Guide to 2011 Art Basel Miami Beach Fairs

This year's best picks: Pig pens, pop-up pianos, and hip-hop pioneers.

Some Art Baselites strive for 24/7 consciousness, relying on chemical aids to cram in every possible exhibit. Others limit themselves to the fresh rash of graffiti murals erupting around town. More, like me, seek out the immersive experiences where you can not only see world-class art but also engage with the artists — and sometimes even lend a hand in the creative act.

Regardless of your approach, the sad truth is it's impossible to catch every piece of art worth experiencing during Basel week. With 250 exhibitors at the Miami Beach Convention Center, not to mention hundreds of others operating at the more than a dozen satellite fairs, this year's tenth edition is a cut above, making any victory over the schedule even more pyrrhic. And don't forget our own homegrown dealers and artists eager to prove we measure up against the best in the world.

That doesn't mean you shouldn't try. From levitating platforms to 3-D graffiti to naked hog-wrasslin', here are New Times' picks for this year's can't-miss moments.

Cindy Sherman's Untitled (#304) will be at the Rubell Family Collection.
Courtesy Rubell Family Collection
Cindy Sherman's Untitled (#304) will be at the Rubell Family Collection.

While you work up your Basel game face, don't miss the retrospective on ten years of Basel madness on page 15. If you need a guide-on-the-go, check out

"American Exuberance": Want a primer on contemporary art from the past three decades? This blockbuster show at the Rubell Family Collection is your one-stop shop, with nearly 200 works — nearly a quarter of them created just for the exhibit — by 64 artists, from blue-chip talent such as Jeff Koons, Mike Kelley, and Barbara Kruger to rising comets such as Ryan Trecartin and Sterling Ruby. And don't miss Jennifer Rubell's breakfast installation Incubation, where the public can watch her make yogurt — and then eat the results. (Through July 27, 2012, at the Rubell Family Collection, 95 NW 29th St., Miami. Free to the public during Art Basel, Thursday through Sunday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Regular hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Call 305-573-6090 or visit

"Before They Were Famous: Behind the Lens of William John Kennedy": Those suffering from a sweet tooth for the golden oldies should check Scope Miami's iconic images of legends such as Andy Warhol and Robert Indiana shot during the early '60s by Kennedy, a longtime Miami shutterbug.

"People are going to experience the notion of entering a time warp," explains Kennedy, who adds he is also "wallpapering the entire room" at Kiwi Project Space in Wynwood and screening a documentary revisiting the era at O Cinema as part of his Basel breakout.

"The image of Andy Warhol holding the Marilyn Monroe acetate will certainly become one of the most iconic images ever produced," says Michael Huter, publisher of the Kiwi Arts Group, who organized this year's show. "The early documentation of these works from some of contemporary art's most instrumental figures gives the viewer a glimpse into the past and of the earliest parts of the American pop art movement." (December 1 through 4 at Scope Miami, NE First Avenue and 30th Street, Miami; Kiwi Project Space, 48 NW 29th St., Miami. Scope's admission is $20, and it's open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Visit and

Fab Five Freddy: After setting Wynwood ablaze with wild pyrotechnics in 2010, Fountain Art Fair returns with more works that the average-wage slave can afford. A pass to Fountain runs just $15 for the weekend and features late-night musical performances — none more incredible than a set by Fred Brathwaite, better known as hip-hop and graffiti founding father Fab Five Freddy. In the early '80s, Freddy's cartoonish versions of Warhol's soup cans helped move tagging from subways to galleries. He went on to host Yo! MTV Raps.

"I am really excited about Fab Five Freddy," says Fountain cofounder David Kesting. "Miami and Brooklyn have a shared experience that overlaps in music and art. The murals you see in your neighborhood and the music you listen to here, they have a common thread with shows we have been doing." (December 1 through 4 at Fountain Art Fair, 2505 N. Miami Ave., Miami. Public hours are noon to 7 p.m., with performances running until midnight Friday and Saturday. Admission is $10 for one night or $15 for the weekend. Visit

"Graffiti Gone Global": Wynwood has earned well-deserved street cred for building-swallowing murals painted during Primary Flight and at Wynwood Walls, but this year's edition of "Graffiti Gone Global" promises to completely blow up the art form. Creatives including Marc Fornes, Volkan Alkanoglu, Billi Kid, and other urban mavericks will present cerebral 3-D graffiti projects you'll be able to walk through. Look for everything from a mammoth, 30-by-16-foot installation created from hundreds of thousands of interlocking nodes, evoking a fractal universe, to a reinvented NBA All-Star Game basketball court. (11 a.m. to 8 p.m. December 2 and 3, and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. December 4 at the Rotunda Space, 3252 NE First Ave., Ste, 101, Miami. Admission is free. Visit

Born Under a Bad Sign: In 2009, serial disturber of the peace NeckFace debuted a Halloween solo show at OHWOW that left spectators' eye sockets crushed into creamed corn. It featured drawings of blood-puking babies hung over full-color, tractor-trailer-size vinyl murals of brutal crime scene photos. The precocious virtuoso of the putrid is back to haunt us with his new horror film, Born Under a Bad Sign, helmed by cult filmmaker Isaiah Seret and featuring the tale of "Satan's lonely soldier who hunts for the heads of those who wronged him." Venom-spitting, "witch-house" band Salem will provide the musical interlude. (10:30 p.m. December 1 at the Gusman Center for the Performing Arts, 174 E. Flagler St., Miami. Admission is free with RSVP to Visit

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Mango Music MGMT
Mango Music MGMT

South Florida Reggae Big-Band The Resolvers Releases New Music at Art Basel Miami Beach

The band performs Saturday night as part of the Aleloop’a Palooza Music, Dance and Performance Festival in Miami's Wynwood Art District

The Resolvers will perform on Saturday, December 3rd as part of the Aleloop’a Palooza Music, Dance and Performance Festival. Their set is scheduled for around 9PM, with the party running from 6:00 PM to Midnight at the Food Trucks Lot in Wynwood at NW 2nd Ave & 23rd Court.

Aleloop'a Palooza is the culminating event of pop surreal artist Aleloop’s Mobil Art Installation, featuring 10 MINI Coopers wrapped in custom artwork by Aleloop and 40 flash mob perfomers. Partnering with Sakaya Kitchen, Aleloop’a Palooza will feature bands, singers, dance crews, a magician and jugglers, along with 35 of Miami’s finest food trucks, and is expected to have attendance of over 10,000.

Aleloop, aka Alejandra Leibovich, has exhibited her art at Comic Con San Diego, Optic Nerve at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Miami, G40 Art Summit, Art Whino, Art Link International, Pop Santa Fe, Lunar Boy Gallery, & Multiversal among other locations.

More on The Resolvers: http://www.theresolvers.comMore on Aleloop'a Palooza:

Original press release

SBI products
SBI products

Went to last years events and I was a little disappointed. I did end up purchasing a piece from a local artist in Miami Laurent de Posson. There were a handful of good art but I think many renditions were lacking substance. Though I am happy with my purchase The Shack from I hope to see a broader variety this year.