Art Basel Miami
Art Basel originated in Basel, Switzerland but now also takes place annually in Miami, USA as well as Hong Kong. The week of Art Basel Miami boasts several art fairs and accompanying events. The largest and most prestigious fair is Art Basel itself, with 280 galleries represented this year and many of them blue chip. Works by Picasso, Lucian Freud, Keith Haring, Francis Bacon and more were all on display (and for sale) in one place. But let’s not forget the smaller fairs such as Art Miami, Untitled, Aqua and Scope.
The Collectors’ Lounge at Art Basel is a great place to spot a few celebs, have a drink and explore some special experiences or brand offers. In fact, I was very happy to receive some La Prairie skincare samples this year and try Casa Dragones Spirits for the first time.
Besides Art Basel, Scope is one of my favorites to attend because of its more lively atmosphere and open-air style located directly on the beach. They also give VIPs gift bags upon arrival which in years past have included a complimentary charter flight membership. This year I enjoyed sipping champagne and taking in the art while overlooking the beautiful ocean.
Aqua is a smaller fair full of less established artists who often attend in person and are very happy to discus their work. The setting is eclectic and fun to explore but perhaps not the most stately way to display artworks.
But Art Week isn’t just about painting and sculpture! It’s also about design. At Deisgn Miami (across the street from Art Basel) you can view all the top interior design items in one place. This year Audi was a sponsor and even flew out a top VR artist to attend and post about his experiences at the fair. Ralph Pucci also hosts an annual Art Basel event at their showroom on the mainland in Wynwood.
I love South Beach because you’re always just a few blocks from the ocean. During Art Basel Miami there are many brands hosting luxury events at hotels. Lamborghini at the One Hotel comes to mind as a standout this year.
SoHo House also had a great opening party on the beach with an interesting art piece that was half luxury vehicle and half blow up toy.
Faena is always a crowd favorite during Art Basel Miami. Everyone loves their perennial gilded woolly mammoth by the artist Damien Hirst. Art Basel Miami 2022 featured a large lighted sculptural piece displayed behind the hotel on the beach entitled, “Patria y Vida” by artists Antonia Wright and Ruben Millares as part of the No Vacancy public art project. The night sky was also illuminated on multiple evenings by Drift who wowed the town with spectacular drone shows above the Art Basel convention center.
I also noticed that there was an increased interest in fashion compared to years past. Several events celebrated emerging fashion designers. Fashinnovation hosted a lovely soirée commemorating the launch of the Sustainable Fashion Fund in partnership with the Miami-Dade Mayor’s Office. Nigel Barker and a top representative from the Mayor’s Office were in attendance.
Miami isn’t known to be a foodie town but perhaps it should be! There are some great local restaurants that feature high-end eats and even the average corner store deli makes great sandwiches. Collins Ave is the safe bet when you’re a tourist in Miami Beach. Kommé is great for a Mediterranean treat, Papi Steak is superb for meat-eaters and the One Hotel Rooftop has a delicious selection of fresh seafood and spectacular views of the ocean.
Art Basel Miami is a truly international fair that attracts individuals from many different countries across the globe. I made friends with a group from Austin, Texas and met individuals from Germany, Norway, Switzerland and more. New Yorkers traveling to the fair will feel right at home. Many of the same New York stores and brands are also in Miami and it’s a very walkable city (at least in South Beach). Almost anywhere you go you’ll run into another New Yorker (very likely someone you know!).
What is the dress code during Art Basel Miami? It’s a combination of understated sophistication, fashion forward opulence and resort wear. Just don’t forget a cocktail dress or a bikini!
Have you ever been to Art Basel Miami? Comment below!