The joke goes that you can go to Art Basel Miami Beach and never see any art. Indeed, many do go to South Florida and only see art incidentally, unable to dodge some installation at a VIP fashion party or a BMW-sponsored bash. These types — the celebrities, super-moneyed and art-scene elites — come to get into over-the-top parties, mostly collaborations between art galleries and luxury brands that crop up around this most influential of international art shows. Performances by mega-stars are not uncommon, as are party decorations that double as art installations. It is the art world, after all. Last year, at a Chanel party, Rosalía performed in the middle of black labyrinth sculpture by Es Devlin lined with dark pink light. Alicia Keys performed at the immersive art gallery Superblue.
The parties are what you’ve probably heard about Art Basel Miami, but the art fair itself has an altogether different energy. Unlike those exclusive events that cater only to those who can (and do) spend millions on art, the festival costs as little as $70 per day to attend, buying you access to the world’s top galleries and billions of dollars of their art.
After a slightly toned down pandemic-era return last year, this year, the festival’s 20th anniversary, will be the biggest Art Basel Miami yet. 283 galleries will attend, with 26 new galleries, all repping works from five continents. There’s also a new focus on North and South American art this year.
The art fair is arranged as follows:
- Galleries: This is the main show where you’ll see curated offerings by masters of Modern and contemporary art, as well as emerging artists.
- Meridians: The platform for large-scale projects curated by Magali Arriola.
- Nova: The part reserved for galleries repping works created in the past three years by one, two or three artists.
- Positions: The sector for young galleries showcasing ambitious new works.
- Survey: Galleries dedicated to historical relevance.
- Edition: Editioned works, prints and multiples.
- Kabinett: Curated selections by galleries in a separate section of their booth (so, these are curated sections within the Galleries and Editions sectors).
Also to know: There’s a focus on Latinx and diaspora artists and exhibitors this year. For all the wealth and displays of income inequality that circulate Art Basel in South Beach, its art is comparatively progressive. The festival has made a concerted effort to highlight art, curators and gallerists from marginalized communities, many of whose works critique the global status quo. (Check out Cultured’s list of Black artists to watch this year.)
The festivals and exhibits that run in parallel to Art Basel Miami also make their own strong show of creativity. There’s SCOPE, Art Miami, Design Miami, NADA, Untitled and many more worthwhile individual gallery showings and events. And, obviously, strolling through Wynwood Walls, the open-air street art gallery of sorts, is free.
The public days for Art Basel Miami are:
- Thursday, December 1, 2022, 11AM to 7PM
- Friday, December 2, 2022, 11AM to 7PM
- Saturday, December 3, 2022, 11AM to 6PM
- 60,000 people attended the convention center last year.
- Tickets come in four levels: First Access, Day, Premium Card and Premium+ Card. Day tickets, which get you access to the show during regular hours, cost $70. Other ticket levels get you in earlier and curate an increasingly insider experience. They’re most helpful for those who want to buy art before other collectors can snatch it up.
- Discounts are available for students and seniors.
- Here’s the festival’s app to help guide you through the weekend.
In Miami, where is Art Basel held?
- Miami Beach Convention Center.
Which galleries are participating in 2022?
- There’s a full list on the Art Basel site.
Are Art Basel and Miami Art Week the same thing?
- Art Basel Miami refers to the three-day art fair at the convention center. But there are a number of art fairs, art events and pop-ups that run in parallel to the Art Basel event that makeup Miami Art Week.