Art Basel Miami Beach 2012: Winners and Losers


Ciara LaVelle
Peter Anton
Do you see this, Miami? This is why we can't have nice things: Not long after the artist's Sugar and Gomorrah roller coaster opened at Art Miami, some hater came out and tagged the thing. Look, you don't have the be in awe of the art -- we found it to be a bit creepy, ourselves. But if you want great artists to have a presence in town, you have to show them that their work's going to be respected here. Giant fail.

If Art Miami came out on top last week, Banksy suffered a loss. Despite calls from some in the street art community to boycott the fair, which showed Banksy works that were removed from their original locations, people still came out in droves, essentially legitimizing the exhibit. Art Miami: 1, Banksy: 0.

Brake lights lit up the 195 causeway Thursday night.
If you were behind the wheel of a car this weekend, you automatically lost. Traffic caused delays of an hour or longer between Miami Beach and the mainland. Anyone who decided to be responsible and take cabs between champagne binges parties was thwarted by drivers who refused to take passengers anywhere but South Beach. We can all agree that Miami needs better public transit now, right?

New Fairs
Pop-up parties had a big week; start-up art fairs, not so much. At JustMadMia, Miami River Art Fair, and others, attendance was lacking -- a sign, perhaps, that we've reached critical mass when it comes to giant warehouses packed with gallery stalls. Speaking of which....

Miami Art Week
Bigger isn't always better, and last week seemed to prove it. There were just too many events, from the aforementioned new fairs to artist-branded corporate launch parties to South Beach soirees at every hotel on the Collins strip. Individually, most things sounded pretty okay. But happening all at once, they created a kind of distracting white noise, making it difficult to focus on the thing that's brought everybody to town in the first place: the art.

Also, the name "Miami Art Week" isn't ever going to replace "Art Basel," even for events unrelated to the convention center show. Stop trying to make fetch happen, folks.

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Give it a year or two "Miami Art Week" will come around. Then it will be "South Florida Art Week" after that.

Tom Berry
Tom Berry

Perhaps its an act of deliberate dissent against the perceived elite snobbery of Basel? Perhaps Art Week is a reference to not only corporate Basel, but all the art events which take place during the week? Perhaps the perceived logo, trademark, copyright, franchizing, of Basel offends many that the Baselist would presume to usurp the word "Art"... Can we just call it Miami Basel (c)? Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps...

George Hoover
George Hoover

WE took that Basel thing and turned it upside down - it's so much more than Art Basel now...frickin' amazing! The Swiss should be tickled pink & very proud of what Miami did with their lil Art Fair...It's Basel on Steroids...Wow I need a week to recover from "Miami Art Week".

James G. Camp
James G. Camp

Hmmmmm, Sugar & Gomorrah ? And you want the rest of us to stop calling it Miami Art Week ? They might wanna feel fortunate it's even called Art Basel at all ? LOL, any pink snails involved this year ?


"Stop trying to make fetch happen, folks." 

Awesome and agreed. 

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