A more sophisticated version of ‘Burning Man’ than TEFAF Maastricht-Netherlands. Recognized as the world’s leading art and antiques fair; Art Basel is ‘Globalization’ that could be mistaken for a souk in Khartoum, a high style brocante in Paris or a proverbial Persian Market place.
Who’s kicking who?
The influence of European, Asian, Mediterranean and all the Americas is prevalent. Cultural distinctions were linear, from high brow to street cred. The conflag is euphemistically referred to by the New York Times as the “Art Cosco for Billionaires” , Basel is a growth industry that has outgrown its early elitism in the most wonderful ways.
If you are attending Art Basel in its many postures and poses, you are “meant to be here”. Galleries were exhibiting not from Hong Kong but free wheeling Beijing. Case in point, the ironically named Long March Space, Curated and Director David Tung. The Asian influence reflected not only the calibur of the reemerging availability of Chinese Art adding one more push pin in the planetary culture map.
Social Realism is not a pretty picture
With hundreds of Galleries represented from China to Tierra del Fuego, video and sculpture installations and impromptu performances attest to a world class revitalization of Miami’s art scene. In evidence, Miami Beach is Back. Recovering from a self inflicted bout of over hype in the 90′s there is a new wisdom that comes with hindsight. F rom North Miami’s Moca, the burgeoning Wynwood District and pop up galleries and vibrant street art mushrooming throughout the 4 day confab, the lines are blurred between ‘art appreciation and ‘”art, as an excuse to party”.
South Beach with its sun dappled watercolor hues beckons. Art Basel satisfies both the craving for Art to indulge in a jubilant celebration and fulfills the desire to experience all the finer things in life.