Here we are again on the precipice of the 10th annual Art Basel Miami Beach. 260 first tier galleries from all corners of the globe and upwards of 2000 artists are shipping and showing on our little corner of the world.
The 2010 Art Basel Miami Beach attracted a record number of more than 46,000 international visitors and 1,400 members of the media and 130 museum groups; so get ready for the culture club to descend en masse.
This past weekend I wandered about, camera in hand, to see what all the busy Basel elves were doing as deadline for opening nights loom large on the horizon.
The Bakehouse Art Complex had their season opening on Saturday night (11/26) with their WOMAN to WOMAN exhibition: 10 women artists are participating in the new show.
Our ode to Miami artistic beginnings, the Bakehouse Art Complex opened in the old American Bakeries Company 25 years ago. The 60+ artist studios comprise this local well run non-profit.
Along with their new exhibitions, BAC has allowed, for the first time, a mural to be installed on their western (5th Ave) wall. I happily stumbled upon the work in progress as I circumnavigated the Wynwood District last Saturday afternoon. BAC Executive Director Arlys Raymond was on hand to explain the collaboration with Night Vision production. As they were filming, Night Vision leader Aurelio Roman, Jr. discussed with me his circuitous route from school boy at the BAC-adjacent Jose De Diego Middle School (home of the Jaguars!) to documentarian for THE MIAMI GRAFFITI HISTORY 80’S PROJECT (MGH 80). Street artists from the ‘80s are honored on the wall mural. This project is being filmed for a documentary to be titled “Bombing Under the Sun – The History of South Florida Street Culture.” BAC’s/MGH 80’s artists are creating the mural all during Art Basel week, through December 4. Aurelio Roman, Jr. used to illegally “draw” on BAC’s walls when he was attending the Middle School next door; now he’s come full circle, working on this Graffiti project in conjunction with Bakehouse. Which, by the way, is the first sanctioned wall art BAC has ever allowed.
BAC ART BASEL info: December 1 & 2, 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Breakfast and Artist Studio Open House:
You will be able to tour the studios while munching on BAC artist-made breakfast…one assumes there will be baked goods on hand. Open noon to 5 p.m. Mon. –Wed. and 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. Thurs. & Fri. and 10 a.m. -7 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Sunday.
The Sagamore Hotel on South Beach has installed Will Ryman’s 22-foot high metal Rose plant sculpture on the sand between 16th & 17th streets. It is whimsical and brings a smile to beach-goers. Artist Ryman is the featured artist at Fairchild Botanical Garden for the 2011-2012 season with his outdoor DESUBLIMATION OF THE ROSE exhibition. 6:30 (Visitor Center Ballroom at Fairchild) on December 1 will open the exhibit with Bob Petzinger, Fairchild volunteer, guide and seasonal art trainer speaking on Ryman’s work.
Outside the Art Miami venue in Midtown I caught up with Finnish artist Kaarina Kaikkonen installing her tree with men’s shirts hanging off the naked branches. Kaikkonen calls the piece, “ As a Tree I Can Feel the Wind.” I suggested that it signified the fact that you will lose your shirt if you purchase any of the art inside. (It slipped out before I could retrieve it.) Kaarina thankfully hooted her approval of my unsolicited comment.
Wynwood continues to add to its exuberant graffiti canvas year after year. It has gone beyond festive into explosively alive. Wynwood is pulsing with energy and activity. There is even a most topical wall dedicated to the OCCUPY Wall Street movement with an entire block labeled “Give a Wall Street Banker Enough Rope and He Will Hang Himself.”
Several years ago Tony Goldman (CEO Goldman Properties) and Jeffrey Deitch (MoCA, L.A.) came up with an idea to take the bleak pallet of Wynwood walls and use them for the creativity of the greatest international street artists. Check out this video by Jenner Furst and Tony Goldman called “Here Comes the Neighborhood”.
NOW: Make those daily Art Basel plans for the week and remember the Mantra: The event deemed the best-est by your peers, will be the one thing you missed. It’s just the way to goes down here on Art Basel week.
ART BASEL: ?Miami Beach Convention Center?
Enter: Convention Center Drive (Hall D) and Washington Avenue ?(Hall B)??
Opening hours: Miami Beach Convention Center ?(Art Galleries, Art Nova, Art Positions, Art Kabinett)?Vernissage for invited guests: Wednesday, November 30, 2011, from 6 to 9 p.m.?Public Show Days: Thursday, December 1 to Sunday, December 4, 2011?Daily from noon to 8 p.m., Sunday until 6 p.m.