Art Basel Tour in Miami, The Ultimate Guide: So, you want to “Basel” this year… yes, we Miamians and the in-the-know use this word as a verb because it really is. To Basel, one must know first what Art Basel really is. Then, once you have the inside scoop we can start to discuss where to go. Once you know where to go, we can discuss what to eat nearby. So let’s break it down.
What is Art Basel?
Art Basel worldwide is an international art fair with three shows annually in Basel, Switzerland, Miami Beach and Hong Kong. Each show is organized into sectors which showcase Modern and contemporary artworks by established and newly emerging artists. With Miami Beach being its only North American stop, you can bet that this is a show that is not meant to be missed. The almost week long affair occupies the Miami Beach Convention Center and will be gracing us with its presence on December 1st-4th 2016. The party does not end there, other pop-up art fairs or tents (as we call them) take over Miami in Midtown, South Beach and Wynwood with hundreds of parties, showcases, exhibits, (you name it, they have it) that happens all over the city. We consider this all “To Basel” so it will be included.
Pro Tip: One cannot accomplish all of the Art Basel madness, research and organization is the way to make all of your Basel dreams a reality. You can sleep the week after.
Top Galleries to visit at Art Basel 2016
Art Basel Miami
First and foremost, you need to go to Art Basel. After all, this week was named after it. If the mayor has not deemed it Art Basel week by now, he should. Over 267 galleries from North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia and Africa show significant work from the masters of Modern and Contemporary art, as well the new generation of emerging stars in a 500,000 sq ft space. Paintings, sculptures, installations, photographs, films, and editioned works of the highest quality are on display in the main exhibition hall.
NADA Miami Beach is recognized as a much needed alternative assembly of the world’s youngest and strongest art galleries dealing with emerging contemporary art. This means… see it here first! This fair is dedicated to showcasing new art and to celebrating the rising talents from around the globe. It is the only major American art fair to be run by a non-profit organization.
Untitled, Art is an international, curated art fair founded in 2012 that focuses on curatorial balance and integrity across all disciplines of contemporary art. This is one of the strongest fairs going on during Art Week. It is located right on the beach. The perfect way to enjoy art in Miami.
Founded in 2005, PULSE Contemporary Art Fair is an established part of the annual art calendar and is recognized for providing its international community of emerging and established galleries with a dynamic platform for connecting with a global audience. PULSE offers visitors an engaging environment in which to discover and collect the most compelling contemporary art being produced today.
SCOPE taps into the cultural psyche to present only the most pioneering work across multiple creative disciplines.This is a cool show. Plain and simple. A favorite among locals, enjoy weird and wacky yet sophisticated and edgy works of art.
The fifth Miami Project represents an ambitious step forward for the world class art fair. Miami Project Edition 5 will be erected atop and within an expansive structure located in Miami Beach, just steps from the entrance of NADA Miami. A dramatic, 75,000 square foot exhibition space featuring 40 foot cathedral ceilings will be built seamlessly into the existing architecture, elegantly housing 60 exhibiting galleries.
Design Miami/ is more than a marketplace for design, where the world’s top galleries gather to present museum-quality exhibitions of twentieth and twenty-first century furniture, lighting and objets d’art. This is one of the only exhibits that are completely dedicated to furniture and functional art.
Do not leave the beach until you eat at least one of the tacos at Taquiza. Chef Steve Santana makes fresh tortillas made from scratch, like literally blue corn from Oaxaca Mexico via Mascienda. Top those tasty tortillas with a number of their protein and veggie choices such as carne asada, carnitas, rajas, chipoline, huitlacoche and more. This little open air spot on the bustling corner of 15th and Collins gets insanely packed during lunch, dinner and late night.
