MIAMI – Art will be everywhere this week in Miami, which is hosting the prestigious Art Basel fair showcasing the work of thousands of artists from around the world, ranging from stars to unknowns.
Miami Art Week, of which Art Basel is the premier event, puts up stunning numbers each year and then breaks them in the following edition, a phenomenon that is expected to repeat itself starting on Monday.
Diego Costa, director of Pinta, the only Miami Art Week fair dedicated exclusively to Ibero-American art, said he was optimistic about sales this year.
“The economy in the United States is very strong and that stimulates the consumption of art,” Costa said.
Art Basel, which welcomed 83,000 visitors last year to the newly renovated Miami Beach Convention Center, is aiming to break the attendance record during its Dec. 5-8 run by offering art lovers some innovative offerings, such as Meridians, a new sector curated by Mexican Magali Arriola, director of Mexico City’s Tamayo Museum.
Meridians is a sector featuring monumental artworks, ranging from sculptures and paintings to installations, performances and film and video screenings.
Latin American artists are well represented in the 34 projects included in Meridians.
Argentina’s Luciana Lamothe; Brazil’s Artur Lescher; Cubans Flavio Garciandia and Ana Mendieta; Colombia’s Jose Antonio Suarez Londońo; and Mexicans Jose Davila, Miguel Calderon, Pepe Mar and Tercerunquinto are scheduled to present works in Meridians.
More than 4,000 artists represented by over 250 galleries will have their work shown at Art Basel, which is celebrating 17 years since its inception in Miami and is considered the leading art fair in the United States.
Some 40 of the galleries participating in this edition of Art Basel are from Latin America, Spain or Portugal.
Based on the number of galleries from Sao Paulo, the Brazilian city is clearly the art capital of Ibero-America, with Mexico City, Buenos Aires, Madrid, Bogota and Lisbon trailing far behind.
Miami Art Week, however, is about more than just Art Basel, with visitors enjoying satellite fairs, exhibitions at museums and galleries, and events at hotels, businesses and other venues.
And the fun will not end when Miami Art Week 2019 wraps up.
The Rubell Museum, which will open on Dec. 4 in Miami’s gritty Allapattah neighborhood, is the new home of a collection of 7,200 works by more than 1,000 artists.
The museum was founded by Don and Mera Rubell, who are famous for having an eye for discovering talented emerging artists who rise to fame.
One such artist was Keith Haring (1958-1990), whose work will decorate one of the trains belonging to Brightline, the private rail service between Miami and West Palm Beach on Dec. 2 to mark the start of Miami Art Week, thanks to an arrangement with the Rubells.
The new museum occupies six former industrial buildings in Allapattah, the same neighborhood where real estate mogul Jorge Perez will inaugurate El Espacio 23, the new home of his private collection and a combination exhibition space and artists’ residence, this week.
El Espacio 23 will open with “Time for Change: Art and Social Unrest,” a show curated by Colombian Jose Roca and showcasing about 100 works from the private collection of the businessman for whom the Perez Art Museum Miami (PAMM) is named.
Miami is a city famous for its street art and the Wynwood Walls, an outdoor venue in the former warehouse district featuring murals, including works by famous street artists, such as Brazil’s Eduardo Kobra, and celebrating its 10th birthday.
On Lincoln Road, located in the heart of South Beach and known for its shops and eateries, 13 sculptures by Colombian artist Fernando Botero, all of them owned by collector Gary Nader, have been installed for Miami Art Week.