BLOG

Art Basel Miami 2017

The year might be coming to a close, but in Miami 2017 ended in a writhing mass of beauty, terror, political fury, artistic serenity and, of course, an insane amount of money changing hands. How else could anyone sum up Art Basel, one of the world’s largest art festivals. As Eric Minh Swenson at HuffPost put it, Art Basel is “where the Museums come to shop.” It’s also where some of the art world’s biggest spenders come to stock up on new additions to their collections. As for the artists themselves – well let’s just say you never quite know what to expect at Art Basel. One moment, you might be admiring some delicate sculpture; the next, a few toilet bowls suspended a few feet from the floor, or a painting of Ronald Reagan vomiting everywhere. You never know what’s around the next corner, and that’s the beauty of it.

art basel

What Just Happened?

Despite its current degree of pomp and eclectic grandeur, Art Basel Miami actually started from humble beginnings. In 2002, Switzerland’s biggest art festival in Basel was looking for an event to wrap up the year on a high note. A relatively small satellite festival was organized for Miami. At first, this end of year event was mostly just a taste tester aimed at whetting the art world’s appetite ahead of the following year’s main festival in Switzerland.

Fast forward a decade and a half, and Art Basel Miami is today easily the most notable annual art festival anywhere in the Americas. An estimated 82,000 people attended this year. To illustrate Art Basel’s explosive growth, in 2015 attendance was closer to 77,000. Over that time, the festival has garnered a controversial reputation. On one hand, it’s often seen by Miami locals as excessively elitist; indeed, the festival can feel like a grocery store for the richest of the rich collectors, and investors eager to snap up works from the next up and coming artists before they hit their peak value. Small fortunes change hands, artists are made, destroyed, enriched and rejected.

Art Meets Technology

This year though, the classic confusion and insanity of previous events was noticeably toned down and focused. If Art Basel Miami 2017 could be summed up succinctly, it’d be something along the lines of art-meets-tech.

“For the core of the art world, most digital art seemed overly enamored with its own technology, and often felt conceptually lightweight,” global director of Art Basel, Marc Spiegler recently argued in a CNN editorial.

That’s something many artists at this year’s event seemed determined to change, and the question of how to integrate emerging technology with art was one that came up time and time again.

That question reminds me of a Far Side cartoon where two cavemen artists are standing in front of their cave drawings and they look over at another caveman who’s painting on a canvas and easel,” artist Brian Bress told Los Angeles Confidential.

“One cavemen artist says to the other, “Sure, it’s cool, but is it art?” There are no lines,” he said.

One example of this was the eye-catching display put on by Dutch artists Lonneke Gordijn and Ralph Nauta. Late night visitors to Miami beach would have been surprised to see hundreds of drones rising over the shoreline. Against the inky night sky, they glowed as they danced in an arching formation. Cynically dubbed “Franchise Freedom,” the display was nonetheless awe-inspiring. The 300 drones appeared to imitate a flock of migrating birds, swirling and dancing in a sophisticated pattern that was as much a mathematical beauty as it was an aesthetic delight.

Art Basel Miami takes place every December. More information about the next festival can be found here.

Secret Locations for Romantic Picnics in Miami

Miami offers many wonderful parks for your romantic picnic dinner. Below are five destinations that offers stunning landscapes, ample space, and onsite amenities that enhance the experience.  Grab your picnic blanket, select an excellent bottle of wine, and head off to one of these romantic picnic paradises.

romantic picnic miami

A.D. “Doug” Barnes Park

A.D. Barnes Park offers a spacious landscape that features beautiful foliage, such as its fragrant pine trees. The National Audubon Society also designated the park a haven for migrating birds, making it perfect for anyone who enjoy bird watching. The park also houses a wide selection of designated picnic areas, picnic shelters, a heated pool, and a nature center.