Pro Tip: Order a totopos (which is fried puffy tortilla pieces) and salsa or guac to complete your meal. Also, they deliver
Midtown and Design District:
Visit the longest running art fair in Miami; it even out-dates Art Basel. This fair is here to stay. Known as Miami’s premier anchor fair, Art Miami kicks off the opening day of Art Week. World-famous for its stylish gallery-like decor, its outstanding quality and extraordinary variety
CONTEXT Art Miami
CONTEXT Art Miami is the sister fair to Art Miami dedicated to the development and reinforcement of emerging and mid-career artists. Launched in 2012, CONTEXT Art Miami’s open atmosphere creates a meaningful dialogue between artists, galleries and collectors while providing the ultimate platform for the presentation of mid-career, emergent and cutting-edge talent by emerging and established galleries. They will be moving to the center stage of Midtown so you know they will put on a great show.
Superfine! began in 2015 as a challenge to the establishment and a celebration of refreshing art and design. Their team transformed a 60,000 square foot gutted office building in Little Haiti into a paradise of art, music, and design. The inaugural fair hosted exhibitors from as far flung as Madrid, Los Angeles, and Copenhagen while maintaining a serious local flair. This is a great “underground” kind of fair. You will be seeing raw and unadulterated art at every corner.
Enjoy fantastic pasta at Proof Pizza & Pasta. Their Gemeli which is a play on bolognese is straight up addicting. Get there early because this small space packs out the space every night. Hey, you can do that when you are making your own dough and everything else for that matter from scratch. Chef Justin Flit can be seen almost nightly hand cranking the pasta out.
Pro Tip: Order the Brussels Sprout Salad to start and pair it with one of the local brews that are always on tap.
Since the time of its successful inaugural edition in New York in 2006, Pinta has become the most important event of its kind. Its founding was a watershed in the communication and perception of the breadth of art produced in the region in the 20th and 21st centuries. The fair has achieved one of its founding goals, mainly increasing the visibility of crucial figures in the United States. This year’s edition will celebrate the remarkable history of a fair that has left its mark on modern and contemporary art from Latin America.
Spectrum is a contemporary art fair in the heart of Miami’s Performing Arts District featuring an international slate of artists and galleries. It’s where contemporary meets extraordinary. The fair features Art Labs, Art Talks, Meet the Artist sessions, music, entertainment, and other special events.
This is not a fair by any means but before and during the first week in December, artists from all over the world come to Wynwood to paint the famous murals that surround this portion of the city. There will be exclusive parties, artists running around everywhere and general art festivities. This is the true heart of the art community.
Do not miss an opportunity to eat at Alter. Chef Brad Kilgore has essentially won everything this year from Best New Chefs from Food & Wine and Restaurant of the Year in Miami to One of the World’s Best by CN Traveler. His humble yet powerful spot in Wynwood is sold out weeks in advance just to get a taste of the soft egg which has even made the World’s best chefs flock to his restaurant. A scallop mousse that is on top of a sous-vide egg with a Parmesan crisp and caviar is all the decadence one needs in their life.
Pro Tip: Sit at the Chef’s Table to bump elbows with Chef Brad Kilgore and possibly also see his super talented wife Chef Soraya Kilgore whipping up your dessert.
Miami River Art Fair
The Miami River Art Fair is an art fair that has the revitalization efforts of the Lower Miami River at its core. This art fair was conceived as a showcase of world-class galleries, artists and projects in an indoor booth setting at the Riverfront Hall. This grand show space overlooks the one-of-a-kind outdoor Riverwalk Sculpture Mall that will feature monumental sculptures on the banks of the historic Miami River. This is new fair with alot of great promise.
One cannot come to Miami and not have Ceviche. preferably with roccoto, a spicy cream that pairs beautifully with the soft fish, pungent cilantro and red onions. Ceviche 105 or their sister restaurant Pollos y Jarras, which are on the same block make one of the better ones that Miami has to offer. The unparalleled customer service and great eats make up for a cool place to wind down after a crazy week of baseling.
Pro Tip: Their portions are quite big so sharing is caring. They start you off with a chicken cilantro soup that will cure any hangover.