Art Basel Miami Beach 2012: Winners and Losers
Congratulations, reader. If you're seeing these words, you made it through Art Basel Miami Beach 2012, the event's biggest, glitziest, and most spectacle-packed edition yet. There were dozens of fairs to check off your list. There were parties galore each night, with free-flowing booze and D-list celebrities in abundance. If you spent this weekend Baseling like a pro, you're probably still nursing that hangover from two nights ago and planning to draw up a petition to make Art Basel Monday a federal, work-free holiday. (We'd sign that petition in a heartbeat, by the way.)
Jack Cotter Banksy at Art Miami: Winner or loser?
Still, before you go back to your regular life, with its lack of champagne carts, pop-up parties, and creepy sex rollercoasters, take a look back at who came out on top this year -- and who got Basel-slapped in the face.
Jose D. Duran
Serene, tragic, and beautiful, Woodgate's "New Landscapes" marked her debut at the big convention center show. Its painstakingly erased globes and maps haunted Spinello's space in Art Positions -- as well as the minds of anyone who took notice of them long after they'd gone home. Way to make Miami proud.
This year's Art Basel facelift was one of the most dramatic yet, with new murals covering damn near every available surface. Crowds packed the neighborhood nightly -- and unlike your average Second Saturday Art Walk, most people roaming the streets seemed genuinely invested in seeing artwork.
Midtown Tent Fairs
Ciara LaVelle Seth Casteel's Duncan is certainly winning.
Midtown really stepped up its game this year, perhaps Art Miami and its new CONTEXT fair most of all. Between the two of them, they showed work from nearly 200 galleries, and drew about 55,000 visitors -- those are Art Basel Miami Beach-level numbers right there. Scope and Miami Project both had plenty of buzz around town too, with interesting, engaging, unique works all around.
If you're a fan of pop art, you really liked Basel week in Miami. Works by Warhol have always had a presence at Art Basel, but this year, the man was downright unavoidable. From Warhol originals on display to contemporary artists' own riffs on his work, Warhol made an appearance at every major art event in town.
Art with gun imagery was all over the place last week, and while we're used to that sort of thing hitting us over the head with its message -- Guns are bad, let's destroy all the guns -- this year's weapon-related works seemed to take a less one-sided approach. The Asif's Guns pop-up shop selling cardboard replicas of firearms big and small had gun geeks, well, geeking. And at fairs like Scope, we saw guns beautifully crafted out of cast iron, or covered in delicious-looking frosting.