For the 12th year, Miami hosted it’s annual Art Basel festival. When we published our last story for the 2012 season, projections for estimated attendees were around 50,000 people. This year, experts counted 75,000 artists, connoisseurs, celebrities, collectors, art lovers, and people who just wanted to take part in the atmosphere, who attended the festivities. Over 250 of the world’s leading galleries participated in the official event, which took place at the Miami Beach Convention Center Dec. 5th through the 8th; but downtown Miami, South Beach, and of course Wynwood were also teeming with life and creativity throughout the week, as well as the weeks that book ended it.
So what if not everyone there was celebrating their love of art and design. At Basel Castle, for instance, people who came to see SBTRKT or Chance the Rapper were exposed to the work and process of Sharktoof and NoseGo. The well known graffiti artists were unavoidable as they flanked the big outdoor stage, framing the performers while creating their pieces. The week was everything we preach on this site. The creative classes as one, lending time and exposure to one another. The Couch Sessions staff was on location to capture the sights and sounds of the continuously growing event.
Basel Castle was set in Grand Central Park, Miami, adjacent to one of Miami’s best performance spaces, Grand Central. There were bars; a big stage flanked with mural spaces; our friends at New Amsterdam Vodka installed the old school pop up barber shop we had at SXSW for our Circus SXSW showcase; giant cubes with wooden crenellations, resembling turrets in castles, that provided 4 surfaces, one for each artist selected; great art; and great music.
South African Artist Faith 47 created this golden mural entitled “Multum in Parvo.”
Kobra created large scale murals of colorful grids that make up portraits of people who contributed to make the world a better place. The first image below includes portraits of Basquiat, Frida Khalo, and Slavador Dali. They also created side by side murals Biggie and Pac, martyrs of the hip hop culture. We saw Kobra’s team in the process of creating the pieces.
We have galleries, parties, Scope Miami, Design Miami, and so much more to show you in our following installments of our coverage of Art Basel 2014. Somewhere Tony Goldman is still saying I told you so. What were some of your favorites?
Images by Jenny Atwood Smith, Richard Herrera, And Raymond Herrera.