The water & city views from the HF 37th floor balcony on Biscayne
So after a crazy few days which included a 20hr flight, a whirlwind South Beach visit, a traumatic encounter with a dead cat, the Dolphins vs Patriots game, audio tour voice recording and a Will Ferrel sighting at the Rubell Family Collection preview night, Heart Fairs somehow made it to the Art Basel Miami Beach vernissage that was supposed to mark the beginning of the week.
The atmosphere at this fair is so lively and friendly, the Collectors Lounge was a beautiful chaotic mess with ridiculous food at ridiculous prices and people just doing....whatever. I'm gonna say 'never' and say that would never happen in Europe or Asia, and I'm guessing maybe but not even elsewhere in the States.
Unfortunately the stoopid food situation happens all over though (art lovers don't want 'posh' food by way of soggy edamame and bad sushi and chocolate covered strawberries that's such a messed up stereotype like wtf are we in the 80s?, but if you're going to do fake trendy food do food that can handle it like wedges & aioli or smoked salmon mini baguettes so we can actually get fed. ArtHK did this so much better!). This crowd doesn't want to have to leave the fair if we need a bite, and we want more choice in tea than 'green or black...?'. Anyway I ate a cheese plate it was good, and a 'latte' which wasn't - coffee sux here!
The crowds were big so the lines were long, but they moved fast. Still, it all felt a little ridiculous and delayed. The VIP service hasn't been awesome sadly and nothing on the schedule of events is grabbing me, which is so so sad. The design of the fair was very straightforward, with nothing eye-catching or interesting to break up what the exhibitors have brought to display. It's a fine line between efficient and depressing at an event like an art fair vernissage, so any effort to make things upbeat might seem contrived but is actually going to make a subtle and massive difference. But, this town more than makes up for anything lacking specifically with the fair - give me America in the tropics any day, it's such a fun combination and Miami can get pretty electric!
Back to the friendliness... many of the booths were welcoming, which is nice. Several booths were stunning and pretty. I think minimalism dominated, and the two Copenhagen galleries were standouts, as was David Zwirner who we can rely on for a Dan Flavin. Saw it and was nearly in tears of joy.
The Miami aesthetic preference seems to be a swing from clean to slapdash and back to clean. If you want a peek at this today visit the fair then visit de la Cruz and Rubell FC and compare and enjoy :)