MIAMI, FL - Once again, artists and art lovers have flocked to Miami’s historic Art Deco district in South Beach to attend the grandest art show of the year: Art Basel Miami Beach. Easy to spot, rays of rainbow lasers shot into the sky as a beacon seen from a 25-mile radius. The artist who created this public art installation is Yvette Mattern for The Ritz-Carlton Residences. Art Basel Miami Beach proper is housed in the Miami Beach Convention Center, but many satellite events of equal value showcasing local talent and entertainment are offered nearby.
Upon entering Art Basel at the Convention Center, the human public artist himself, Lynx Alexander, festooned with his fun tie, greeted us personally and posed for a few snaps to get us in the right mood. Spectators went bonkers for the “Maze of Quotes” installation at the Beyeler booth, which presented an opportunity to take all kinds of fun and “saucy” pictures. The installation features a funky apartment with freshly cooked pasta brimming from pots on top of and inside the vintage oven. Heaping pasta overflowed from every crevice and vessel including kitchen drawers, plates on the dining table, a bathroom sink, and even the mouth of a gigantic, fake crocodile. They refresh the installation with newly cooked pasta everyday. Speaking of food, some of you who watch Chef’s Table on Netflix may have seen the episode featuring French Chef Troisgros, who was inspired by the art of Lucio Fontana on a trip to Italy. In the episode, he meticulously and tenaciously devised a way to create a dish that would replicate Fontana’s signature slashed canvases using only milk and black truffle sauce. Like the artwork, the dish presents stark and clean white, cooked milk with a slash to reveal the underlying jet-black truffle sauce. It was quite interesting to see the actual work of art up close and personal and it brought out a smile as I recalled that Chef's Table episode.
Another impressive piece of art that initially looked like a photograph someone could just capture nearby in the Everglades, is actually an intricate charcoal drawing by Robert Longo, Untitled (Reflect Trees) 2015-2016. Like last year, quite a few galleries offered Pablo Picasso pieces, but what delighted me this time was the Kabinet dedicated to photography, art, and memorabilia of Man Ray and Marcel Duchamp, Dada filmmakers from Paris’ experimental, poetic, and all-too-brief film period. Brilliant artist and painter David Hockney also surprised me with an unusual video installation of Wolgate Woods. He fastened nine different cameras to his car and drove through the woods. He then projects all nine views onto a single display for a quite magical effect. I then gravitated to see the works of my favorite contemporary artist, Jaume Plensa at the Richard Gray Gallery. I took a few photos of his peaceful sculptures: Duna (Black Head), 2015 made of Murano glass and Paula, 2014 made of Basalt.
Art Basel Miami Beach is always such a fun event where artists and their fans from all over the world come together. Just walking through the labyrinth of exhibitions, one can hear an international cornucopia of diverse voices and accents. Having lunch in the cafes will seat you next to new friends for intellectual and stimulating conversation. Please check out the gallery pictures, to enjoy the work of artists previously mentioned. Have a look at the video below to drink in David Hockney’s installation. Check out the next article on Wynwood to get some local flavor of Miami’s own vibrant art scene.