Art Basel Miami Beach's 13th Edition Prepares to Break Records

Courtesy of MDC Museum of Art and Design
Shen Wei will present his first U.S. museum show at MOAD.
This year, our fall Arts & Eats Guide lists all that's timeless and fresh in Miami, from visual art to delicious food. Theater, dance, music, and drinks all make a much-needed appearance throughout the season as well. Pick up one of our printed guides Thursday, October 2, where you'll find profiles, interviews, and detailed event calendars to guide you through the upcoming cultural season.

When Art Basel Miami Beach (ABMB) blitzes into town December 4 though 7, the event will likely break attendance records.

For its 13th edition, ABMB will boast 267 of the planet's top international galleries, selected from 31 countries, that will exhibit 20th- and 21st-century works by more than 2,000 artists at the Miami Beach Convention Center and various venues throughout the city.

The zenith of Miami's cultural calendar, Basel transforms our peninsula into a rambling art installation, with upward of 20 satellite fairs and scores of related events, including outdoor murals, installations, and pop-up shops mushrooming from South Beach to Wynwood, Little Havana, and Pinecrest.

See also: New Bass Museum Curator of Exhibitions Reflects on Miami's Artistic Boom

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As Miami's Busiest Art Season Looms, Top Galleries Leave Wynwood For Downtown and Miami Beach

Wendy White's Brasil, on display as part of the David Castillo Gallery's "Amerika" show.
For Fredric Snitzer, the magic has vanished from Miami's hottest cultural district. The pioneering gallery owner has launched the careers of homegrown talent such as Hernan Bas, Naomi Fisher, and Bert Rodriguez from the Wynwood emporium he opened in 2003. But the increasingly raucous art walk now keeps serious art aficionados and collectors away, he says, while the burgeoning bar and restaurant scene has driven up rents beyond most galleries' means.

"Wynwood has become too hectic and lost its vibe," Snitzer says. "Crazy and quality I could have dealt with, but crazy and commercial is what drove me away. A lot of the new restaurants and businesses have been great for the area, but many of the developers don't understand the nature of the art community."

That's why Snitzer recently left the neighborhood he helped make famous, decamping Wynwood's increasingly commercial climes for a new location closer to downtown Miami.

See also: Fredric Snitzer, Michael Jon Galleries Selected for Art Basel Miami Beach 2014

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Fredric Snitzer, Michael Jon Galleries Selected for Art Basel Miami Beach 2014

Photo by Ian Witlen
Art Basel Miami Beach announced its 2014 exhibitors this morning, and two Miami players have made the list.

No stranger to the Basel center stage, Fredric Snitzer Gallery will return to exhibit in this year's main gallery section. Snitzer's presence has come to be expected, as its owner is a member of the fair's selection committee.

Welcomed to the fold is downtown's Michael Jon Gallery. Briefly located in the Design District, the gallery featured its exhibition, "Math Bass - Newz!" during last year's Basel season. Michael Jon will be included in the fair's Nova section, designed for galleries to present one to three artists showing new works that have been created within the last three years, often spotlighting never-before-seen pieces from the artist's studio.

See also: Art Basel Miami Beach Veteran Annette Schönholzer Steps Down

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Art Basel Miami Beach Veteran Annette Schönholzer Steps Down

Photo by Ian Witlen
Art Basel Miami Beach is facing yet another change of hands. Gallerist reports that longtime Basel figure Annette Schönholzer will step down as Director of New Initiatives to pursue other cultural projects.

Show manager of the first Art Basel Miami Beach in 2002, and later co-director with Marc Spiegler of all three Art Basel fairs worldwide, Schönholzer was one of three executives named to replace the founding director of Art Basel Miami Beach, Sam Keller, in 2007. Now only Spiegler remains of the trio. Gallerist says Marco Fazzone, Director of resources and finance and the Director of Asia, will be added to the roster.

See also: Art Basel Miami Beach 2013: Winners and Losers

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Art Basel Isn't Leaving the Miami Beach Convention Center, Despite What You've Heard

Photo by Ian Witlen
Mark Twain famously once said that reports of his demise were "greatly exaggerated." The same could be said of recent reports that Art Basel Miami Beach (ABMB) is shunning being shoehorned into a smaller space at the Miami Beach Convention Center during its impending 2016-2018 construction.

