With Zika fears waning and recent art auctions at all time highs, Art Basel
arrives in Miami Beach with high hopes Dec. 1st thru 4th. After a boom
of hotel development over the last five years in Miami, 2016 has seen a
cooling down in the real estate market with several postponed condo
developments, hotel bookings down even during Art-Basel and South
American visitors still reeling from their economic woes back home. The
exceptions: a few developments long in the pipeline, like Brickell City
Centre and its EAST Miami by Hong Kong's Swire Group and SLS Brickell
that's the brand's second Miami property, cast within a high-rise
sprawl of new eateries by Jose Andres and Michael Schwartz. Don’t expect
either to be much competition for Art Basel stalwarts Soho Beach House,
Faena and Edition - in terms of the A-List art crowd.
Art Basel isn't the only art fair in town next week. A record number of satellite shows include equally prodigious Art Miami, Design Miami, Scope, Pulse, and NADA as well as burgeoning Satellite, Superfine!, and Prizm. The completed Faena District finally debuts with the opening of the Faena Forum, a 43,000-square-foot cultural center designed by OMA, offering traffic-stopping performances throughout the week. Pérez Art Museum Miami showcases Julio Le Parc, the Argentine artist specializing in light and perception in his first U.S. museum show. Jeffrey Deitch and Larry Gagosian team-up for "Desire," an exhibition by Diana Widmaier-Picasso in the Miami Design District that includes iconic works by Diego Rivera, Jeff Koons, Ed Ruscha, David Salle, Jenny Saville, Roy Lichtenstein, Kenny Scharf, Marilyn Minter, John Currin, Alex Israel, Man Ray and Harumi Yamaguchi.
In terms of new Art-Basel dining, expect daytime around the Miami Design District to be especially frenetic at longtime hotspots like Mandolin and newer Alter by Brad Kilgore or The Wynwood Yard with its deconstructed sampling of various food vendors and emerging chefs. The bars of Wynwood have also been permitted to remain open until 5 AM this year. Back closer to the Miami Beach festival site, look for Byblos and artier 27 to be as hard to get into as Madonna’s $5,000 per ticket Malawi concert fundraiser at Faena Forum on Dec. 2nd. Other high-profile nightlife events include LIV’s line-up of Calvin Harris, Skrillex, Martin Garrix and DJ Khaled during Art-Basel as well as Guy Gerber's more extravagant Rumors at 1 Hotel and NYC's Up&Down pop-up at the Nautilus Hotel. Tougher guest list this year will also include Andre Saraiva's takeover of FDR Lounge and White Cube’s Soho House bash that have become the party darlings of Art-Basel nights.