Friday, December 14, 2012

Art Basel Miami 2012

Well Art Basel Miami is over for this year, and we missed it, breaking a multiple year in a row attendance record for my husband, and two years for me.

We decided long ago we wouldn't attend this year because we are busy building our house and saving our money for the house, plus this year's dates (Dec 5-8) coincided with a traditional family vacation in Mexico. So we knew we weren't going, but that didn't make it any easier to miss it, especially as we received photos and updates from friends last week.

It looks like it was as amazing as ever. All that beautiful, gorgeous art. So much art. More art than I have ever seen. The main show at ABM, held in the Miami convention center, is not like going to any museum. It is like visiting the world's largest art gallery. Picture a giant convention center full of the best contemporary art in the world. Hours of winding through exhibition space and gazing upon what is hot in the global art world - more than 260 galleries showing more than 2,000 artists.  More than $2 billion worth of art. Beyond the main event at the convention center there are hundreds of art shows and events and art parties all around Miami. It is an exhilarating and exhausting and mind-blowing and overwhelming experience.

If you can get to ABM, I recommend it. Highly.

In addition to the art, you can walk around watching the world of art galleries and their people - their hierarchies, rivalries and cliques. If you don't work in the art world it is a fascinating little glimpse into that world as this is the largest trade show for their kind. It is fun to watch the gallery folks as well as all of the visitors, everything from wealthy art buyers and collectors to artists and art students and art lovers and voyeurs like us. And if you get to go to the main area on the days when the event is not open to the public you are guaranteed to spot some celebrities shopping for art. You will see even more of them if you can get into the swanky side events and parties. And there are oh so, so many swanky parties. According to the news, Pharrell was there again this year (saw him the year before). He seems to be one of the ABM hang arounds. Last year we saw Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta Jones. When I say "saw" I mean I stood next to him admiring some art (he is shorter and smaller than you would imagine, but handsome). This year we missed Beyonce and Jay-Z. I am 100% certain that Adrien Brody was there...because I've seen him two years in a row. Spotting Brody is one of my favorite past times at ABM because I never see celebrities (I never pay attention and walk around oblivious), yet I've managed to spot him two years in a row - once in the main show and once on the street. I feel the universe has made a connection.

But enough about the people watching. In the end people watching, especially the celebrities, is secondary, and boring, and a pale joy when compared to viewing all of that delicious, delicious art. Damn it. Next year its back on. I can't wait.

If you want to get a small flavor, check out a few fun overviews of this year's event, including photos:


Outrageous Art:

Checking Out Art Basel:


Here are some of my posts from past years:

Top Ten at Art Basel Miami

Mr. Brainwash

Kehinde Wiley

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