Art Basel Miami Beach’s effect can be felt far beyond the cavernous exhibition space at the convention center this week: The powerhouse art fair — and, more importantly, the tens of thousands of art lovers it attracts to South Florida each winter — have helped spur the popularity of an ever-growing assortment of ancillary art festivals.
This year alone brings at least half a dozen new satellite fairs to Miami Beach and Miami, including a local outpost of a popular Madrid-based fair. Along with the dozen or so repeat fairs, visitors will be dashing to see offerings on the shores of South Beach and the banks of the Miami River.
The more established satellite fairs have long ago shed their sidekick status, emerging as powerful players in their own right.
Art Miami, now in its 23rd year, has expanded once again — this time adding CONTEXT, 45,000 square feet of emerging and cutting-edge contemporary artists in a pavilion adjacent to Art Miami’s mammoth temporary structure next to Midtown Miami in the Wynwood Arts District.
The fairs will also showcase five wall reliefs by reclusive street artist Banksy equaling more than six tons and kept tightly under wraps until the start of the fair.
“It’s a tremendous undertaking,” said Art Miami director Nick Korniloff. None of the Banksy works — four cinderblock walls and one made of wood — has been shown in a major exhibition. “We actually have to bring in a construction crane to transport the larger relief and the other wall reliefs will be forklifted into the pavilions.”
The works that comprise “Banksy Out Of CONTEXT,” won’t be for sale, but there will be a limited number of editioned and authenticated Banksy works available for purchase.
The combined Art Miami and CONTEXT space encompasses more than 180 galleries, an outdoor cafe and bar, a performance stage and — why not? — an artistically tricked-out carnival ride that is the brainchild of artist Peter Anton.
Anton converted a 65-foot-long funhouse ride into “Sugar & Gomorrah,” which will feature oversized sculptures of cakes and other sweets drenched in candied hues, as well as models presenting the works Anton installed along the route
The ride is free and open to the public — not just Art Miami patrons.
“He’s completely renovated this amusement ride to be representative of his sculpture work,” Korniloff said. “All the things that are sweet, with a little decadence included.”
Other established art fairs returning to the Downtown Miami, Wynwood and Miami Beach this year include:
• SCOPE Art Show, which moved to a new location at the high-trafficked corner of Northeast 36th Street and Midtown Boulevard, and features musical performances from up-and-coming acts in The Vh1 Outdoor Lounge. This year’s show includes cnnctd+100, “sound graffiti” from 100 creative leaders and cultural icons – ranging from Pharell Williams and Santigold to Yoko Ono and Cindy Sherman — displayed by artist Roman Grandinetti in a site-specific installation of 100 Google Nexus Tablets.
• Red Dot Miami, also near Art Miami, this year adds Solo Projects, 75 smaller booths for single-artist projects, to its roster of gallery offerings