Last week, Ben and I flew to Florida to attend one of the best art shows in the world, Art Basel Miami. This global art event brought together the most prestigious galleries from all over the world and made an unforgettable impression on me. I saw some of the most expensive pieces of art, the most shocking and provocative works by contemporary artists, and attended the best parties of the season.
We came to Miami a day before the VIP-previews of the show’s opening and spent the day relaxing, making ourselves comfortable in the hotel, and meeting friends for dinner. It was a great start to an eventful trip to Miami and later on we agreed that this first day very much needed to be more productive later on.
On Wednesday, we met up with our good friends Chris and Kristina Riggs. Chris is a well-known artist that was born in New York and relocated to Miami after meeting my former co-worker and a friend Kristina (she is currently handling public relations and marketing responsibilities for Chris Riggs’ brand). Together, we explored the art district of Miami, Wynwood.
We visited many local art galleries as well as those exhibition spaces that were created specifically for Art Basel. Wynwood is famous for its street art, and we saw the best examples of artworks by Banksy and Shepard Fairey, as well as great pieces and murals created by emerging artists. Ever since I was a teenager, I was very much interested in graffiti and hip-hop culture, which is why Wynwood art scene has a special place in my heart.
Later in the day, we attended an art show called Miami Project. To be honest, I was not impressed that much with the show. Of course, it was very well organized and presented some interesting pieces of art; however, I didn’t find any breath-taking artworks that I would love to take home.
In the evening, we stopped by the hotel to change and then hit the BMW party at the Botanical Garden. The brand was presenting a unique new car model that was designed specially for Art Basel 2014. We enjoyed delicious appetizers and champagne provided by the sponsors, and had a blast meeting up with many of our New York based friends who also attended the party.
The next day, Thursday, we hit the Spectrum and Context art fairs. They were fun, and I saw some interesting art there. I truly enjoyed the fact that Context art fair took place on a yacht. In my opinion, such a unique venue helped the visitors to enjoy the art even more. Later in the day, we visited an art opening at Cynergi art community and a cool party at Liquitex Lounge honoring Mr. D., one of the graffiti artists that works with legal walls only. The party had a cool vintage vibe and we had tons of fun spending time there together with our friends from New York.
The party that we attended on Thursday night overshadowed everything else that we’d seen before. The art party and celebration of Moishe Mana’s birthday was the biggest art party that I have ever attended. Located in a warehouse, it incorporated the best (and the biggest!) pieces of contemporary art (I loved the projects from the celebrated screen-printing studio Gary Lichtenstein Editions), expensively dressed crowd, and great music. We spent there a good three hours, enjoying every moment of looking at art, talking to our friends, listening to club music, and just spending time together.
My last day in Miami (I left earlier than Ben because I have college to attend on Saturdays), we explored Art Basel. Here I have to say WOW, guys, it was one of the best art fairs I have ever visited. Even though New York is known for its art scene, the size of Art Basel is simply unreal. We tried to see all of the exhibitions in two shots, but even that was not enough. It is so huge! Also, Art Basel is very well organized: Most of the presented pieces were the best of the best.
Concluding my post about Art Basel, I would like to say that it is definitely one of the events that you might want to include on your bucket list. It is so incredible that I have already started thinking about how I want to visit Art Basel next year.