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Art Basel Miami: contemporary art in the city of the sun

When the three Swiss gallery owners Ernst Beyeler, Trudi Bruckner and Balz Hilt joined forces, the art Art Basel fair – which was founded in Basel, Switzerland in 1970 – was taken to Miami Beach in early December of 2002: more than 16,000 people attended.

Why Miami?

Not only for being ”the city of the sun” and having beautiful landscapes and palm trees, but also for its excellent geographical position, in addition to being an axis of North American and South American cultures. Later, the fair was taken to its third location, Hong Kong, and since 2012 it has become a blend between eastern and western culture.

This year the fair was presented at the 500,000 square feet Miami Beach Convention Center from December 7th to the 10th, which invited an international congregation of gallerists, artists, collectors and celebrities. The event brought the attention to the features that make Miami a cosmopolitan city and cultural mecca comparable to New York, London and Hong Kong. This year, the art fair gathered 268 galleries from 32 countries and the works of more than 4,000 artists.

“The art fair has changed a lot in the past ten years; today, it is a cultural ecosystem on its own whose goal and heart goes to attract people to art, an essential part of any society,” said Mark Spiegler, global director of the fair.

During these days, the attendants could contemplate mixed art techniques, such as painting, sculpture, photography, drawing, engraving, video and installation in a space that brought together experienced and renown artists with a lengthy career with outstanding new talents. Also, several lectures were held in which current issues were discussed by artists, collectors, museums and curators. The Bass Museum, which recently had a reopening, and the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA), which has a new location – the Design District of Miami in the Moore Building- joined the art fair in a collaborative effort.

“We are delighted to inaugurate our new space with two art exhibitions that exemplify our commitment to promote the work of the most innovative and stimulating artists of our time,” said Irma Braman, co-chair of the ICA Miami board of directors.

Sustaining the art fair commitment with the valuable work of an independent analysis produced in the current art market, “The Art Market” was launched this year with the sponsorship of USB bank: it is a project of global annual analysis of the art market that covers all the international market aspects and highlights the most important developments of the previous year which was developed by the economist Clare McAndrew.

Other art events also took place during these days in the city of Miami: The art fair by the New Art Dealers Alliance (NADA), a non-profit organization dedicated to the fostering, support and advancement of new voices in contemporary art; the PULSE Contemporary Art Fair, which features initiatives from both emerging and established galleries in a dynamic platform that connects with a global audience, offering its visitors an attractive environment for exploration and recollection of the most attractive contemporary art that is being produced today; Design Miami, world forum for design where the most outstanding galleries of the world gather to present museum quality exhibitions of furniture, lighting and art objects from the XX and XXI centuries; finally, Untitled Miami Beach, an international art fair that focuses on the curatorial balance and integrity in all the disciplines of contemporary art.

Art Basel Cities is a new initiative that will be launched in September 2018 in Buenos Aires, Argentina, which will bring the fair to a new city every year.

ROSA MEXICANO restaurant

Exceptional Mexican restaurant near the Miami Beach Convention Center, along the Lincoln Road shopping street. Spacious, with a modern decoration, easy to access, excellent service and a broad, varied menu where the guacamole to share stands out as a must dish.

Address: 1111 Lincoln Rd, Miami Beach

La Boulangerie – Boul’Mich

La Boulangerie – Boul’Mich is a French artisan bakery concept that has existed for more than ten years in Miami which first home is in Key Biscayne. Simple, homelike concept in a space that combines light, earthly colors and an industrial vintage style environment. It has the best croissants, breakfast and more.


  • 20475 Biscayne Blvd
  • 1242 Coral Way
  • 328 Crandon Blvd

Via Emilia 9

It is the first authentic Italian restaurant in Miami: all the ingredients are imported from Italy and the menu has been designed to provide homemade notes to its dishes, such as the exquisite melanzane and salumi di cioccolato, and also with its personal Italian market. The chef, Wendy Cacciatori, offers the possibility of having VIA EMILIA 9 in your own home or event through their catering and private chef services.

Address: 1120 15th St, Miami Beach

Museum of Ice Cream

Created by Californian Maryellis Bunn, who seeks to connect with ancient cultures in a space for experimenting, chose the city of Miami as the fourth stage and base of the museum around the world, “celebrating the diverse and culturally inclusive environment of Miami.” It is located in Mid-Beach’s Faena District where you can enjoy interactive exhibitions, product history and multiple tastings in Miami.

Address:  3400 Collins Ave, Miami Beach

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