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After Hiatus, Miami Art Basel Made its Return and Took Over the City

El Art Basel Miami regresó este año para apoderarse de la ciudad

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Luxury yachts and automobiles, the parade of celebrities and millionaire collectors: nothing escapes these days in Miami the spell of the art banquet and spectacle of the Art Basel fair, which opened its doors to the public this past Thursday and ended on December 5.

Many well-known faces are landing in Miami this week to browse through the galleries and sections of the fair, acquire a piece, and, not least, be seen at the many exclusive parties taking place in the city’s big hotels and clubs.

It’s been a while since Art Basel Miami Beach ceased to be just an artistic event that feeds the first week of December to a frenetic constellation of satellite fairs.

After its absence in 2020 due to the pandemic, this year the event emerges with renewed vigor seasoned with the confetti of celebrities and parties.

Celebrities and millionaires that the booming infantry visiting the fair intuits from the cars that silently enter the main entrance of the Miami Beach Convention Center: Bentleys, Porsches, Range Rovers, Cadillacs, Audis.

An inventory of objects of desire that includes the exquisite yachts and super yachts docked in the sunny dock adjacent to the FTX Arena pavilion, facing Biscayne Bay, home of the Miami Heat NBA basketball team.

El Art Basel Miami regresó este año para apoderarse de la ciudad
A man cleans a luxury yacht docked Wednesday in Biscayne Bay in downtown Miami, Florida.

The atmosphere that reigns at Art Basel Miami Beach since its kickoff this past Monday is one of marked optimism. And the fact is that the art world is an emotional, intellectual and economic adventure that fades away without the presence of the galleries, the visit to an exhibition space and, in the case of Miami, its constellation of parties and satellite fairs.

Art basel - El American
Some people visit Wednesday the work “Hall of Visions” by Argentine artist Pilar Zeta installed on the beach in Miami Beach, Florida. (EFE)

Spiegler appealed to astonishment to explain this year’s celebration, in view of the accumulation of difficulties and obstacles along the way, and described as historic the presence of a total of 253 galleries from all over the world and of artistic voices from African countries for the first time.

Despite the uncertainty caused by the pandemic, what is relevant is not so much the foreseeable drop in visitors (up to 30 percent), but the high quality of the works exhibited and the enthusiasm that is palpable in the atmosphere, Spiegler told EFE news agency.

Photo courtesy of CANO Estudio showing the work “El cazador en Miami Beach” (2021) by Spanish-Colombian artist Alberto Baraya, which will be part of the Art Basel fair in Miami Beach, Florida. (EFE)

The new proposals in the Miami Art Basel

Enthusiasm and sales at the opening of the fair, which counted the sale for 4 million dollars of a Banksy: the painting entitled “Charlie Brown”, in which he paints the popular character with a cigarette in his mouth and a can of gasoline in one hand.

Another heterodox and mediatic proposal in this Art Week is the tasting of the “most expensive cup of coffee in the world”, which costs one thousand dollars and includes a work by the artist “Coolman Coffeedan” and a pound of “cider”, a unique coffee variety.

Without leaving the line of baroque delirium, British set designer Es Devlin presents today at the Jungle Plaza a sort of monumental labyrinthine maze, “Five Echoes”, commissioned by the iconic Chanel Nº5 perfume, an experience that will test the orientation skills of visitors immersed in an enclosed forest of trees, light and smells.

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