The Essential Guide to Art Basel 2015
Besides the warehouse raves and club blowouts, there is actual art to see each December during Art Basel Miami Beach, the annual international modern and contemporary art gathering. The fair, which is held in the Miami Beach Convention Center and a few other satellite spots, has inspired hundreds upon hundreds of artists and creatives to bring their sounds and scenes to South Florida during these still-balmy days.
While the choices for art and after-parties are endless, here are 10 of the dopest, most memorable art performances and installations taking place in Miami during the week of Art Basel 2015.
1. Swizz Beatz’s The Dean Collection: No Commission Art Fair
Swizz Beatz isn’t only a hip-hop prodigy, producer, DJ, rapper, record exec, and fashion designer. He’s also an art collector and curator. Last year, he showed a selection of works by his preferred artists at Scope Miami Beach under the title the Dean Collection. For 2015, Beatz is teaming up with Bacardi on the No Commission Art Fair to exhibit works by both emerging and established artists, including KAWS, Shepard Fairey, BK the Artist, Tomokazu Matsuyama, Todd James and Miss Van. Coinciding with the visuals, Beatz is throwing his Untameable House Party concert series from December 3-5 in Wynwood. Thursday, Beatz’s wife Alicia Keys will be tickling the ivories alongside DJ Hannah Bronfman, rappers Guru and Nans Kwabena. Pusha T, DJ Esco, and A-Trak will dominate the stage the following night, and on Saturday, Beatz will partner with his former collaborator Ruff Ryder DMX, along with DJ Runna and EDM wunderkind AraabMuzik and a DJ set from Wiz Khalifa.
The Dean Collection, December 3 to December 5, No Commission Art Fair from 11am–8pm is free; Untameable House Party concert series from 10pm–2am is free with RSVP; Casa Bacardi, 35 NE 29 St., Miami, bacardi.com.
2. Secret Walls Illustration Battle in Wynwood
Just a few blocks north of the center of street art in Miami—where murals by Kenny Scharf, Os Gêmeos, Ron English, and Shepard Fairey reign at the Wynwood Walls—a more-active search for the next art star will be taking place on December 5. British creative collective Monorex is presenting a roving live illustration battle of the international sort, Secret Walls (formerly Secret Wars), which was originally launched in 2006 at an East London bar. The rules are simple: Battles take place between two individuals or two teams of artists, who have 90 minutes to use only black SW special markers and black acrylic paint, a limited amount of space, and giant white walls to create a crowd- and judge-pleasing mural.
Secret Walls, December 5 at 8pm, 279 NW 28 St., Miami, free, thesecretwalls.com.
3. Kalup Linzy at Pulse
Dressed in half drag and purposefully out-acting the most unschooled soap opera star, artist Kalup Linzy creates some of the most memorable contemporary performance and video art. Pulse Miami Beach is presenting the premiere of his newest work, As the Art World Might Turn, featuring a live performance. Linzy will transform himself into a singer and video artist named Kaye, who’s on a search for the meaningful things in life. Pulse didn’t stop there with the well-curated shows. There’s also Amir Baradarans Man Na Manam Na Man Manam, an interactive augmented reality installation in which individuals can engage with the artist and do some singing of Sufi poetry. Hello Selfie, a passive-aggressive performance by Kate Durbin, is something you can catch from your laptop at home since it involves female performers taking selfies for hours at the fair and then uploading them to the Facebook event wall. .
Pulse Miami Beach, December 2 to 5, 10am–7pm, 4601 Collins Avenue, Indian Beach Park, $10–$40, pulse-art.com.
4. El Chapo’s Revenge and The Dance of the Designer Refugee at Untitled Art Fair
All week, Untitled, one of the newer satellite art fairs, will feature a roster of notable special programs. This includes a live broadcast by Wynwood Radio with talks, discussions, and sound- and performance-based work from the fair site on the sands of Miami Beach. Though it’s only four years old, Untitled is bringing together 120 galleries from around the world. One performance piece includes a take on a recent news story that made the Miami headlines: A group of 12 Cuban refugees landed amidst the glitz and glamor of South Beach with one dog in tow. With The Dance of the Designer Refugee, artist Carlos Rigau presents his take on this incredible story as a water ballet meant to be observed through binoculars. For those interested in more hands-on gold digging, El Chapo’s Revenge (Beach Better Have My Money) will allow fair-goers to search the sand for buried sculptures with metal detectors.
Untitled, December 2–6. Wednesday–Saturday: 11am–7pm, Sunday 10am–5pm, Ocean Drive and 12 St., Miami Beach, $18–28. art-untitled.com.
5. FriendsWithYou Presents Light SpiritPhoto Courtesy of FriendsWithYou
Miami natives Samuel Borkson and Arturo Sandoval III, founders of Los Angeles-based art collective FriendsWithYou, have been working together since 2002 in fun-only media like toys and bounce houses to spread “Magic, Luck, and Friendship” throughout the Earth. This Basel, they’re returning home to create joy in Miami Beach with a virtual reality experience, Light Spirit. Visitors can be fully immersed in this room-sized, interactive installation, which means they can lay down, saunter about, or just sit and stare. As usual, FWY allows us to leave our everyday worries behind in moments of play and re-center and explore the blurred lines between digital and actual reality. Open to the public will be a conversation about the current state of art, “Building Reality,” moderated by the Warhol Museum’s Eric Shiner and featuring, among others, Jen Stark, who crafted some of Miley Cyrus’ VMA visuals. And don’t miss a dance party of the most delightful sort, We for Real House Party, which features Peachfuzz’s DZA, on Thursday night.
Building Reality: A Conversation About the Current State of Art, Technology and their Merger, moderated by Eric Shiner of the Warhol Museum, and featuring panelists FriendsWithYou, Jen Stark, Devin Troy Strother, Robert Lazzarini, Seth Cameron of Bruce High Quality Foundation, and New Tropics on December 2, 6pm–7pm; We For Real House Party: A Celebration of Light Spirit featuring the artists and their collaborators on December 3, 8pm–1am, WeWork Miami Beach; Light Spirit is up from December 2–4, 350 Lincoln Road, Miami Beach, RSVP at weareallfriendshouseparty.splashthat.com.
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