Oh my effing god you guys. Wow! Art Basel was everything I could have hoped for and can I let you in on a little secret? I didn’t even technically go to “Art Basel” not at the Convention Center at least. I mentioned in my packing guide post that I had reached out to bloggers and PR companies regarding events and it paid off tremendously. I did so much research prior to getting out here that my iCal looked ridiculous. You couldn’t throw a stone without hitting an art exhibit Art Basel weekend. There was no way I was going to make it to every showing or event and I knew that but the idea was to have endless options on any day.
I won’t go in to the “eat here” and “stay here” bit because well, I’ve done that already in this post and TBH (to be honest) I didn’t really focus on eating at nice restaurants besides one night because I was so consumed with art and art centered events, some of which were providing both alcohol and light snacks. I will say though, that I’ve added a few new additions to my Miami Travel Guide after completing this last stay so be sure to check it out! I wanted to share a few of my favorite pieces with you guys today. I really hope you guys were following along on Instagram to see all of the beautiful art and events-if not be sure to get on top of that before the next trip! This post will be a little photo heavy but I’m not sharing half of the photos I have. Just trust me when I say that this is something you have to experience for yourself at least once in your life.
I landed, checked into my place, changed my clothes and hit the ground running. First stop was the Aqua Art Miami VIP Party. The Aqua hotel in South Beach was filled, the lobby, courtyard and every room to be exact, with artwork from 52 international galleries all showcasing new and mid-level emerging artists. There was something for everybody at this event. Below are just a few of my favorites (that I was able to take a decent enough photo of).
From there I hopped in to an Uber over to Wynwood for an art experience unlike any I had ever attended before. Virtual Reality art y’all! It was so cool! Obviously I don’t have any photos of the art because it was all video on VR headsets provided by Samsung but trust me when I say that this was EPIC. To give you a bit of an idea, there were 5 different artists who each designed and then developed a VR experience based off of their individual interpretations of Las Vegas. Combine that with a DJ, cocktails provided by The Venetian and snacks (truffle fries and shrimp tacos to name a couple) and my first night was a complete success.
The next morning started with the Fantich & Young Apex Predator showing & breakfast with the artists. It was a very thought provoking exhibit. The idea behind the pieces being that this is the “Apex Predator” everything they wear or own is made from the people/teams/countries flags that they’ve conquered. When I say people I mean it, most of the sculptures were made from human hair and teeth…kidding, they were made with dentures but same effect! I wanted to try on the white hair suit set so bad, no lie! The buttons were amazing and it had a very Jackie O. meets cousin It vibe to it. I think I could have pulled it off. I couldn’t walk away from this ceremonial headdress either, the detailing was so impressive.
Wynwood is always a great place to check out art and during Art Basel it is absolutely buzzing with energy. I grabbed a quick bite to eat and walked around for a while watching various street artists painting live and taking endless Instagram videos (sorry if it was too much, I just really wanted y’all to see!). These were a couple of my favorite walls currently on display. They are so vivid, detailed and just beautifully done-I couldn’t take my eyes off of them.
Friday I just HAD to check out Chillhouse, I’ve long wanted to try this New York City coffeeshop and it just so happened to be doing a pop-up in South Beach during Art Basel…what are the odds? That was first on my list and it happened to be inside of the Nautilus Hotel which was also showcasing a few artists’ work that I was particularly excited about seeing. I’m extremely picky when it comes to my Iced French Vanilla Lattes and I was quite impressed, so much so that I went back the following day. Sadly they were already packed and gone, the Nauti Grind-the usual coffee shop inside of the Nautilus isn’t too bad either (and the flatbread from the restaurant is pretty great too).
Friday night I was so fortunate to get to attend the Bacardi: No Commission Party put on by Swizz Beatz. It was nuts you guys, there were insane music performances by DJ Puffy and Busta Rhymes and all the while there’s art on display from new emerging artists all around you and did I mention free Bacardi cocktails…so fun! Such an eclectic mix of influencers, collectors, creatives and party goers. If you plan a trip to Art Basel in the future this is definitely an event worth looking into!
I can’t wait to go back next year!