Art Basel, one of Miami’s most highly anticipated events of the year has come and gone. The Miami art scene is hotter than ever and has exploded into a must-see destination that attracts some of the top artists in the world. Although I don’t consider myself to be an art enthusiast, I had always been interested in attending Art Basel Miami. Experiencing one of the most renowned art fairs was definitely on my bucket list and this was my year to see it all (well…not all…there is so much to see and so little time…plus traffic is on another level).
Miami transforms into a completely different city during Art Basel; it is filled with art installations, fairs, galleries and events…it is truly a one of a kind experience. From the moment I left the airport, I knew it was go time as artists from all over the world install pieces of public art around the city. From highway to hotel you are bound to come across a beautiful work of art in places least expected; tapestries hanging from the façade of hotels, street graffiti, beautifully designed tents on the beach…I could go on and on as there is some form of art everywhere in sight.
Art Basel is an international art fair held annually in Basel, Miami Beach and Hong Kong. It began in 1970 in the city of Basel when art gallerists Ernst Beyeler, Trudi Bruckner and Balz Hilt decided to create an international art fair in order to increase art commerce. Art Basel was a huge success and received international recognition from day one, with the first event hosting over 90 galleries and 30 publishers from 10 different countries. Art Basel became a yearly event and by 1975, 300 exhibitors were showing their artwork from over 21 countries. Art Basel provided the ideal platform for galleries to sell and display their work to collectors, curators and museum directors. Art Basel Miami didn’t begin until 2002 in order to include a wider spectrum of artwork, as it is the ideal meeting place of North America and Latin culture. Along with the art came the glam and glitz of Miami’s local scene and has continued to spread as one of the prime locations for posh parties and high-end exhibitions. Needless to say, Art Basel Miami has established itself as a premier show in America and is ranked among the favorite events in the international art world.
There are numerous places to view artwork around the city, however one of the main attractions is located at the Miami Beach Convention Center. Prior to allowing the general public access to the event, the convention center opens up a day early for VIP guests to view this year’s latest works of art. It was interesting to learn that prospective buyers during the VIP preview are sometimes given as little as 10 minutes to decide whether or not they want to purchase a particular piece of artwork…talk about pressure! Overall I was surprised to see that numerous pieces of artwork influenced by this year’s presidential election at the convention center.
There were more than 200 galleries shown this year at various locations located in Miami Beach, Midtown and Miami’s Wynwood area. Unfortunately, this year I forgot my checkbook haha … until next year!
Stay tuned for more from Art Basel Miami 2016 including some hot spots during the event.
Photo Credit Luccia Lowenthal