Ten Things You Need to Stop Doing During Art Basel Week

Categories: Listicles

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Art Basel week: where fine art brings out the crudeness in people.

Something about all that free booze, the nagging sense there's always a better party than the one you're at, and viewing copious amounts of art in a setting akin to Black Friday can bring out the worst conduct in some people. So, to prevent you from annoying those around you and enhance your Basel experience, we politely offer these behaviors to avoid.

See also: Art Basel Miami Beach 2013 Fairs Guide

1. Going to events just for the free booze.
An open bar at a moderately sized event is truly a gift from above. Standing in line for ten minutes to get a half-strength drink of some weird new flavor in a space where there's twice as many people as there should comfortably be is its own special type of hell. Stop showing up to things just because there's free booze. Assuming you're not the type of monster who fails to tip at an open bar, you'll still end up spending money, and if you really are a cheap alcoholic, you already know there are better ways to get buzzed for less than $10. So attend events you'd go to only if there wasn't an open bar, and pregame with a bottle of Trader Joe's wine.

2. Bragging about the events you've been invited to on Facebook.
Newsflash: Anyone with half a connection in Miami and an email address has been invited to at least a half-dozen "exclusive" events too. Unless you're passing along that RSVP email, no one cares. All but a handful of events are really as exclusive as they're made out to be anyway. So bragging to your supposed friends that you're going to an event that you presume they can't just comes off as clueless and classless.

3. Taking photos with the art.
Art fairs, as it turns out, are not meant to be Instagram selfie photo studios. We're not anti-selfie, but there's a time and place for everything. Posting a picture that says, "Look at this awe-inspiring art piece that I think truly and innovatively conveys a bold truth, but mostly look how cute I am standing in front of it!" reveals a special type of oblivious vanity. Besides, you're blocking our view.

4. Making an overpacked schedule and obsessively sticking to it.
It's good to plan a loose schedule of possible events, but partying and sticking to a rigid schedule are two things that assuredly do not go together. We all have that friend who breaks out his Excel skills, plans a detailed list of events, and is like, "So, I was thinking we'd start at this boutique opening in the Design District. Maybe have a drink or two. Then across the street there's this other thing. Like maybe Haitian art or something? I'm not really sure, but I RSVP'd, so we might as well go. Then there's like three gallery things in Wynwood we can probably knock out in an hour. Then it's off to the Beach. It's not set in stone yet, but I'm thinking the Gale first, then Shore Club, then the Delano, but we can't get too carried away because it's back to Wynwood by 2 a.m. because this DJ my friend says is really good is playing at the Electric Pickle."

To which you can only reply, "Right, and did you schedule any time to actually have fun at any of these events?"

5. Treating gallery assistants like your personal art history tutor.
The truth of the matter is that art fairs are not meant to expose the general populace to art (they're actually a horrible setting to really experience art anyway). They're set up to sell expensive pieces to rich people. The only reason you, John Q. Public, are allowed in is because these things aren't cheap to set up, so they charge you admission to help underwrite the whole thing. Many of the gallery workers might not want to admit it, but they're basically salespeople this week. They're overworked, often overpartied, and forced to sit in 200 square feet of space for hours at the time in the middle of a hectic bazaar while reminding people from Kendall not to touch the art. If you're not planning to buy anything, they probably won't bother to give you good answers to your Art 101 questions anyway. Just look it up on Wikipedia instead.


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53 comments
George Wiggins
George Wiggins

I'm glad to many people in Miami beach right now

Erin Devta Gillison
Erin Devta Gillison

I plan on bringing my bright and creative 4 year old. She and I paint on canvas together. If you can sit with a small child and paint a piece indoors without making a crisis of a mess, I think you might be ready for Art Basel. And please, we were all children once. Hope the writer does not reproduce...

Patricia Sbroggio
Patricia Sbroggio

Miami New Times Can you read this? Art Basel is a way to help Introducing children to Modern and contemporary art can be the beginning of a life-long adventure. Did you get it!

