ART: 2012 Art Basel Parties…Umm… We Mean, Exhibitions

Finally, the beginning of December is here!! While the art students panic over choosing from preparing for their finals and festival events, the lucky ones in the art world descend on Miami Beach and the Wynwood design district for one of the most important events in the industry. Since it’s origin in Basel Switzerland in 1970, it has become the largest art festival in the world. Art Basel expanded to the “Magic City”, aka “Bawse City,” in 2002, and this sister festival is growing to rival the original with over 50,000 attendees in 2011, only a third of which are Miami area residents. We’ve chosen a few of the events outside of the Miami Beach Convention Center where the official festival takes place, that are not to be missed, some of which will be feasts for the ears as much as the eyes.


tiffany ford gif

Moving the Still: A Festival of GIFs

Tumblr will host an ode to the moving images that flood our internets known as GIFs. Since 1987, GIFs like Lazer Cat Gif have been keeping us entertained during down time, and keeping our work days productive by giving us small jolts of humor and wonder. The Moving Image exhibition is Curated by Paddle 8 featuring a selection panel with members such as R.E.M.’s Michael Stipe and fashion director Nicola Fromichetti.

318 NW 23rd Street (enter on NW 2nd Avenue), Wynwood, Miami

Exhibition viewing hours: Wednesday, December 5 – Saturday, December 8, 12 PM – 7 PM

Party: Friday, December 7, 8 PM  – 12 AM, open to the public.



Kurt, Adarsha Benjamin

Kurt Cobain tapped into the hearts of my generation with his music as the lead singer and guitarist of Nirvana. The Friends of Gusman-Red Curtain Series, Olympia Theater, and Onward Forward bring you a multi media event featuring a short film by artist Adarsha Benjamin entitled KURT.  The event will be headlined by a performance by Thurston Moore of the legendary band Sonic Youth, whose music was a huge influence on Kurt Cobain and Nirvana, an “over-sensory live version” inspired by the famous Nirvana music video “Smells like Teen Spirit” by choreographer Ryan Heffington, and original music by Guy Blakeslee of the LA indie-band The Entrance.

Headliner: ‘Kurt’ featuring Thurston Moore performance

Where: The Olympia Theatre at the Gusman Center for Performing Arts, 174 E. Flagler Street, Miami, FL

Performance Date: 12/6/2012, 8:00 pm

Cost: $25-$50


Daniel Johnston

Hi, How Are You?, Daniel Johnston

Musician and artist Daniel Johnston came into most people’s radar from a shoutout by Kurt Cobain in the form of a T-shirt of his album cover for Hi, How are You?. The bipolar/schizophrenic multi disciplined creator will give a rare performance and exhibit some of his art work during Art Basel. The 2006 documentary The Devil and Daniel Johnston chronicles his battles with mental illness and the work that he has created in the midst of his challenges. As the film illustrates, his dedicated fans are almost as interesting to be in the presence of, and there is a good possibility the Couch Sessions’ fam may join this group for the foolishness that may ensue.

Where: Grand Central, 697 N Miami Ave, Miami, FL

Performance Date: 12/7/2012, 9:00 pm

Cost: $20


Terrible Living presents this event featuring DJ sets from members of some of our favorite groups such as Grizzy Bear’s Chris Taylor, Purity Ring’s Corin Roddick, and Neon Indian. We know their sets will be as intereting as the music they play in their day jobs.

Where: Bardot, 3456 North Miami Avenue Miami, FL

Cost: $22-$30


Basel Castle

Basel Castle

Party in a Castle? Yes please. Billed as A Spectacle of Bizzare Proportions, Basel Castle will feature some of our favorite bands and visual artists including Buff Monster, Shark Toof, Ron English, and… the grafitti of Chris Brown? Who can beat that? Musical guests are Purity Ring, Trinidad James, (my fellow Dominican, k lo k!) Twin Shadow, Nick Catchdubs, Brenmar, and more, including a surprise guest from Fool’s Gold. These tickets are sold out and we will be looking for scalpers if the press access gods can’t get us in there.


Guiro, Los Carpinteros

Cuban art duo Los Carpinteros has teamed up with Absolut Art Bureau to create this intallation inspired by, and named after, the traditional Latin American instrument known as the Guiro. The instrument the bar takes its name and shape from is made from a gourd that was also used by Caribbean natives as a storage and drinking vesel. We hope the ratchet sound the intrument it was modeled after also inspires ratchet behavior. The installation will serve as cocktail lounge on South Beach’s Ocean Front. There will be live music by Joan Valent and of course artfully mixed drinks courtesy of Absolut. Its is free for all, but you must be 21 or older to enter.

WHEN:  Thursday, December 6th 12:00pm to 12:00am Friday, December 7th 5:00pm to 12:00am Saturday, December 8th 5:00pm to 12:00am Sunday, December 9th 5:00pm to 12:00am

WHERE: Bass Museum of Art, 2121 Park Ave, Miami, FL


We hope to see you in and around Miami during the week. What are some of the events you will be attending or would like to?

For more information on the official Art Basel events and exhibitors click here.