Miami Art Report – Art Basel

by Bonni Stanley

Miami Beach was the place to be December 5th -8th! Art Basel took the city by storm with events, parties, installations, ‘pop-up’ tent venues and of course the convention center that was overflowing with global galleries showcasing their artists. Art Basel had long been on my bucket list and I thought I’d share some of the highlights from my 3 day experience.

In front of a Botero!

Day 1: My girlfriends, Margo, Mindy, Sam and I arrived to the warmth and sunshine wanting nothing more than outdoor art experiences. These were easy to find! We walked to Lincoln Road and took in the 14 fabulous Fernando Botero sculptures lining the esplanade. Arguably one of the most famous Latin American figurative painter and sculptor, Botero created these larger than life pieces in his signature, ‘Boterismo’ style. The statues were large, had exaggerated volume, smooth inflated shapes, and voluminous bodies. Throughout his career Botero has been adamant that he doesn’t paint or sculpt ‘fat people’ rather those with the ‘sensuality of forms’. This was most apparent as we took in the beauty of his creations.

From there we headed to where Lincoln Road ends at the beach. Leandro Ehrlich, another Colombian artist, showcased 60 car traffic jam, his largest art installation to date. Ehrlich, known for his conceptual installations that provoke reaction, created this piece to bring attention to climate change and global warming. Cars and trucks, seemingly made of sand, were lined up, partially submerged, along the guard rail of a highway. Quite an experience to walk among the cars!

A traffic jam like no other!

Day 2: The Rubell Museum opened it’s inaugural exhibition at it’s new campus and we couldn’t wait to get there! Titled, Unparalleled Journey through Contemporary Art of Past 50 Years, the exhibit showcased some of the foundation’s most coveted works. I was thrilled to see many of the artists that Artful Circle has covered were a part of the collection. It was like seeing old friends!

Day 3: We made it to the convention center! It was somewhat overwhelming, with so many galleries displaying such a wide array of art, but we made it through by stopping at what I thought were the highlights. Here are a few: Milton Avery’s semi-abstract portraiture, a sublime and sexy Robert Maplethorpe photograph, a uniquely colorful George Segal sculptural painting, a fabulous Kusama flower sculpture covered in her signature dots and Julian Opie’s Walking in New York piece.

Although we barely covered a small percentage of what Art Basel had to offer, we enjoyed what we saw and had a great time together. I can’t wait to go back next year!

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