Now in it's third year in Miami Beach, the Art Basel show opens this week. Well, opened tonight, and thanks to my friend N I got passes to the pre-grand opening opening. Not VIP tix to where the free booze was, but free tix nonetheless. Being the pre-opening night meant less crowds, a more serious crowd (as in people looking to buy stuff, and in fact buying stuff already) and more fun people watching opportunities. And the tickets were free.
I'd wanted to post a bit about some of the art, but there are 175 galleries showing tons of work, and after an hour or so it gets overwhelming. It's really hard to remember much. It's not really a venue for superstar artists, but there were a few Calder mobiles, a Warhol or two and a few Lichetensteins. N's friend E had one piece up, a photo series of stack of letters sent by her father in Cuba to her mother in Miami. There was supposed to be a voice installation as well, with E's friend JC reading from the letters. Sadly, the gallery owner hadn't put it up yet.
Some work that did stick out was a collection of landscapes using denim as the media. Yes, cut up pieces of denim, in all colors, substituting for paints. And the artist, So Young Choi, was able to get perspective, point, geometric pattern...pretty damned inventive. The best of the lot sold already, but there were more available, and one at only $2,000.
...select "domestic artists" and "Chio, So Young"
This also pretty much marks the beginning of the tourist season. From here on out it's heavier traffic on the causeways, events almost every weekend...with a better economy it should be a busy season. The relative peace and quiet of summer is over. Bring on the snowbirds.
---update (11am, Thursday, 12/02)
Apparently, Tobey Maguire and Alex Rodriguez were there. Who knew?