Art Basel 2013: The Year of the Pop-Up

A Standup Piano with the telltale "Boogie Birds" of artist, Chor Boogie
A Standup Piano with the telltale "Boogie Birds" of artist, Chor Boogie
Photo by Mixed Media Collective

Just a few years ago, if you had asked just about anyone what they thought of "pop-ups," the responses would've been hateful and disgusted across the board: "Those god-forsaken, invasive little adverts? They've completely buggered my computer! Have these people no shame?!"

But times have changed for the once-dubious term. From restaurants to retail outlets to art exhibits, now everybody and their half-sister wants to know when and where the next pop-up event is.

And it just so happens that there are more pop-ups popping up in Miami in the first week of December than there usually are during the other 11 months of the year. As with so many other forms of entertainment, excitement, indulgence, and distraction, Art Basel has cornered the pop-up market. 'Tis the season, as they say. Here are a few temporary events not to miss.

Nate Dee adds his personal touch to one of PUPM's Pianos
Nate Dee adds his personal touch to one of PUPM's Pianos
Photo by: Mixed Media Collective

Pop-Up Piano Miami

Upcoming Events

This is the third year of Pop-Up Piano Miami, the event group that distributes a set of pianos, each uniquely painted by a different artist, around a variety of locations in Miami. And while they have yet to come up with a better acronym than PUPM, they are making a few changes for the festivities this time around.

First and foremost, they won't be releasing the pianos into the wild anymore, leaving them on sidewalks and street corners for any man or beast to play. This has been their practice in the past, and at the end of Art Basel, when they would be donating the colorfully adorned pianos to children's shelters, the instruments would be so beat up that they'd hardly get any use before they went entirely to pieces. Instead, this year they're partnering up with Related Group and hosting events at three of their in-progress locations: the SLS Brickell, Hyde Midtown, and Paraiso Bay, which will be on the waterfont off of Biscayne and 31st.

When the music's over and Basel comes to a close, PUPM will be auctioning off the pianos and giving the profits to the kids. No, you can't just wander over to the intersection of Dade and Meridian and play a garish standup piano at any given moment this year, but the pianos that PUPM will be setting up in the upcoming chic locales will be there for you to play at your leisure. Visit

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