Immersed in what has become a mecca for the artistic and the appreciator alike, Miami Art Week bears witness to the idea that in this strange future we’re all careening toward, creativity remains the only constant. The centre pin is a fair called Art Basel ( pronounced Baa-Zuhl), founded in Basel, Switzerland in 1969. A version for the Americas, conveniently thrown in the “off-season”, was introduced in 2002 to the balmy climes of Miami.
Enter Art Basel Miami Beach. As ideal as it is geographically to hold such an event away from the frigid conditions that grip much of Europe and North America this time of year, Miami is also a hub for the wealthy and well-to-do. It’s a mix of old and new money, both of whom like to speculate and collect. It’s a match made in an art world heaven. It’s this kind of brand awareness and audience appeal has prompted them to make Hong Kong a stop on their now annual art world dominating tour.
The continued growth and notoriety has not only made Art Basel Miami Beach the art event of the year in the American longitudes, but has attracted a bevy of other ancillary, yet wildly interesting fairs to the area. The scope has expanded from a single fair just over a decade ago, to nearly 20 fairs and over 300,000 creative arts fanatics taking over for a week in December. This fever pitch has turned an already vibrant and culturally diverse locale into a truly international art lovers destination.
What attracts me to Miami Art Week, besides the obvious (READ: food, weather, beautiful people) is the sheer volume of diversity of the art itself . The vast array of mediums, genres, price points and calibre of artists is dizzying, but in the best way possible. If you’re interested in art, there is something for you there. Whether it’s the street art rawness of the Wynwood area of Midtown or the up-and-coming artists of Spectrum or the blue chip art and sometimes confusing Art Basel itself, there’s literally something for everyone.
What’s presented here is a small section of what we were able take in over our four days, and while we certainly didn’t see everything Miami Art Week had to offer, we’re confident that our glass was more than half full of some fantastic, freshly squeezed creative juices in the heart of the Sunshine State.
* Top banner image is a kaleidoscopic photo by Jean Francois Rauzier called Merchandise Mart.