Another Art Basel Miami Beach is in the books. And with that, we wanted to take some time to look back at who actually made big strides last week, and those who, despite their best intentions, just fell flat on their faces. Here are the winners and losers during this year's Art Basel.
Art Basel Winners
The art district seems to be gaining steam over South Beach every year. How long until its Art Basel Wynwood? This year, the mainland saw the loss of Design Miami/, but nobody seemed to notice or care. What really helped the arts district this year was that taxis finally got the memo: Visitors want to visit the up-and-coming neighborhood, and they were shuttled safely from their South Beach haven to Wynwood's grungy warehouses.
Taxis & Pedicabs
If you were a purveyor of an alternative mode of transportation, you can probably afford to take us out to dinner. Yellow cabs were everywhere, even Wynwood, making us feel at one point, we were in New York instead of Miami. For shorter distances, Green Mobility Network provided pedicabs that zoomed revelers all around the district for free.
Sanrio was just one of so many brands that used the event to sell a product. Others who took advantage of the spotlight and crowds: AOL, Bally, and even the soon-to-be-open local coffee house Panther Coffee. But even a panther couldn't beat the soft roar of a cute pussy. At the Hello Kitty's Small Gift Miami, people lined up and quickly snatched up appointments for free Sanrio tattoos done by artists flown in from Los Angeles. Yes, people willingly became billboards for the kawaii culture brand.
The smell of paint fumes took over the air all week thanks to the curated walls of events like Wynwood Walls, Primary Flight, and Graffiti Gone Global. Each year, it seems more and more street artists are descending upon Miami to (legally) create murals that add long-lasting vibrancy to the area even after the white tents are long gone.
Some years, it's penises. Others, it's vaginas. But seriously, this Basel was the year that women's breasts seemed to capture the fascination of artists. Newer work on display at places such as Scope, Basel, and Art Miami couldn't seem to get enough of the lady lumps. There were salt-lick boobs at Pulse and boob headdresses at Fountain. Not that we're complaining. We've all suckled from the teet at one point in our lives -- during childhood, natural... kinky though if you are doing it as an adult.
Art Basel Losers
New York Times & Miami Herald
There is such a thing as jumping the gun on a news story, and both the New York Times and Miami Herald wanted to break the news as to whether or not Basel was a success. The Times called Basel's Vernissage "sedated," while the Herald compared it to Black Friday. So which one was it? Who cares! It was too early to call on Thursday morning.
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Art Basel Miami Beach
Yes, she's the grand dame of all the events that happen during the week, but this year, she starting to look downright dull to most visitors. What were they here for? The VIP parties and free booze, of course. Miami Beach's incarnation of the art expo has become less about the selling of art and more about drinking your ass off. Congrats, Miami Beach. You've create the world's only Spring Break getaway for art people.
There is a difference between being fashionable and trying too hard. Most tried too hard. Poorly homemade suits don't count as being creative as much as they are just a DIY FAIL. Over-accessorizing seemed to plague a lot of attendees. If your wrist is too heavy with jewelery for you to carry your toy dog, you may want to rethink your choices. And look around you, if everyone else is dressed like you, you aren't being fashion-forward, you are just a trend follower. To see some of the street fashion during Basel, click here.
Press releases claim this was the best year for the fair thanks to its move to Miami Beach. But if anything, Design Miami/'s move out of the Design District proved nobody cared about the fair to begin with. It wasn't missed thanks to FriendsWithYou's installation "Rainbow City" in its usual place. To add insult to injury, it's usually ornate tent was lackluster, Designer of the Year Konstantin Grcic couldn't compare to last year's winner, and the quality furniture on display was just not up to par any way you slice it. Overall, it was underwhelming.
Next time your stupid New York graffiti crew wants to vandalize a wall, make sure it doesn't belong to the beloved Vagabond. The 14th Street nightclub's mural was tagged with the words "Fuck Basel" by NY's IRAK, which is surprising considering Vagabond is so supportive of these counter-culture movements. Seems though IRAK's taggers are amateurs at best, because they were caught on camera, face unobstructed, and the images were quickly circulated amongst locals via Twitter and Facebook.