Just a couple of weeks ago from December 5 to December 8, art lovers from all over the world gathered in south Florida for the annual Art Basel Miami Beach. This is a festival drawing over 75,000 national and international visitors that showcases work from 250 of the world’s best art galleries. Referenced below is some info from the Official Basel website, explaining how Art Basel began, how it operates, and why it works so well.
In 1970 Art Basel was founded by Basel art gallerists Ernst Beyeler, Trudi Bruckner and Balz Hilt. At this time there were 90 galleries and 30 publishers from 10 countries who exhibited at the inaugural show.This first Basel exhibit drew 16,300 visitors. By the time Art Basel was 6 years old, it had grown to 300 exhibitors, which is where it stands today. In 2002, Art Basil debued in Miami Beach. This spot is considered the “nexus of North America and Latin America.”
“The show reflects the city’s multi cultural identity, presenting a diversity of work from the galleries and artists of the region. It immediately establishes itself as the premier show in the Americas, and ranks among the favorite winter-time events of the international art world”
The Role Of Basel
“The dynamic relationships between art galleries, their artists, private collectors and public institutions play an essential role in today’s art world, and connecting the international art community has been Art Basel’s goal since its beginning.”
About The Shows
“Three annual shows bring the artworld together in some of the world’s most exciting venues: Basel, in the heart of Europe; Miami Beach at the nexus of North and South America; and Hong Kong, the gateway to Asia”
Who Runs Basel
“Behind Art Basel stands a team of individuals with a range and depth of experience in the artworld and related disciplines. Each member channels his or her expertise into making Art Basel shows the most prestigious platform for artists, gallerists, and collectors. To learn more about our team, including employment opportunities offered by Art Basel and its parent company, MCH Group.”
Many SOWA area gallery directors and artists were in attendance this year at Art Basel, including our own store manager and visual artist, Karole Moe. Karole jet-setted to Miami for a two day tour of the winter’s most exciting art festival and some coveted vitamin D… we are jealous! Here are Karole’s thoughts on what she saw, and some of the photos she was able to snap of her favorite pieces.
Have you ever been to this show before?
It was my first time at Art Basel!
According to the internet, Miami Beach was crammed with around 75,000 spectators. Describe this scene.
The scene was CRAZY! All kinds of people, artists and buyers alike. In fact, each building had special “collector’s room” that I peeked into where they were serving dessert and champagne to those who purchased.
I know there were Several SOWA area galleries participating as well. Were you able to see their exhibitions? How do the Boston Galleries compare with what you saw from the rest of the world in Miami? Not better or worse, but were there any aspects that were different?
I did not see any of the SOWA galleries there but I do think that they would compete very well. After being at Basel, I confirmed that Thayer Street has a very good scene here! Yay, for us!
Advice for anyone participating- anything goes! The art was really wild. Some of it may not be right for everyone, but super unusual.
In conclusion I would say that I wished I had gone for a week vs. 2 days. As an artist and designer, I can never get enough. Of course my head might have exploded after a certain point!
Yayoi Kusama – she is the polka dot artist from Japan… look her up!
Markus Linnenbrink – The white art room- see the straws!
The repros of Basquiat and Rothko made up of small portraits of themselves:
Pieces made up of moving parts and lights were also really interesting as well.