Art Basel Miami Beach 2011: Winners & Losers

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That's it, folks! The tenth edition of Art Basel Miami Beach and all the events and sideshows that surround it are done. Now we are left to pick up the discarded canvases and paint cans left behind.

But Basel did leave something worthwhile behind  -- and we're not talking about the bitter after taste of a Miami Art Museum named after Jorge Perez. No, we're talking the clear cut winners and losers during this year's Art Basel. So let's get to stepping, because we've got a lot of ground to cover.


Miru Kim

Anyone who can live and sleep with pigs for 104 hours is automatically a winner in our book, but Kim's performance piece, "I Like Pigs and Pigs Like Me (104 hours)," at Primary Projects seemed to get the most media attention during the week, eclipsing whatever was happening at the convention center.

Corporate Sponsors

Absolut, Toyota, Spotify, and more whored out their brands during the week and without fail everyone flocked to their respective events. Will the free booze and music translate into product sales? Guess only time will tell.

The 1%

Even though Art Basel organizers warned conventioneers that the Occupy movement may try to disrupt the event throughout the week, nothing happened. The rich hopped from fair to fair in Basel-brand BMWs, while not a single Occupy protestor could be found within blocks of the convention center. The rich win again.


Thursday, Friday, and Saturday Wynwood was buzzing with activity. Instead of crackheads and the occasional lost vehicle, the area felt like an actual cool bohemian neighborhood. If only they knew that most days out of the year Wynwood better resembles Afghanistan than SoHo. Still, if the Goldmans don't come out of this week with a few new properties sold, we'd be surprised. Wynwood Gap in three, two...

To the next page for the Losers...


Miami Art Museum

Everyone on the board of trustees that runs the Miami Art Museum should be made to stand along Biscayne Boulevard with sandwich boards that read "I sold your museum for a lousy $15 million." MAM proves our city can't have anything nice without ruining it.

Mr. Brainwash

A few years ago when Mr. Brainwash handed out his Superman Obama posters, everyone was in love with the Los Angeles-based French street artist. This year, every time we heard Mr. Brainwash's name, it was followed by the words "sellout", "who?", or "graffiti's answer to Britto". Ah, got love the fickle art world. Builds them up only to tear them down.

The 99%

There was word that the Occupy Wall Street movement was planning to protest the 1% outside of the Miami Beach Convention Center. And you know what happened? No, seriously, do you know what happened? Because nothing happened. All eyes were on Miami as serious amounts of money was being traded for shit on a canvas and the Occupy movement did NOTHING.


Spotify's music event? Invite only. Soulwax? Invite only. That awesome celeb-filled event? Invite only. Even the free parties like Toyota Antics and Basel Castle were plagued by comically absurd lines. Art Basel organizers themselves finally put the kibosh on all their Art Loves... events, with the final hold out, Art Loves Music, being canned this year. Instead, they put pretty sculptures around Collins Park. That's great, but where's Iggy Pop?

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