Art Basel 2014: Miami’s Culture and Creativity Hub

Spectrum Miami
Sculpture at the Spectrum Miami show

The artsy chaos of Art Basel has erupted in Miami this week, with smaller festivals, shows, and parties dotting the landscape from Wynwood and Midtown to South Beach and North Beach. There are swarms of skinny people floating around wearing insanely expensive couture and sipping white wine, as well as pockets of hipster artists looking, well, hip (and bearded).

The main Basel show is at the Convention Center, and we are planning on going this weekend, but ’til then, we’ve had the chance to check out various galleries and the famed Wynwood Walls — a haven of street art, and see some street artists at work, which is pretty amazing and fascinating. I hadn’t really taken time to appreciate graffiti art through the years, but the gorgeous work in Wynwood has converted me.

street art
Street art in action in Wynwood.

From Wynwood we hit the opening party for the Spectrum show, a juried contemporary art show that was a mecca of interesting paintings and sculptures and … free wine. Bonus!

The week had begun on Tuesday night when we went to a show in our neighborhood. Let me just get this out there: The naked man was unnecessary. At least, that was my take on the whole thing. Ayaz and I had snagged tickets to the SELECT contemporary art fair and it was there in the midst of paintings and sculptures that I spied the naked dude, walking alongside a woman who kept her arm draped over his shoulders. They strolled casually through the tent, calm as can be, privates flapping in the breeze.

select miami
Exhibit at SELECT show

Apparently, he was part of an exhibit, or he WAS the exhibit, it was never entirely clear. I tried to avoid looking at his bits. Little did I know he was just the, er, tip of the exhibit iceberg. The following night Usher would be there charging his phone in a woman’s vagina. So, there’s that.

Select miami
Standing in the energy vortex at SELECT.

Basel’s been a great chance to chat with artists, connect with them about the vision and inspiration, and generally make my world a little bit larger. As an added perk, it’s been deeply heartening to see the volume of incredible art that’s currently getting made — and hopefully bought — sustaining creatives from around the world.


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