Patricia Sbroggio
Patricia Sbroggio

ART KIDS Art Basel offers a free kindergarten and playroom for children aged 3-13, who are introduced to art while their parents visit Art Basel. Children enrolled in the program will participate in activities including arts and crafts, art history, and storytelling under the supervision of the Miami Children's Museum well-trained staff. Art Kids is open during show hours.

Patricia Sbroggio
Patricia Sbroggio

Directly from Art Basel site: Visiting with Children With so much to see at every turn, Art Basel is a wondrous environment for children to explore the world of visual art, to spur their imagination and creative impulses, and to introduce them to the ways in which art can enrich their lives. In addition to an art-focused kindergarten and childcare, we offer some tips on how best to introduce your children to the joys of the art world.

Lou Ce Fur
Lou Ce Fur

If you are not buying you shouldn't be there .... The bass museum is the emptiest saddest place in Miami beach during the summer

Christian Fabian Robotti
Christian Fabian Robotti

Vanessa, "especially you Christian????" Stop skimming through a thread. Don't be lazy and you will see the big picture. smh #anotherproductofourbrokenschoolsystem I'm clicking like on what you said so you can come back to the thread and read what I wrote.

Patricia Sbroggio
Patricia Sbroggio

You don't have the right to call any child obnoxious! My child since he was 5 has been at Art Basel and he behaved like a gentleman. If and when you have kids, yours might be obnoxious!

Vanessa Todevski
Vanessa Todevski

Thank you Kristina! And totally agree with you Mark and Brad! But Guess many of you including especially the New Times writer don't have kids..... Especially u Christian Kids should Definitely be part of this and exposed to this!!! That's how we develop them to be creative individuals Sorry but any 3-6 year old will try to touch and run around because THATS WHAT THEY DO... Yes parents have to watch them but I hate people saying that kids should not be there!! So what should we just give them Mcdonalds and X box???

Salima Sawani
Salima Sawani

Kyle Münzenrieder haters gonna hate! I think the article was quite entertaining and informative!

Christian Fabian Robotti
Christian Fabian Robotti

Kyle, my man, though I do agree that some of the work in Miami is aesthetically, a horrific example of art, (vacation art) and such, and paying sometimes $5o just to get in to see art is blasphemy at best, you specifically said Art Basel. I'm not sure if you know your history but if you're going to take your children to any art fair, this is the one to take them to. There are many free, high profile galleries not charging the public.

Brad Flaherty
Brad Flaherty

Who writes this slap happy shit? These writers seem to be more concerned with their witty words than content. New times, your losing your luster.

Mark Erdman
Mark Erdman

The worst is when irresponsible parents take these kids to events that have djs or music performances and they dont have the decency or common sense to cover their children's ears. I was at an exhibit and there was a noise music demonstration. It was so loud it hurt my ears, and there were dipshit parents walking their kids right in front of the speakers. They're doing massive amounts of irreparable damage and are too dumb or stubborn to admit it. I dont give a damn if you bring your kids to an event, i dont care if they cry, run around and bump into me, or wreck havoc. Thats all fun and you just gotta smile at it. But when people endanger their own kids because they're too cheap to get a baby sitter or ignorant to realize what they're doing, then I get plenty annoyed. Grow up and take proper care of your kids.

Kyle Münzenrieder
Kyle Münzenrieder

The point of that particular, uh, point is not that children shouldn't be exposed to art. In fact, if you actually read it I explicitly state that. The point is merely that art fairs are probably not the most opportune way to expose art to most children (in fact, elsewhere in the article I suggest art fairs aren't the most opportune way for anyone to view art).

Kristina Villa de Rey-Ortiz
Kristina Villa de Rey-Ortiz

Art is not child friendly? Sheltering your child from the arts is one of the more ludicrous things I've ever heard, having worked in a museum I can tell you that a lot of money is spent in ensuring that children are exposed and develop a passion for the arts. Exposure is key in creating individuals who are artistic and wish to promote and fund art in their communities. That being said everyone should know their kid enough to know when to make a timely exit, just cause you want to see the other half of the fair doesn't mean you kid will, pacing is important.

