Sometimes, I really feel like I’m winning at life and this has never more true than when my job takes me to the other side of the world to Miami Beach. That’s right people, I was actually paid to fly to Miami and as if that wasn’t epic enough, the purpose of the trip was to look at art that forms part of an international collective effort to showcase the world’s most premier art galleries.
TOUGH. DAY. AT. THE. OFFICE.
While the rest of the world was getting excited about opening the premier door on their advent calendar, I was setting foot into the district known as Miami Beach (sorry not sorry) and making my way to Art Basel. Art Basel is a contemporary Art Fair which provides collectors with the final opportunity to stock up on Christmas presents or make last minute additions to their 2016 portfolio.
With Art Basel providing the hub of the event, 25 satellite art fairs are also dotted around the city – so if collectors don’t see something that takes their fancy from the $2.5 billion worth of swag at the Art Basel venue, they can enjoy the variety housed in each of the pop-ups.
As well as those with a passion for art, Art Basel attracts contemporary influences – Musicians, Bloggers and Hollywood Stars, with Madonna making an appearance during Friday’s charity action. Everyone who comes to Art Basel knows that it’s charm lies in a no-holds-barred appreciation of art of all kinds, with work by famous masters selling alongside lesser known artists – with amateurs hoping to use the fair to propel them on to the international stage.
As an art fan I sought some advice on how to navigate myself and I wasn’t disappointed – here are some event and artist highlights:
‘When Species Meet Part 1 (Shine or Go Crazy)’ by artist Anicka Yi on display at the 47 Canal gallery booth at Art Basel in Miami Beach
I was directed to Anicka Yi because she has just won the Hugo Boss Prize for creating art installations that use all five senses. That’s right, art that can be viewed, heard, smelt, tasted and touched. When Species Meet Part 1 could be summarised as a large caged mushroom and was said to be inspired by a trip to the Amazon.
Howardena Pindell. Untitled, 1972-1973
I currently have a bit of a penchant for all things 70s, so it was with some glee that I hot footed it to a Pindell untitled painting. Pindell is 73 years old and creates her works of art with something as mundane as a hole punch, literally punching hundreds and hundreds of holes into a canvas and then splashing with paint.
Miami Street Photography Festival
A fabulous free event that runs subscribed talks throughout the week. This forms part of an international competition that receives 4000 entries, and you can watch as judges whittle this down to 95 category winners. Most of the shoots are lifestyle, people at work and play in a natural way – providing fascinating insight into norms around the world.
And because there always has to be one that is a little off the wall . . .
“Ayana Evans: Gurl, I’d Drink Your Bath Water”
A feminist art monologue that features Ayana Evans, who performs to the catcall “You’re so fine, I’d drink your bath water” by literally, yes, drinking bath water. Well, there’s always one WTF moment with the art world when at Basel!
Thank you, Miami!
It’s been a blast, until next year 🙂