ART BASEL TURNS MIAMI INTO ONE BIG ARTIST COLONY
Sometimes at Art Basel Miami, it can be tough to tell the art lovers from the art. Like the “genie” who “flew” from gallery to gallery on his magic carpet (OK, it was a converted hoverboard) at last year’s event. Was he a patron or performance art?
“He was dressed in a full genie outfit, tooling around the fair until they stopped him,” recalled Nicholas Christopher, the president of Turon Travel. “At the fairs, you go look at the artwork and you see people dressed outrageously to be noticed. You are looking at the art and turn around and go, ‘OMG, what is that? It’s a person.’”
Yes, that line can get blurry at times; but that’s just one of the things that make the annual event so fascinating. The contemporary art fair, which kicks off on Dec. 7, hosts some 77,000 art dealers, collectors, artists and aficionados, who come to show, sell, buy and otherwise immerse themselves in 260 galleries showcasing works from 30 countries and more than 4,000 artists. And Art Basel Miami has steadily expanded its borders from the Miami Convention Center, where it’s been based