In just 10 years, Art Basel Miami Beach has grown from a small art show to one of the largest and most prestigious events in the United States, drawing thousands of visitors and boosting the arts scene across Miami.
The show got its start in the late 1990s when a group of Miami art collectors approached MCH Swiss Exhibitions Ltd., the company that produces the famed Art Basel show in Switzerland, and made the pitch for a sister show in Miami beach. The exotic locale and international flavor of Miami Beach were key selling points to the Swiss, who were more familiar with the contemporary art scenes in New York City and Los Angeles.
Ten years later, Art Basel Miami Beach has grown into a four day festival, Dec. 1-4, and will showcase works by more than 2000 artists from more than 260 leading art galleries from North America, Europe, Latin America, Africa and Asia.
The Miami Beach Convention Center will again host the main exhibition, but just as the Miami art scene has grown into the Design and Wynwood Arts Districts, so has the festival, with galleries and museums across the city hosting shows and glitzy parties to coincide with Art Basel Miami Beach.
The Lords South Beach, the new upscale gay resort, will be hosting nightly parties throughout the event concluding with the popular weekly pool party, Detox, from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m., hosted by Alex Piento and Ryan Work. Artist Trong G. Nguyen will also be installing works in several guestrooms, including “Is Heaven for Homos” from his Nouveau Getto series.
Miami Art Museum, 101 W. Flagler St., hosts its annual gala, “The Return of FAITH!” Thursday, Dec. 1. DJ King Britt will provide music for the event, which will also include the opening of an exhibition of the works of African American artist Faith Ringgold and performance art by Rashaad Newsome.
New York-based mixed media artists Jordan Schaps and Benjamin Martin will unveil a massive, five-panel new work, “The Five Positions,” on top of the Miami City Ballet building, 2200 Liberty Ave., on Wednesday, Nov. 30. The work combines painting photography, and computer graphics to create a distinctive piece that depicts the five basic ballet positions.
“Labrys Frisae,” a conceptual non-linear structure reminiscent of three-dimensional graffiti by French architect Marc Fornes will be the centerpiece of Graffiti Gone Wild at The Rotunda, 3252 NW 1st Ave., Suite 101, in Miami. Fornes’ work, once completed, will span 30 feet wide and rise 16 feet.
The Bass Museum, 2100 Collins Ave. in Miami Beach, debuts sculptures by Viennese artist Erwin Wurm, “Beauty Business.” Wurm is known for combining various art forms, sculpture, photography and performance, into a unique personal view of the everyday world.
Miami Beach interior designer and HGTV host David Bromstad presents an exhibition of his own works, entitled “Body, Money, Death,” at the Z Ocean Hotel, 1437 Collins Ave. The “Design Star” winner will be on hand for receptions on Friday, Dec. 2 and Saturday, Dec. 3 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Art Basel provides the occasion for Miami photographer John Jansheski to open his new gallery, Star Island-MAPS Studio, 255 NW 25th St. in Miami’s Wynwood Arts District. The 8000 sq. ft. venue will feature Jansheski’s works, along with guest exhibitions encompassing multiple genres and mediums.
For more information about Art Basel Miami Beach or tickets to the public show at the Miami Beach Convention Center, go to ArtBaselMiamiBeach.com. Contact local galleries for information about other events coinciding with the show.