Ten Best Things to Do During Art Basel Miami Beach 2011

Regardless of your approach, the sad truth is it's impossible to catch every piece of art worth experiencing during Basel week. With 250 exhibitors at the Miami Beach Convention Center, not to mention hundreds of others operating at the more than a dozen satellite fairs, this year's tenth edition is a cut above, making any victory over the schedule even more pyrrhic.  And don't forget our own homegrown dealers and artists eager to prove we measure up against the best in the world.

That doesn't mean you shouldn't try. From levitating platforms to 3-D graffiti to naked hog-wrasslin', here are our picks for this year's can't-miss moments. While you work up your Basel game face, don't miss the retrospective on ten years of Basel madness in this week's feature.

10. American Exuberance
Want a primer on contemporary art from the past three decades? This blockbuster show at the Rubell Family Collection is your one-stop shop, with nearly 200 works -- nearly a quarter of them created just for the exhibit -- by 64 artists, from blue-chip talent such as Jeff Koons, Mike Kelley, and Barbara Kruger to rising comets such as Ryan Trecartin and Sterling Ruby. And don't miss Jennifer Rubell's breakfast installation Incubation, where the public can watch her make yogurt -- and then eat the results. (Through July 27, 2012, at the Rubell Family Collection, 95 NW 29th St., Miami. Free to the public during Art Basel, Thursday through Sunday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Regular hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Call 305-573-6090 or visit rfc.museum.com)

9. Before They Were Famous
Behind the Lens of William John Kennedy": Those suffering from a sweet tooth for the golden oldies should check Scope Miami's iconic images of legends such as Andy Warhol and Robert Indiana shot during the early '60s by Kennedy, a longtime Miami shutterbug.
"People are going to experience the notion of entering a time warp," explains Kennedy, who adds he is also "wallpapering the entire room" at Kiwi Project Space in Wynwood and screening a documentary revisiting the era at O Cinema as part of his Basel breakout.
(December 1 through 4 at Scope Miami, NE First Avenue and 30th Street, Miami; Kiwi Project Space, 48 NW 29th St., Miami. Scope's admission is $20, and it's open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Visit scope-art.com and myspace.com/kiwiproject)

8. Fab Five Freddy at Fountain Art Fair
After setting Wynwood ablaze with wild pyrotechnics in 2010, Fountain Art Fair returns with more works that the average-wage slave can afford. A pass to Fountain runs just $15 for the weekend and features late-night musical performances -- none more incredible than a set by Fred Brathwaite, better known as hip-hop and graffiti founding father Fab Five Freddy. In the early '80s, Freddy's cartoonish versions of Warhol's soup cans helped move tagging from subways to galleries. He went on to host Yo! MTV Raps. (December 1 through 4 at Fountain Art Fair, 2505 N. Miami Ave., Miami. Public hours are noon to 7 p.m., with performances running until midnight Friday and Saturday. Admission is $10 for one night or $15 for the weekend. Visit fountainartfair.com.)

7. Graffiti Gone Global
Wynwood has earned well-deserved street cred for building-swallowing murals painted during Primary Flight and at Wynwood Walls, but this year's edition of "Graffiti Gone Global" promises to completely blow up the art form. Creatives including Marc Fornes, Volkan Alkanoglu, Billi Kid, and other urban mavericks will present cerebral 3-D graffiti projects you'll be able to walk through. Look for everything from a mammoth, 30-by-16-foot installation created from hundreds of thousands of interlocking nodes, evoking a fractal universe, to a reinvented NBA All-Star Game basketball court. (11 a.m. to 8 p.m. December 2 and 3, and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. December 4 at the Rotunda Space, 3252 NE First Ave., Ste, 101, Miami. Admission is free. Visit gggexhibit.com.)

6. Born Under a Bad Sign

In 2009, serial disturber of the peace NeckFace debuted a Halloween solo show at OHWOW that left spectators' eye sockets crushed into creamed corn. It featured drawings of blood-puking babies hung over full-color, tractor-trailer-size vinyl murals of brutal crime scene photos. The precocious virtuoso of the putrid is back to haunt us with his new horror film, Born Under a Bad Sign, helmed by cult filmmaker Isaiah Seret and featuring the tale of "Satan's lonely soldier who hunts for the heads of those who wronged him." Venom-spitting, "witch-house" band Salem will provide the musical interlude. (10:30 p.m. December 1 at the Gusman Center for the Performing Arts, 174 E. Flagler St., Miami. Admission is free with RSVP to rsvp@onfwd.com. Visit onfwd.com.)

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Fountain Art Fair is hosting a closing party on Sunday with non-profit Art for Progress. This event will feature additional performance and interactive art not on view throughout the other show dates. You can get info at artforprogress.com

Ana Rossi
Ana Rossi

I like it! let's go to Art Basel!!

random dude
random dude

New Times,

Find some other ad provider. I clicked one of the 'more links from around the web' thinking it was an article. I got 2 new tabs forced open and a full size new window showing me 'the hottest products on the web'.

Stop that shit, it's annoying.

JennyLee Molina
JennyLee Molina

I'm with Beached Miami / The Miami Herald's list with The Co11ective being mentioned! ;)

Sam Shortrun
Sam Shortrun

Art Basel Miami is one of the most interesting and culturally significant events SF has to offer.  Love It!

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