An (Unofficial) Art Basel Visitor Guide
After relocating to Miami this past summer, I’m looking forward to exploring a one of a kind art exhibition in Miami and the sandy white shores of South Beach: Art Basel. Actually, one of a kind is a bit of misnomer. Organizers also host annual Art Basel shindigs in its namesake city, Basel, (a European city on the border between Switzerland, France, and Germany) and Hong Kong at different times of the year. Art Basel/Miami Beach 2013 is the 12th edition of this art gala and has grown up into a sprawling maze of eye candy for connoisseurs of the visual arts and the curious.
What is Art Basel?
Art Basel traces its beginnings to three visionary art gallery owners in 1970. They created an event for artists and galleries alike to exhibit contemporary and avant-garde pieces from around the world. Throughout the years, the Art Basel production has grown from 90 involved galleries, 30 publishers of art from 10 countries, and 16,300 visitors to its present size across three cities. 50,000 visitors alone came to Art Basel/Miami Beach alone last year.
A truly international event, Art Basel 2013 will showcase contemporary art from across the globe. Art galleries from North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia, and Africa are coming to town and have historical works from masters of Modern art and newly minted pieces by emerging stars in tow. Painting, sculptures, drawings, installations, photographs, films, and edited works of great quality are on the menu. Live performances and music are planned as well to create a fully immersive experience.
Things to See and Do At Art Basel
The invitation only events begin December 4, 2013, and opens to the public from Thursday, December 5 through Sunday, December 8. Doors open, figuratively speaking, at noon each day and close at 8pm (6pm on Sunday).
The main event will take place at the Miami Beach Convention Center (MBCC) and will be divided into eight different areas:
- Galleries – Art works from undiscovered artists through museum quality pieces.
- Nova – Individual galleries showcase new works from the past 3 years from 1-3, hand selected artists from around the world.
- Positions – A single artist presents one major project.
- Edition – Special presentations of editioned works, prints, and multiples (think Andy Warhol) by renowned artists
- Kabinett – Curated exhibitions of art that have their own space to showcase specific themes.
- Public – Outdoor sculptures, interventions, and live performances. No ticket required!
- Film – Films by and about artists.
- Magazines – Art publications from around the world.
Public artworks are located at nearby Collins Park and nearby beaches. Video works will be presented inside the MBCC and also in the outdoor setting of SoundScape Park.
Art Basel will also organize three different series for visitors to go beyond just viewing artworks.
- Conversations – Morning discussions by prominent members of the international art world.
- Salon – Short presentations that include artist talks, panels, lectures, and performances with the artists, academics, curators, collectors, architects, art lawyers, critics, and others.
- Video Archive – Videos of archived “Conversations” from Art Basels in years past.
Art Basel will be offering more specific details, including a show guide and floor plan when they become available. You can that information here.
Art Basel Creates a Synergy in Miami
The Beach doesn’t get to claim the entire event. There will be “satellite” art fairs going on before, during, and after Art Basel citywide. A large part of it will be take place across the causeways in Midtown and the Wynwood Arts Districts of Miami. Three large structures in Midtown will be home to the works of contemporary artists from all over the world, further cementing this area’s place as the go-to arts center of the city.
Here are some of the satellite art fairs that have got my attention:
- New Material Art Fair – This 1st edition fair features experimental works that push the boundaries of traditional contemporary art. Eva Hotel, December 5-8.
- Brazil Art Fair – A showcase of art works from Brazilian galleries. Midtown, December 4-8.
- Interactive Art Fair – A fair that focuses on immersing the onlooker with the artworks. 1035 N Miami Ave, December 3-8.
Just getting to all the shows could become a full time job!
Certainly these events show Miami as a hub for artistic expression, visual and otherwise. AB/MB also brings light that there is more to the art scene than just creating. It is about the experience.
Ari Good, JD LLM, a tax, aviation and entertainment lawyer, is the Shareholder of Good Attorneys At Law, P.A. He graduated from the DePaul University College of Law in 1997 and received his LL.M. in Taxation from the University of Florida.
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