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
• PULSE, in the Ice Palace in downtown Miami, offers a curated selection of contemporary art as well as PULSE Play, a video and technology lounge presenting work by both emerging and established artists including Casey Neistad, half of the duo from the HBO series The Neistat Brothers.
• The New Art Dealers Alliance (NADA) returns to the Deauville Beach Resort in North Beach. Run by a nonprofit organization, NADA first launched the art fair in 2003 with just a few dozen exhibitors in a vacant space off Lincoln Road and has grown to roughly 100. This year features a partnership with Little Collector, a website that sells contemporary art for children, to offer just-for-kids tours of NADA Miami Beach while parents tour the fair.
NEW THIS YEAR
New offerings this year include JustMad Mia at the SOHO Studios in Wynwood. The Madrid-based fair’s first foray to Miami is an exhilarating prospect, said organizer Rocío Bardin.
“The whole world comes to see art in one week, and it’s an audience that already exists,” said Bardin. “We don’t have to create it.”
The fair will feature 40 contemporary galleries, the bulk from Spain along with representatives from Europe and Latin America — plus a collaboration with Art/Center South Florida to highlight local artists.
JustMad will also re-create of Spain’s gastronomic temples, El Mercado San Miguel. Fair visitors will be able to enjoy Spanish-style tapas and other typical fare.
“It’s an icon. There isn’t a tourist in Madrid who doesn’t stop there,” said Bardin. “It’s a little touch that makes us different from other fairs.
Other fairs making their debut during 2012 include:
• The Miami River Art Fair at the Downtown Miami Convention Center, a waterfront fair that boasts both indoor booths and an outdoor Riverwalk Sculpture Mall that features monumental sculpture on the banks of the Miami River.
• Miami Street Photography Festival at Kike San Martin Studios in the Wynwood Art District, which features juried selections of candid street photography and workshops and lectures from photographers such as National Geographic photographer (and Miami Herald alum) Maggie Steber.
• SELECT Fair, which will transform the entire 64 rooms of the Miami Beach Catalina Hotel into exhibits, with public spaces such as the lobby taken over by installations and performances.
The dizzying assemblage of fairs can be a daunting prospect for even the most ardent and well-hydrated of art lovers. The creators of UNTITLED, a new fair that will take place on the sands of South Beach, have envisioned a tightly curated show that offers a momentary respite for fatigued fair-goers.
UNTITLED will be housed in an enclosed temporary structure designed by architect and former Miami Art Museum director Terence Riley and John Keenan, near Ocean Drive and 12th Street, designed to wash the artwork in natural light and allow patrons to enjoy the waterfront view.
“We’re very close to the main fair and the location is fantastic being close to the water,” said curator Omar Lopez-Chahoud. “And it’s not overwhelming. It’s manageable, so people can actually relax.”