Friends, Readers, Countrymen! Lend me your ears… or in this case, your eyes.
One of the art world’s most exciting weeks is here! Art Basel Miami opens its doors to the public this Thursday December 6th and it must not be missed. If you’re a first timer, let me give you the rookie introduction into the delectable treat that is Art Basel Miami because in this specific case, my dear reader, it is not just about the art.
Going on it’s 11th year and strong, Art Basel Miami is Art Basel in Basel, Switzerland’s little naughty sister – you know, the one all the boys want to get with. But the real beauty about this fair is that it is the art world’s last boom before the year ends. It takes place in a city where our Latino presence roars attracting tens of galleries from south of the boarder; also, it is central to dealers and collectors who – let’s face it – probably own an island off the coast of Mustique or St. Barts and were probably planning to spend the weekend there anyway. The fair is sprung to life at the South Beach convention center conveniently located walking distance from the hotel strip on Collins Ave. and a short car ride away from the design district where everyone who’s anyone will be seen strolling around gallery openings, attending this year’s Cartier’s exclusive dinner or partying like there’s no tomorrow.
The number of art fairs that take place every year has grown exponentially in the past two years from Frieze’s new, hot New York branch scheming to kick the Armory Show where it hurts, to our beloved Basel’s Hong Kong fair that will take place for the first time next May 2013, amongst many others. Nevertheless, Basel Miami is one of a kind. Over 260 galleries from around the world will strut their stuff this week and twenty-two satellite fairs will pop up around the city during the same dates. Twenty-two! Choose wisely. As for the art itself, you will find just the right balance between modern, contemporary and Latin American art which is always a relief for those of us who cannot stand to have to read a loaded explanation in order to understand a single artwork’s meaning – or lack there of.
You can expect to bump into Tilda Swinton and handsome Leo Di Caprio if you’re lucky, but the head-turners you don’t want to miss are Eva and Adele, the eccentric German hermaphrodite couple who claim to be walking artworks that come from the future. They stroll around like Siamese twins, bald-headed, wearing identical outfits and thick make up. Don’t be shy to approach them, they are genuinely charming people. On the other hand, the crème de la crème of art dealers are always around chatting away, sealing deals we all wish we could hear, take notes on and replicate (at least I do). These are the real celebrities. You see the art of being an art dealer is a tricky one. It involves a great photographic memory, crisp art history, the best set of people skills on the planet, and a big pair of… You get the drift.
All in all, my dear reader, any reason you choose to go to Art Basel Miami for is a worthy one for it is a one of kind phenomenon that year after year never ceases to surprise. As for me, of course I’ll be there!
Get in the mood with a little 1997, Will Smith “Miami” vibe!