Our first piece of advice: make art the focus of your visit. Second piece of advice: concentrate on quality; give yourself time to observe, question, set your budget and only buy something that you really want to. Third piece of advice: wear comfortable shoes. Fourth and final piece of advice: make new friends. This is the perfect roadmap for the Art Basel Miami fair, the subsidiary branch in the United States of the Swiss fair that opened there as early as 2002 and that 13 years later has grown so much that it has gone from being the younger sister of contemporary arts fairs all over the world that everyone looks at tenderly to being the sexy sister that everyone stares at with desire. Miami, of course, with its enviable temperatures and wild parties with ‘Vogue’ and ‘Vanity Fair’, celebrities and of course, the beach, has a lot to offer. Hence these four pieces of advice from Samuel Keller in order to enjoy the fair. And Keller knows what he’s talking about: he is the man who coordinated the opening of the fair in 2002 and who ran it for over a decade.
Miami holds its Art Week in the first week of December. This is the 23rd Art Miami fair and the 13th Art Basel fair, which has established itself as the most important exhibition of contemporary art in the United States. And that’s without counting a dozen other small satellite fairs that orbit around the main two exhibitions. Every year, collectors, curators, critics and representatives from most major museums meet in the city. And artists, of course. This year, 267 galleries from all over the world will be exhibiting their works at Art Basel (half of them from the United States or with exhibition galleries there), which will be exhibiting works by established international artists and also emerging talent, especially in the Nova section for works created in the last three years.
During this week Miami itself is converted into a gallery, because it takes its works outside, such as the 20 sculptures that will be exhibited again in Collins Park.
During this week Miami itself is converted into a gallery, because it takes its works outside, such as the 20 sculptures that will be exhibited again in Collins Park. In 2014 the star of the show was The Truth Booth, an enormous inflatable photo booth that was open to anyone who wished to leave their messages on video or in photo and that since then has travelled the world, as its slogan says, “in search of the truth”. You can also take advantage of the city’s climate with the open-air film screenings among the palm trees in SoundScape Park, and even, between exhibitions, to visit the beach, because the Miami Beach Convention Center of Art Basel is just a few metres away, although Keller may not recommend wearing your swimsuit under your Versace!
For those who are searching for an experience beyond Miami art, there are its satellite fairs such as Aqua Art, with a bar and Jacuzzi in case your shoes aren’t too comfortable; Scope, which is set up right on the sand of the beach, or the new Art on Paper Miami, which promises chefs and cocktails. The perfect combination to make new friends, or to at least try to!