 

South Pointe Park

Envision yourself indulging in a gourmet picnic while beholding panoramic views of the water and the Port of Miami. During the day you can lay on your blanket for hours watching cruise ships sail past you and at night the glistening waters and cool breezes will lull you sleep.

 

Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park

You will not regret a picnic at this coastal Florida State Park. Here you can savor your picnic on the sands while staring into the open waters of the Atlantic Ocean. In addition to the numerous covered picnic areas and picnic pavilion rentals, patrons can enjoy some time at the beach or explore the oark’s beautiful grounds. During your visit you can also partake in a variety of activities such as fishing, hiking, a guided lighthouse tour, or strolling its many nature trails. With so much to experience at this state park, your picnic will be anything but ordinary.

 

Tropical Park

This Miami-Dade County Park offers an impressive list of options to ensure your picnic is not only romantic, but adventurous. You can dine at a picnic table or a covered pavilion, both of which offer exceptional views of the park. There is also a man-made beach on sight where you can relax in the warm sands. For couples that are sports enthusiasts, you can participate in a game of tennis, shoot some hoops at the basketball court, or trot around at the equestrian center.

 

Amelia Earhart Park

No matter where you set up your picnic at the Amelia Earhart Park, you are guarenteed a stunning view of the lake. The park features six picnic shelters complete with barbecue stations, which allows you to really expand your dining options. The park also offers a diverse selection of activities including a farm village, a water sports complex, mountain bike riding, and volleyball courts. You can also fish at any of the 515-acre park’s five lakes or go for a romantic canoe ride with your partner.

What to Do in South Beach in November

As another year inches closer to a close, South Beach is coming back to life with plenty of great events lined up for November. This month, we’ve got wine festivals by the dozen, not to mention events celebrating everything from edgy art to the vets, Frisbee to burgers. This is November in South Beach.

burger miami

Seed Food & Wine Festival

The Seed Food & Wine Festival asks the question: what if a food and wine festival went vegetarian? Hosted by Whole Foods, this event seeks to promote plant-based eating and animal welfare. The festival runs from November 1-5. More information here.

 

Miami Live Month

From November 1-30, Miami Live Arts Month will see special events popping up across the city. There’s everything from live comedy acts to dance, concerts, poetry and more. There’s also special deals on restaurants and hotels. Find out more here.

 

Burgerliscious

Head over to Ponce Circle Park on November 2 for this celebration of the classic beer and burger. It’s delicious and good value. More details here.

 

Doral Food & Wine Festival

The Doral Food & Wine Festival is returning once again this year. From November 4-5, Doral Central Park will be overflowing with wines from across the world. Plus, there’s food, live entertainment and cooking demos. Pretty much everything you need for a fun weekend out, right? More information can be found here.

 

South Miami Art Festival

More than 100 artists from across the world will be putting their work on show over two days, from November 4 to5. Admission is free, and the event is set to take place along Sunset Drive between U.S. Highway 1 and SW 57th Avenue. More details here.

 

Veterans Day Parade

Honor the vets on November 11 with this year’s Veterans Day Parade. The event will take place on Washington Avenue, with more information available here.

 

Ultimate Beach Frisbee

If you’re a fan of ultimate Frisbee, you can’t miss this one. Over 1000 players are expected to turn out this year for Miami’s biggest celebration of the humble Frisbee. Events will be taking place over November 11 and 12. Find out more here.

 

Miami Book Fair International

The more than three decade old book fair is returning this year, from November 12 to 19. Find some of the best of new literature, with both local and international writers set to attend. More details can be found at the official website.

 

NASCAR Ford Championship

The biggest event of the month, it’s time to get revved up for the NASCAR Ford Championship. The action starts on November 17 and continues through to 19. It should be a blast, find out more here.

 

Sunny Isles Beach Jazz Fest

If you’re looking for a touch of class to go with your race cars and burgers, why not pop over to the Sunny Isles Beach Jazz Fest on November 18? Dozens of acts are lined up to impress audiences in their mellow outdoor performance area. More information here.