In fact, Art Basel, the Convention Center's highest wattage client, recently committed to remaining at the SoBe conference hall for another five years.

But unlike other marquee conventions such as the Miami International Boat Show, which might be forced to find a new home while the convention center is refurbished, the planned 36-month $500 million construction project will be scheduled around Art Basel's traditional December dates to accommodate what has become the most important event on Miami's cultural calendar.

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MasterMind 2014 Honorable Mention: Andrew Nigon

Photo Courtesy
Miami New Times' Mastermind Awards honors the city's most inspiring creatives. This year, we received more than 100 submissions, which our staff narrowed to an elite group of 30. We'll be profiling those honorable mentions, and eventually the finalists, in the weeks to come. This year's three Mastermind Award winners will be announced February 28 at Artopia, our annual soiree celebrating Miami culture. For tickets and more information, visit the website.

"That's like trying to pick a favorite child," Andrew Nigon says when asked about his favorite installation. Born and raised in Rochester, Minn., Nigon received his MFA from the University of South Florida in 2011. He lives and works in Miami, producing sculpture and figurative works both large and small. Nigon's creations mesh religious iconography with a circus aesthetic, exploring the tension between two opposing metaphors and questioning the logic of established taboos. Through creation and repetitive deconstruction, the final product forms its own identity, often with stuff the kids can enjoy: Giraffes, balloons, and a stack of scary clowns.

See also: MasterMind 2014 Honorable Mention: Alma Leiva

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Trolling Art Basel 2013 With Fake Piles of Money

Money makes the world go 'round.

Nowhere does that ring truer than the gross display of excess and wealth called Art Basel. So leave it to our art director Miche Ratto and photographer Stian Roenning to traverse Wynwood with stacks of (fake) money. Onlookers gawked, velvet ropes disappeared, and taxi services to Georgia became a possibility.

"Basically, photographer Stian Roenning and I finished our Basel cover with TYPOE and had 12 bundles of cash that I had made," Ratto explains. "While sipping on some fine spirits at a local pub, we thought how funny it would be to drop these in the middle of crowds. We thought it would make for a fun project.

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The Stars of Art Basel: Kanye, Lindsay Lohan, Diddy, Spacey and More (PHOTOS)

Getty Images for DuJour Magazine
You know how you spent the past week: the endless art fairs, the busy party schedule, the regrettable mornings waking up next to that guy who convinced your drunk ass he was Banksy the night before. But what was Art Basel like for the VIP set?

Judging from these pics, it was boozy, glam, and involved a ton of photo ops.

See also: Art Basel Miami Beach 2013: Winners and Losers

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Art Basel Miami Beach 2013: Winners and Losers

Ciara LaVelle
The convention center has closed. The fairs are breaking down. This morning, Wynwood is a lot more colorful -- and a lot quieter.

Art Basel 2013 is officially over. And now it's time for the rehash.

This year's mega arts fest was arguably the biggest in Miami history, with the opening of a new major art institution coinciding with an increasingly crowded art-fair scene and a ton of big names on display at museums and galleries across town. We had art stars. We had celebrities. We had cocktails and live shows and parties upon parties upon parties.

So who won the week? Who should've just stayed home? And, for crissakes, who is buying these godawful T-shirts? Read on to find out.

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Reefa Supporters Invade Art Basel Convention Center, Petition on the Streets of Wynwood

Subhash Kateel inside the Miami Beach Convention Center
An elderly art collector, her hair dyed and twisted into a J.M.W. Turner seascape, lowered her cell phone from her ear long enough to listen to the protestors gathered at the entryway to the Art Basel Miami Beach fair.

"What is a Reefa?"

Her companion, an aubergine-suited man with glossy skin, shrugged.

Four months after the promising 18-year-old street artist Israel "Reefa" Hernandez died after being tasered by Miami Beach police officer Jorge Mercado, friends and family in the Justice for Reefa Coalition used last week's series of art fairs to raise awareness for what they believe to be an unjustified killing. The group has been joined by the Dream Defenders, the same group that occupied the Florida state capital building for 31 days following the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin.

Though the alliance staged actions every day of the fairs, their main events were a protest outside the Miami Beach Convention Center on Friday night, a flash mob-style gathering inside the building at the main entrance of the fair during a high-traffic period, and a weekend spent petitioning and talking to graffiti-receptive out-of-towners in Wynwood.

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