Some Like it Art

I’ve just saved a whole wad of money. In just a few days, I visited 250+ art galleries representing over 2000 artists spanning 30 countries from the Americas, Europe, Africa and Asia. And I did this by joining some 400, 000 visitors at the Miami Beach 2010 Art Basel show.

This was the place to be in the beginning of December, the show with all eyes on it, at least in the art and fashion world. The possibility of not crossing paths with people with the same artistic interests and goals as you were nil. It was happening left and right, it happened to me while strolling down Collins Avenue, camera in hand. Chances are that 9 out 10 people walking down that street, where all the historical and art-infused hotels are lined up, were here for Art Basel. Basel turned Miami into a giant art octopus that had tentacles sprawling from South Beach to Wynwood and beyond.

I landed on a Wednesday night, and after I reached my friends’ home, where I was being hosted for one night before going to my hotel in South Beach, we promptly went to watch a contemporary dance exhibition in Wynwood, Miami’s Arts District. Rustic space with high ceilings and huge square wooden floors, it set the mood for all the art to come.

The next day, strolling in South Beach, I quickly realized that Miami was bursting with people from all over the world, from all caste systems – from the socialites to the art students to the ever-important threesome which consists of muse, artist and gallerist, right to the hipsters and young families. What struck me most was the fashion. Ooooh the fashion. Swoon-worthy! I’ll talk about that in another post :)

So. Thursday afternoon: I went to the Miami Beach Convention Center to enter the enormous space where all the galleries were invited to exhibit. Off the top of my head, I remember seeing galleries from Munich, New York (lots of New York), Olso, Madrid, London, Berlin, Copenhagen, Milan, Istanbul, Paris, Beijing, Dubai and my beloved Montreal. I was proud!

But wait – as I entered, the first thing I saw was Taschen’s bookstore, and I immediately got excited and started snapping photos. (Dina snapping photos = Dina very excited) I love their books and generally do not have access to their large-scale books, since Montreal is too small of a city to host such books. I can think of only one bookstore in Montreal that carries them: Librissime. Amazing place.

I was going through security when they asked me to leave my camera at the coat check, deeming it too serious looking I guess. I was a bit disappointed, but as I entered, I felt better already. Didn’t know where to look, where to start from. I just kept strolling, looking at art, getting lost in the maze. Actually, in the beginning I spent a good amount of time looking for a pen, because I had the urge to write down my thoughts and emotions as they came.

I also saw some people with cameras, mostly point-and-shoots, but also some beginner DSLRs so I went back to the security and asked them why they made me put away mine! And they told me, only smaller cameras are allowed. Aaahh…who cares? So I brought my pocket camera the next day and took a few photos to show you…here are some of my favorites, among the pieces I managed to capture (can you believe it was so vast, I barely saw the same art twice? :)

Some I remember their titles. This one is called “Where does Red begin?”… “And where does Red end?”

It says “The Voice” over and over and over. I loved the minuscularity.

This was a Photoshop gradient in I don’t know how many gigapixels. I was really able to appreciate this one hihi.

A maze with wonders…

I leave you to infuse that for now. In upcoming posts, I will be talking about some fine eateries (Casa Tua, Cafe Bustelo), the art parties I went to and the shoes. Also, I obviously enjoyed the beach every single day for a few hours before hitting up the art. There was nothing that could stop me from going, December or no December! The water was actually comfortable enough to swim ;)

Oh but, don’t worry – I flew home back on the Monday and paf, just like that, I landed right on time for Montreal’s first snowstorm of Winter 2010-2011. Welcome home. I couldn’t believe that a mere 24 hours prior, I was swimming in the ocean, under a hot sky and listening to house music in my head. Home is not where my heart is. Beyond the white wind and snow being lifted off the ground and getting swirled around, I could still feel the sun on my back, the white foam of South Beach’s turquoise water, and all the fantastic art in the world.

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