Miami is a city that is generally overwhelming under normal circumstances. The traffic, the lifestyle, fashion, the nightlife and the overall mood will hit you hard. Everything is happening all at once and really fast. But during Art Basel, everything goes crazy!
Beyond the Miami Beach Convention Center—a vast ocean of some 280 galleries from 38 countries all competing to hook the same big fish collectors—there’s satellite fairs, brand activations, A-list fundraisers, store and hotel openings, blockchain launches (even as crypto crashes). And parties popping off, furiously courting high-spenders and thirsty for everyone else’s eyeballs.
During the day, White Cube gallery might titillate with blue-chip artists—Michael Armitage, Günther Förg, and Georg Baselitz works sold for over $1 million each, according to Artnews. However, at night, it stages a raucous annual party at Soho House (Kelis performed this year).
One day at Art Basel, Leonardo DiCaprio helped raise $1 million for CORE, a crisis relief non-profit. Later, he raged with every Italian in town at Stone Island’s 40th anniversary rave in Wynwood. Madonna is also no stranger to these parties. One time, she tore through like an one-day hurricane with an exhibit of some of the most provocative images of her career. And later on, a swanky beachfront soirée that recalled the wild days when she was queen bee at Liquid.
Did the rubberneckers upstage the serious machers? That’s always the perennial question here. However, it doesn’t seem to have been the case if sales reports are to be believed. From the selection of new Nate Lowman works that sold out of David Zwirner (pictured) between $100,000 and $350,000 to the Agnes Martin that went for $7 million at Pace. Art, the conventional wisdom goes, is one hard asset that’s recession-proof. Ahead, a suite of 15 highly subjective highlights from a very hectic Miami Art Week. Four art fairs, and one extremely good Cuban cult café.