Arts & Culture
Art Basel Miami Beach 2012
A diary of the grit and ritz of Miami's annual all-you-can-eat brain food buffet
Published: December 12, 2012
Wynwood Walls, a group of windowless warehouses in the neighborhood that are open targets for street art, has become a sort of Mecca for graffiti artists, collectors and enthusiasts. Tonight they are showing work from Retna, Ron English, Shepard Fairey, Ryan McGinness and Invader. The Walls show is a good intermission, complete with a cash bar, DJ and a couple of food carts. This year there's also a pop-up "gallery" shop, full of graffiti-inspired gifts, spray paint, accessories and a wide selection of graffiti books.
We make our way uptown from Wynwood to the Scope art fair. Getting lost in the vastness that is Scope is enjoyable – we're surrounded by some of the most forward-thinking and exciting contemporary art in the world. Scope is attached to Art Asia and Overture, all housed under the same roof. Personal favorites include creepy bronze sculptures by Chinese artist Qin Weihong and creepy bad-guy portraits by Orlando artist Scott Scheidly.
Walking back to Wynwood proved to be a horrible idea. Six of us squeeze into a car to hitch a ride back down to the 'hood.
Primary Projects' installation "Asif's Guns" is a pop-up show/gun store complete with a knowledgeable staff selling an assortment of firearms constructed of cardboard, including handguns, assault weapons and machine guns. The salespeople are helpful enough to disassemble each weapon for you and provide information on caliber rounds that could be loaded into each "weapon."
Up the street at Now gallery, we take in Federico Uribe's solo show, Art on a Shoestring, comprising sculptures and hung pieces made from recycled objects, including electrical wires, zip ties, bullets and old keyboards – a good example of art for the current economy.
It would be very hard to starve in Wynwood during Basel, considering they have their own food-truck "food court" on hand. If you don't mind getting your feet dirty and dusty while tripping on chunks of concrete, hitting the food trucks is a definite must. We quickly find that the trucks with the longest lines are the ones worth waiting for. Patience is key.
Unix Fine Art is a treat. This gallery offers pieces from ultra-realistic sculptor Eugenio Merino and the brushstroke master Alexi Torres, and pop culture-infused sculptures and paintings by Desire Obtain Cherish.
During the day, the Basel Biergarten was an awesome place to take a rest; after a full day of walking, their selection of craft beer and hand-rolled cigars is just what we need to end the night well. Come nightfall they've added a DJ and the AZ Canteen (Andrew Zimmern's food truck), serving a not-so-bizarre selection of tasty treats.