I survived Art Basel! From all of the art fairs and exhibits to the parties, events, and music performances to mastering how to squeeze in as many events in a day, this year’s Art Basel was everything. I was even more excited by the growing number of black and Caribbean exhibits and artists that had their moment to shine. Everything you could want was packed into one week, and it’s days like this that makes Miami the Magic City.
So with my Noire Miami Ultimate Black Basel Guide in hand, I hit the streets to check out the scene, marvel at the art, get a dose of culture, do some people watching, get in a little bit of partying, and a whole lot of walking. If you didn’t get as much Art Basel as you could have, just take this recap as a prep to get you ready for next year’s Basel.
The highlight for me was seeing Nas bless the mic and take me back to the good old days during his performance at the Pulse Art Fair for Hennessy and FADER’s Wild Rabbit “Never stop. Never settle.” photo series. Besides the Hennessy drinks flowing throughout the night, Nas proved that he still has it after all these years and that his Wild Rabbit is definitely about excellence. I should know since I interviewed him for Noire Miami back in October for his performance at the GQ Book Celebration hosted by D. Wade on South Beach.
High on my list was to explore all of the black exhibits, and this is probably why I had such an awesome Art Basel experience. Kroma, the new black-owned gallery in historic Coconut Grove, featured live painting by six black artists set against a soulful DJ set in an outdoor patio. The Celebrity Art Series was also on display and will remain on display for a few days beyond Art Basel.
Fusion MIA and Grey Goose presented a chic pop up gallery in the heart of Wynwood with the best in black and Caribbean art from locally owned black galleries and a hot list of daily VIP parties and events from an awards dinner to a “Women Who Rock” fashion show hosted by Jones Magazine to the “Don’t Stop the Music” event hosted by the Ted Lucas Foundation.
The Haitian Consul General did a superb job of promoting the platform for all of the Haitian (and Caribbean) art that was on display from Multitudes Gallery, the Little Haiti Cultural Center, the Haitian-American Historical Museum, and the Haitian Heritage Museum.
As a MOCA Shaker at the Museum of Contemporary Arts (MOCA) in North Miami, I got invited to MOCA’s Vanity Fair party and Kendrick Lamar’s performance at Mana Wynwood. Vanity Fair never disappoints and at the Kendrick Lamar event I seemed to be the only one that didn’t know the lyrics. He definitely has a strong fan base.
I attended a few other special events and too many to name, and I’m just glad that I survived it and it’s over. What a fabulous week it has been! I know we say this every year, but this year’s Art Basel was definitely much bigger and better, and I’m already looking forward to next year’s…but no rush because it’ll probably take me that long just to recover.
Nas photo credit: KirillWasHere