Art Basel 2018
Art isn’t for everyone, but everyone does have an opinion about it.
Art Basel 2018 has come and gone and in case you don’t know what it is — Art Basel is the world's largest art fair and basically consists of work from galleries around the world, exhibited in the center in Miami. It’s grown to include some art shows around Wynwood, Design District, throughout Miami Beach, and of course, a bunch of parties. I’ve been attending for a few years, but this year I posted quite a few stories on Instagram, and one of the nicest comments I got was “I feel like I’m there.” After looking at all the celebrities who flocked to Miami Beach to look at art this year, it’s no wonder so many people felt FOMO for missing out - it looked so flashy and unrealistic. The point of social media should not to be to show-off but to share life.
In case you don't keep up with #art, don’t worry you’re not alone. I love art and I didn’t know about Art Basel until I moved to Miami. I’ve loved art since I was young, I’ve studied almost all the artists I find in museums, constantly finding out about new ones. I grew up calling the Met and MoMa my second home. What I love about Art Basel is it isn’t the art you find in a typical art museum, it’s new, it’s different, and whether I like it or not, it makes me wonder what the artist was thinking. So let me answer the obvious question: Does everyone attending Art Basel care about art? Nope. Truth is Art Basel is a social event where you can post pictures of art and say “Yeah, I’m cool, I Basel.” Is that a bad thing? Well I honestly don’t really care why people go, love it or hate it, Art Basel is an experience. Some people definitely get caught up in the glitz and glamour of the pretentious artsy scene and pay to enter these exhibits that display expensive art pieces, most pieces that cost as much as your college tuition.
The main Art Basel show is in Miami’s Convention Center, from there Miami Beach offers art shuttles to take you to Pulse and Scope art fairs (giant tents full of people and art). Then there’s the other side of Art Basel in Wynwood, where you find the new unknown artists (this is where the “off broadway” shows come in — I consider “off-broadway” anything away from the convention center). If it wasn’t for Basel, a lot of artists wouldn’t be able to have gigs year-round. It’s the place that jump starts a lot of careers. It’s fun seeing the walls of Wynwood repainted, walking the streets and absorbing all the art vibes. If you really want to get a little feel for Art Basel, Scope Miami does an amazing job at providing a 360 view of their art show.
Art Basel is so expansive it is nearly impossible to categorize the art. Some of it feels same-old-safe, some is so "out there" it is incomprehensible. Just because it’s displayed doesn’t make it good — You can hate it, you can love it, you can think you get it or you can look at it and say wtf, but in the end, you’re never wrong. What I loved most was seeing my friend and husband ask for the artists’ intent, if they liked the response they would glance back at the piece and decide if they now like it or still hate it. Not everyone does that. While I know most of my friends who attend actually like art and design (or at least open to the experience), Art Basel is not a museum, it’s place for the rich and elite to be seen buying expensive art. Give art a back story, title and context and I’ll appreciate it, but will a blank white canvas ever worth $30,000 to me? F**k no… but if it’s by a famous artist, you’ll find many fawning over it.
If you kept up with Art Basel through social media, don’t be fooled to feel FOMO, it’s a lot of fun but also overrated. It comes every year and when you attend, if you want to, you’ll have the chance to run from Pulse, to Scope, to Design Miami, to Wynwood galleries, and all the parties. That will be the time when you can decide whether or not it was worth the hype. Some love it, some hate it, some hate to say it because they can’t pronounce “basel” but no matter how you feel, we can’t deny Art Basel is an experience.
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