Last year, I made the trek to Miami for the internationally acclaimed Art Basel, on a total whim. That’s the thing about Miami – it’s such a popular travel destination that if you play your cards right and search online diligently, even booking last minute, you can fly there roundtrip for way less than one month’s rent.
This year, I almost didn’t make it happen but my friend Christina helped me to remember that traveling is always worth it and we’d make it work financially later. This year, we had a better footing of how to begin with the art beast that is Art Basel and didn’t get quite as lost. To put it simply, every day throughout the long weekend, you wake up, get ready, figure out your first meal of the day, come up with your first art-related destination and then let the day run its course. You likely will end up a cool gallery you didn’t know existed or an after-party with an open bar and amazing DJ. There is so much going on with Basel, the first rule is to accept that you cannot and will not see it all.
This year we did pretty well, hitting up the Wynwood Arts District (during the day and at night, it’s two different vibes), the SCOPE art fair (which this year, took place right on the beach), The Miami Project art fair and the Select art fair, which took place in a gutted hotel. It is an art overload, as it features the who’s who of the contemporary art world mixed in with thousands of upcoming talented artists and galleries.
There is no perfect map or guide to attending the fairs during Art Basel – you just have to follow the path you are visually drawn to. The same goes for nightlife and music. This year we managed to catch sets from SBTRKT, Ryan Hemsworth, Jubilee, L-VIS 1990, Danny Brown, Trick Daddy, A-Trak, Schlohmo, Jaques Greene, Gooddroid and SZA; all in three nights. We didn’t hit up the food trucks this year, but made up for it with sandwiches from Jimmy’z Kitchen. We also managed to spend some time poolside and see the beach, which last year we didn’t have time for. I think I’d prefer to visit Miami during Art Basel weekend over any other time of year. Basel is great time to visit Miami because people travel from all over and for different reasons, and you end up meeting a lot of people through the simple common interest of checking out art and music.
For those of you who can’t quite make Miami happen or want to check out certain art fairs prior to next December, several are hosted annually in New York City, such as SCOPE, which will be returning in March 2014. It is definitely worth a city trek; I made it last year to SCOPE in the city, and it’s a great taste of a slice of what is on display in Miami for Basel.
Hit the jump to see some photos from this year’s trip!