As it enters its third decade, the annual Art Basel Miami Beach art fair has morphed into one of the leading cultural experiences in North America. A bonanza of pop-up galleries, fashion shows, film premieres and parties where you can mingle with all the who’s who in the world of art and entertainment, it’s no wonder tens of thousands of people flock to Miami for the five-day event.
While many fly in on their private jets to eye up a Basquiat to add to their private collection, it’s the stage for contemporary art that attracts the biggest crowds. Considered by many to be the ‘Superbowl of the art world’, with so many must-see exhibitions and VIP parties, it’s a good idea to do your homework before you visit Art Basel. As leading providers of Miami coworking spaces at the heart of the action in the Downtown Miami and Wynwood neighborhoods, we’ve put together this guide to help you make the most of what Vanity Fair famously described as ‘the most raucous week in American arts’.
What is Art Basel Miami Beach?
Art Basel originated in Basel, Switzerland, as an arts fair in 1970 and quickly garnered a reputation for attracting and showcasing formidable artists. Fifty years later, the event is now held annually in Hong Kong, Basel, Miami Beach and Paris, bringing together hundreds of the most respected galleries from all around the world.
It exhibits a wide range of art, mainly in the modern and contemporary genre, including original works from the masters through to the hottest emerging talent in the field. Running for over twenty years now, Art Basel Miami Beach is, by a clear margin, the most significant art event in North America.
When is Art Basel Miami Beach?
The primary attraction for Miami Art Week 2023, Art Basel Miami Beach will be held from December 6 through December 10. However, the first two days are reserved for VIPs and are strictly by invitation only, and the event opens to the general public on December 8.
Where is Art Basel Miami Beach 2023 held?
The heart of the action is at the Miami Beach Convention Center, although the art exhibitions, glamor and entertainment spill out into the hippest hotels, galleries, beaches, restaurants and street installations all across Greater Miami.
At the Miami Beach Convention Center itself, there are different zones, each with a different theme or focus. In general, the Northern area of the center is for intimate meetings and business networking, whereas the Southern hall showcases most of the big-name artist exhibitions and seminars. The Western side is more commercial, with restaurants and boutique shops, and the Eastern section is where you’ll find the seminars and live music performances.
What are the main art exhibitions to visit?
Here are the main Art Basel 2023 exhibition areas that you don’t want to miss:
- The ‘Galleries’ in the main arena is where you can find the world’s most prestigious galleries exhibiting world leading artworks that are worth millions of dollars.
- The ‘Positions’ area showcases the work of hand-picked international artists, each one an emerging, but still unknown talent, carving out a name for themselves in the highly competitive, yet lucrative, world of contemporary art. This is one of the most exciting areas where visitors get a sneak peek into the potential Picassos of the next decade.
- The ‘Nova’ area comprises 22 presentations from 22 galleries.
- The ‘Survey’ sector comprises work created before the year 2000.
What is new or different at Art Basel 2023?
The usual suspects such as mega art galleries David Zwirner, Mendes Wood DM, Gallery Hyundai, Kukje Gallery, Gagosian, Hauser & Wirth, White Cube and Pace Gallery will be exhibiting in Art Basel alongside 277 other prestigious galleries from around the world. For the first time, however, Paris’ Galerie Minsky, New York’s Ortuzar Projects, Vito Schnabel and Lomex, and San Francisco’s Weinstein Gallery will be exhibiting. The Cairo-based Gypsum Gallery will also be showcasing select artists for the first time as well.
There is going to be a new Kabinett section which will show curated selections displayed by galleries in a separate section of their booth, including thematic group exhibitions, art-historical showcases, and solo presentations. There is also much hype about the Meridians’ section, which is the event’s platform for large-scale projects that includes ground-breaking art exhibits, curated this year by the respected Magalí Arriola, who is the Director of Museo Tamayo Arte Contemporaneo in Mexico City.
Things to do in Miami during Art Basel
Do you go straight for the high-society gallery events or head to the more edgy converted shipping containers right near the beach where young artists are debuting their work? How do you choose between the not-to-be-missed runway fashion show and the pop-up photography exhibition? You can also delve deeper into the creative and intellectual aspect of the art, with several artist talks and interactive workshops. Whether you’re a seasoned art collector or a first-time visitor, there is something for everyone.
Must-see Art Basel public art installations and satellite fairs
There are a myriad of public art installations to visit throughout Miami Art Week. A combination of free and ticketed events, here are ten of the main additional attractions for art and design lovers for 2023:
- Most of the city’s iconic hotels transform their lobbies into a pop-up gallery featuring international artists, painters and sculptors, and often mix live music performances and cocktails into the experience. For the fourth year running, the art competition called ‘No Vacancy’ will showcase an exciting lineup of artwork by 12 artists at these 12 Miami Beach hotels: Avalon Hotel Miami, The Betsy South Beach, Cadillac Hotel & Beach Club, The Catalina Hotel & Beach Club, Hotel Croydon Miami Beach, Esmé Miami Beach Hotel, Faena Miami Beach, International Inn on the Bay, Kimpton Hotel Palomar South Beach, Kimpton Surfcomber Hotel, Riviera Hotel South Beach and the Royal Palm South Beach.
