The goal of Art Basel has been to connect the world’s premier art galleries and their supporters, as well serving as a platform for the international art industry. Since its establishment in 1970, its three fairs – staged in Basel, Hong Kong, and Miami Beach, provide collectors an opportunity to spot the newest developments in visual arts and discover up-and-coming artists.
For the last 13 years, Art Basel Miami has served as the end of the fall art season and remains the focus of Miami Art Week. Though it’s often described as gaudy, the atmosphere at this year’s Miami iteration was surprisingly conservative, possibly due to the fair’s efforts to improve the quality of its pre-existing programs rather than establish new ones.
Among the celebrities spotted navigating the gallery aisles were rapper Sean Combs, dressed in maroon slacks; hedge fund managers Dan Loeb and Kenneth Griffin; actors Leonardo DiCaprio and Owen Wilson; and third baseman Alex Rodriguez.
According to the show’s sponsor Axa Art, the event featured 267 galleries and 4,000 artists, with pieces valued at over $3 billion. The aisles of the convention center featured some trend-worthy patterns, but the most prevalent among them might have been the bursts of neon that seemed to be found around each corner – similar to Miami’s local aesthetic. Neon works stood out at several booths, including Fergus McCaffrey, Lehmann Maupin, Karl Holmqvist, and Felipe Arturo.
Neon wasn’t the only noticeable trend, as video and digital projects also dominated the aisles. It was definitely worth a pause with works like Bill Viola’s “Becoming Light” at James Cohan and Ori Gersht’s vibrant three-screen installation. The fair’s in-house film program featured Art Basel film curator David Gryn, who chose over 50 films to fit this year’s “Our Hidden Futures” theme. Works of artists like Rineke Dijkstra and Tracey Emin were projected and brought to life on the 7,000-foot exterior of the convention center.
Popular in previous years, masks and selfie-friendly mirrors also appeared throughout the fair – luring viewers with their own vanity.
What were your favorite pieces at this year’s event? Leave a comment below!