Art Basel Miami Beach 2011: Winners & Losers

Miru Kim_by Martha Cooper_2edited.JPEG
Photo by Martha Cooper
That's it, folks! The tenth edition of Art Basel Miami Beach and all the events and sideshows that surround it are done. Now we are left to pick up the discarded canvases and paint cans left behind.

But Basel did leave something worthwhile behind  -- and we're not talking about the bitter after taste of a Miami Art Museum named after Jorge Perez. No, we're talking the clear cut winners and losers during this year's Art Basel. So let's get to stepping, because we've got a lot of ground to cover.


Miru Kim

Anyone who can live and sleep with pigs for 104 hours is automatically a winner in our book, but Kim's performance piece, "I Like Pigs and Pigs Like Me (104 hours)," at Primary Projects seemed to get the most media attention during the week, eclipsing whatever was happening at the convention center.

Corporate Sponsors

Absolut, Toyota, Spotify, and more whored out their brands during the week and without fail everyone flocked to their respective events. Will the free booze and music translate into product sales? Guess only time will tell.

Photo by Ian Witlen
The 1%

Even though Art Basel organizers warned conventioneers that the Occupy movement may try to disrupt the event throughout the week, nothing happened. The rich hopped from fair to fair in Basel-brand BMWs, while not a single Occupy protestor could be found within blocks of the convention center. The rich win again.

Photo by Jacob Katel

Thursday, Friday, and Saturday Wynwood was buzzing with activity. Instead of crackheads and the occasional lost vehicle, the area felt like an actual cool bohemian neighborhood. If only they knew that most days out of the year Wynwood better resembles Afghanistan than SoHo. Still, if the Goldmans don't come out of this week with a few new properties sold, we'd be surprised. Wynwood Gap in three, two...

To the next page for the Losers...

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Hans Morgenstern
Hans Morgenstern

Oh my God, Wynwood was a freakin' nightmare of jibaros, not at all the Boho set that established roots there. Food trucks everywhere, freakin' giant Abosolut bottles and crap music. Plus the Occupiers were there, preaching to the don't-give-a-fuck-about-government-and society party goers. ugh. It was like Coconut Grove on a Thursday night.


No word from Peta on the convulsing sick pig? I think this is the third article New Times has published championing the same gallery. There were thousands of art events over Basel of international consideration, most of which are actually contributing something new to the contemporary art dialogue. Too much Retna. Too much about over done and out-of-date nude performance art topics. Not enough attention to the scope of the week as a whole or in Miami New Times's case the multitudes of local artists and galleries that had successful showings.


LOL @ "Wynwood Gap"



Rod Deal
Rod Deal

Local artists who sold artwork and threw events won as well. 


Whatever, we had a ton of bands playing at the Multiversal event. No lines, no BS (well the occasional power-outage), just $5.

What about Miami's Independent Thinkers? Didn't they have a bunch of music?

Cashmere Kitties had a big lineup.

The Stage had a bunch of stuff going on, too.

Who else? I'm sure there were plenty more.


Too bad the occupy movement isn't about protesting rich people, but about ending corporate influence in politics... so no, a protest outside the convention center would not have made much sense.

Jose D. Duran
Jose D. Duran

If I need to explain to you how UBS, Basel's main sponsor, is evil incarnate, you really should throw in your Occupy towel. Plus, taking advantage of media exposure during a high-profile event is key to keeping the movement on people's mind.

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