- Head to the pedestrianized mall at Lincoln Road on South Beach where you can enjoy a range of futuristic digital art displays or drop into SCOPE Miami Beach on Ocean Drive to view large art installations from over 130 galleries.
- One of the most prominent satellite fairs is the NADA (New Art Dealers Alliance) Miami event that takes place at Ice Palace Studios, which showcases emerging talent and their own interpretations of the future through art.
- Another major satellite event is Design Miami, open to the general public from December 6 onwards, which explores how identity and heritage influences both contemporary and historical furniture, lighting and other interior design objects.
- Although talk of NFT art was considered taboo in the past, the subject is firmly on the table for 2023. Visitors at the Miami River Art Fair, opening to the general public from December 7, can enjoy a range of creative digital projects – from NFT designs to virtual booths, all while soaking in a 360-degree rooftop view of the downtown skyline.
- For culinary enthusiasts, the HIVE in Wynwood will not disappoint, blending art, food, music and culture.
- If you’re excited to discover new emerging trends in the world of modern art, then we recommend a trip to Spectrum Miami, which together with Red Dot Miami, offers a central hub for independent artists and rising stars in the gallery world to exhibit.
- For all tourists and art enthusiasts traveling with their furry friends, the Fridge Art Fair is a dog-friendly modern art exhibition, showcasing a tapestry of contemporary art forms.
- One of the major lures for Art Basel Miami Beach is that the city’s Latino culture permeates the art and atmosphere. If you have a particular appetite to explore specifically Latin American artwork, then consider popping into Pinta Miami, where you can enjoy a focus on the resilience of select Latin American and Spanish artists.
- The main address for non-ticketed fun during Art Basel is undoubtedly at Wynwood Art District neighborhood murals. Also not to be missed are the Wynwood Walls, which are often referred to as the city’s famed outdoor street art museum. Its iconic graffitied walls are enjoyed by thousands of people during Art Basel, who drop by to enjoy a guided tour of the street murals, diving into their history and learning how certain street art helped regenerate the once dilapidated neighborhood, making Wynwood one of the most happening areas in Miami.
Hold meetings at Mindspace Wynwood
For most visitors to Art Basel Miami Beach, it’s an excellent opportunity to network with the world’s leading curators, galleries and artists. It’s a major breeding ground in North America for exploring artistic collaborations, creative partnerships and business deals. However, the quasi VIP nature of the event and the sheer volume of attendees mean that there are limited options to have an intimate business meeting.
That’s where Mindspace can help with our two coworking Miami locations – Mindspace Wynwood coworking and Mindspace Downtown Miami coworking. With flexible booking options – such as day passes, ultra-fast internet, delicious coffee and first-class hospitality, you can escape the crowds and indulge in a little luxury and comfort with our stylish on-demand meeting rooms and lounges. Also, we’re certain that any art enthusiast will appreciate Mindspace’s boutique interior decor and carefully curated artworks.
Where to party during Art Basel?
If you’re meeting at one of our Mindspace offices – you won’t have far to go to rub shoulders with A-Listers at some of the most desirable clubs in town. At Mindspace Downtown Miami, we would recommend trying the glitzy Mama Tried club, whereas at our Wynwood location, the Rácket Nightclub is an absolute must for stylish cocktails and practicing your dance moves.
There is no shortage of parties during Miami Art Week, and most notable hotels are a good address to start out the night. Soho Beach House is always a safe bet for a splash of glamor. If you’re looking for the big-name DJ performances, then try Strawberry Moon at the Goodtime Hotel or LIV at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach hotel. For an all-night beach party, head to Rakastella or check out the many hotels hosting unforgettable pool parties.
Try some of the best Miami restaurants near Art Basel
If you’re looking to make an impression, make sure to make an early reservation at upscale restaurants such as L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon, which is the only two-star Michelin restaurant in Florida where you can indulge in the finest French cuisine, or the opulent Klaw restaurant, where you can enjoy steak and seafood with a waterfront view. If you’re in the Downtown neighborhood and looking to treat yourself to some Latin-American inspired food and music, then try La Cañita, a new Caribbean-Latin American joint making headlines. If you’re in the Wynwood area and looking to dine as a group, then check out the Greek food at the ever popular Doya restaurant, or relax after a long day with Ramen soup and other Asian delectables at the Momosan restaurant. For even more amazing foodie recommendations in the Wynwood area, check out our things to do in and around Wynwood, Miami blog post.
Don’t miss out…
The magical combination of the world’s most revered contemporary artists, a multicultural audience, sensational music and food, and the vibrant Latin-American vibe, make Art Basel Miami Beach an event that should be on everyone’s bucket-list. Whether you’re interested in innovative art trends, networking with creative bigwigs or wild parties with friends, you’ll be spellbound by the creative energy of the city during Miami Art Week.
Just be sure to plan ahead so make the most of your time there. Feel free to reach out to our representatives at Mindspace Wynwood and Mindspace Downtown Miami, who will be happy to support you with any business meetings, team events and corporate requirements in our beautiful Miami coworking offices. We’ll be happy to lighten your load during the week, leaving you with more time to paint the town red.