Christian Fabian Robotti
Christian Fabian Robotti

Vita, misbehaved children in ANY public setting says more about the parent than the child. Let's try this on for size, a. Stop breeding or b. How about the parents educate themselves before the latter. Furthermore, unless it's Low Brow garbage or tasteless erotica art, art in itself is a higher form of creative integration for learning than anything on prime time television.

Jessica Gonzalez-Guzman
Jessica Gonzalez-Guzman

Btw kyle Muzenreider writing how to behave and 10 things to avoid articles seems pretty effing sophomoric whats next a how to look cool and edgy at Basel.. get out a here.

Vita Vitalis
Vita Vitalis

Second Sentence "Unless your children are well-behaved" all of you wise ass parents should have read that line and moved on.. If it doesn't apply to you why get worked up about it? BUT I must say, that most of these events are not appropriate for children..... I've been to my fair share of events and must say some most of the art displays are not child friendly.

Jessica Gonzalez-Guzman
Jessica Gonzalez-Guzman

Well said Christian Fabian Robotti & Joey Rodriguez!!!!! Yeah better we leave our children at home to watch the Kardashian's! Such pretentious crap New Miami New Times

Tdr Apollodreams
Tdr Apollodreams

most kids i see at Basel or any other art fair for that matter behave better than the intelligentsia-wannabe, clueless crowd. and if they're in art magnet, heck, they could give anyone a good lesson in art history...

Robert Bischof
Robert Bischof

That goes for the folks that bring their dogs and other pets..

Joey Rodriguez
Joey Rodriguez

NewTimes, is this article a joke? Let's as a society stop culturing our children because of some arrogant hipster thinks it is not cool. It is obvious you do not have children and honestly I hope you never do if that is the mindset you have.

Dan Marino
Dan Marino

Calm down people. Uh, it's New Times. One small satirical step from the Onion.

Cary Gonzalez
Cary Gonzalez

Stop taking your kids to shallow, meaningless events filled with vacuous, arrogant losers who think they're important.

Brad Beaty
Brad Beaty

And also, whoever wrote this needs to be fired. What an arrogant way to come off!

Daniela Boettcher
Daniela Boettcher

As an active Miami Beach resident, art and culture lover, journalist and mother, I have always liked your posts and shared many of them. This (point 6 about the kids), however, probably written by someone who a) never had a childhood or b) gave up on having one of their own after years of futile attempts and now hates everyone else's children, makes my heart rate go up. Children are the most valuable part of our society and have all the right in the world to go to the art fairs - especially when it's contemporary and vivid like Art Basel, wakening their interest in arts and culture, of course accompanied by a parent who explains and watches that they don't touch anything, that goes without saying. I brought my son first in a baby sling, then in a stroller, and since last year he's walking through the exhibition himself and is as curious and delighted as could be, and when it goes "ding dong" on Sunday at 6pm and the fair closes it's doors, he'll go "Nooo mama but I haven't seen everything...". The reactions, questions and comments some children make on the art and how they perceive it are the most brilliant things I've heard. Please keep your anti-family and anti-children posts out of here, Miami New Times. Thank you.

Christian Fabian Robotti
Christian Fabian Robotti

Cary, my mother took me to art museums and galleries since I was 4. Now I'm a selling artist who has participated in Basel 3 times, including Europe. So yes, it has a MAJOR impact on kids. Not to mention soo many other reasons. New Times, you got me there. Yet, I bet whomever wrote this article doesn't have an artistic bone in their body.

Muse TD
Muse TD

I think whoever wrote this had sucky parents that always left them with sitters. Sucks for them. Ho Hum.

Miami New Times
Miami New Times

Christian, um, no kid should read New Times -- even we know that. 18+ only, please :)

Cary Cary
Cary Cary

I can't imagine children get anything out of these stuffy art fairs anyway but to each his/her own.

Nathalie Bermond
Nathalie Bermond

Wow. Pretty sure there are a lot more obnoxious adults at those art fairs than children.

Rene Ramos
Rene Ramos

Stop taking your poor kid to the Art Fairs. They're not as important as anyone thinks they are.

Valerie Hower
Valerie Hower

Wow Miami New Times..... I take my 4-year-old with me all sorts of places. It is called spending time together and is better than throwing him in a daycare or with a sitter.

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