Some of the fabulous work from the Spinello Gallery in the Scope Fair
by Patrick Ogle
It isn’t to make Miami more “vibrant” and it isn’t so you can be here to listen to the relentlessly insipid coverage of the event on local television news. Likewise the reason isn’t because it is a hip and happening social event where you can see and be seen. It isn’t for the parties. The reason you should go is because of the overwhelmingly beautiful, provocative and diverse art made available to everyone with eyes. There will be art you hate and art you love, no matter your taste. If you do not like any art I expect you are not reading this site, or if you are you are waiting for the fart joke. There will not be one. Ok, maybe there will be one but that is beside the point.
Seriously, you think you are a tough guy? Maybe because you tailgate at Packers’ games? You are not. That is nothing. It just requires a warm coat and a spatula. Art Basel will kick your ass. When I went into the Red Dot tent at Art Basel I came upon the exhibit for Galerie NuEdge (based in Montreal) and began a conversation with the young lady representing the gallery.
“I have seen so much art in the last two days I think I am having a nervous breakdown.” I said.
And the young lady gave an understanding laugh. She got it. She sympathized. She didn't seem to be reaching for her mace. There is so much art as to mentally overwhelm anyone who tries to really see a large portion of it, to experience even a bare majority of the exhibits, to simply try to understand what thought went into and is behind all the pieces. I didn’t even get to a majority of the exhibits. I saw Art Miami, Scope and Red Dot,as well as some other events connected Basel (at Cando Arts and Miguel Paredes opening). I also, at the suggestion of a friend, did a self-guided walking tour of the design district and Wynwood’s graffiti, which ranges from trained artists to graffiti of the usual kind. All of these were productive endeavors. Details on all of these later.
Art Miami & Red Dot at Night
Art Miami & Red Dot During The Day
You will also find that most of the exhibitors and artists present are also very gracious. Most are happy to talk to you about your art , be they artists or gallery owners/representatives. It isn't uncommon for people to be intimidated by art. No one wants to admit they are not knowledgeable. Art Basel is a way, not only to collect, but to learn. You can do this by just looking and talking to people but if you are a more formal sort there are many more formal lectures and discussions (I missed these). It is more than a party, it is more than a place for millionaires to purchase million dollar art. It is a virtual art school under tents in the rapidly rejuvenating City of Miami.
It also takes place in December, the perfect time to get out of Cleveland..