsessed-over collection of surreal Google street view images, the Montreal-based new-media whiz kid has become one of the more visible faces of Canada’s new school of contemporary image-makers. Though his major residency remains at U.K. top dog Saatchi Gallery, he’s in Miami with London’s far less glossy Seventeen Gallery, who’ll show his New Age Demanded project; a series of deformed 3D models of greek busts where, as Rafman puts it “Art history meets possible futures in a topological space where reality is molded, stretched, bent, but never broken.”
Though Art Basel is often viewed as the lantern-jawed football player in a high school full of hipsters, showing there can help pay a gallerist’s rent for a decade or 10. At least that’s what Toronto’s Jessica Bradley–who called her gallery’s successful attempt at gaining acceptance to Basel a “rigorous process”–is hoping for. With her, she brings artists Zin Taylor , Derek Sullivan, and Julia Dault, the Toronto ex-pat now based in Brooklyn, whose winding Formica sculptures and richly textured paintings have landed in New York’s harbinger of cool The New Museum, and Toronto’s less-cool but equally impressive Art Gallery of Ontario. Art Basel feels like a proper milieu between the two, so expect Dault and co. to fit right in.
Instead of showcasing their impressive portfolio of diverse artists, Toronto art world mainstays Narwhal Art Projects has decided to put all its eggs in one patchwork basket by the name of Jacob Whibley. This is their third time bringing the Toronto native’s dizzying mixed-media work to Miami, but their first at Pulse, which has earned the reputation of being less subversive, and more buyer-friendly than the other fairs. And if Whibley’s dramatic, labour-intensive pieces–one required over 4,500 strips of paper to assemble–sell well, then it’s Cubano sandwiches at Enriqueta’s, on him.
Cooper Cole gallery has enjoyed a meteoric rise to the top of Toronto’s West-end gallery scene, thanks in large part to star pupil Sara Cwynar, who along with a mini army of CC’s best and brightest, will be featured at Miami Project, the freshman of this year’s slew of satellite fairs. Born in Vancouver but based in Brooklyn, Cwyer, a graphic designer and illustrator who moonlights as both at New York Times magazine, has the impressive resume, the of-the-moment aesthetic, and just-the-right dose of attention from just-the-right tastemakers to make us all think one thing: girl’s about to blow.
Valerie Blass and Rick Leong
Montreal’s current it-gallery Parisian Laundry will help christen new-kid-on-the-beach Untitled, whose prime location steps away from the Miami convention center should encourage Basel castaways to visit booth C26, where Valerie Blass’s devilishly oneiric sculptures will be paired with B.C. painter Rick Leong’slyrical landscapes. Blass and Leong are both in the habit of putting iconic imagery in a blender and seeing what comes out, which should make for an engaging dialogue between two Canadian artists who seem primed to take centre stage.