The rap on the annual contemporary art fair here is that much of the art has already been presold and most of the collectors come only for the parties. Veterans of Art Basel Miami Beach say there is plenty of fun to be had — it’s hard to keep track of the dozens of events on offer, including seated gallery dinners and liquor promotions. But there is also serious art-buying to be done and many dealers say they have their best results here. “It’s my favorite fair and normally it’s the most successful,” the dealer Paul Kasmin said. “I don’t think I’ve ever presold anything.”
Ah, to be among the glitterati who will descend this week on Art Basel Miami Beach. Nibbling on canapés. Clinking glasses of bubbly. Perusing modern masterpieces. And … writing checks to politicians? That’s the hope of several 2016 presidential candidates who, on purpose or by happenstance, have scheduled fundraising receptions to coincide with the annual art fair that swells the ranks of South Florida’s moneyed elite.
Street murals, pop-up fairs, installations depicting a post-rising-seas Miami and even a portal to the far reaches of the planet will stretch along Miami Beach and across the causeways for the annual art week frenzy that begins Monday. Here’s our list of Best Bets for art viewing available this week only.
There may come a day when having a critical mass of women featured in an art fair is no longer noteworthy, but we’re not there yet. So it’s worth noting that Art Basel Miami Beach, which starts next week, has a significant number of female artists.
Every other June, the center of the world’s aviation industry shifts to Paris for a commercial air show that is the de rigueur sales event for Boeing, Airbus and other giants in the jet industry. Now Miami-Dade County wants to bring some of that business to the Everglades. On an isolated county airport surrounded by the Big Cypress National Preserve, local officials see the future home of the Miami International Aerospace Show. The high-flying expo could launch as early as January 2017 as the largest show of its kind in the Americas, giving Miami a chance to tout its homegrown aviation sector to industry heavyweights.
Yogi Berra once said that, “The future ain’t what it used to be.” His words could serve as yet another warning for the residents of today’s Florida, a state that finds itself in the eye of the storm on climate change. It’s customary on the first day of the half-year-long hurricane season to issue a reminder about preparing for what a well-known book (and movie of the same name) once called The Mean Season. Long-time Floridians know they have to be ready, and that now is the time to prepare.