visual arts

Free art options abound during Art Basel week in Miami Beach

The amount of art being showcased during the week of Art Basel in Miami Beach is staggering — and if you try to go to all the fairs, the price of entry can be eye-popping as well. Luckily, many of the exhibitions and installations throughout the week are free. Here are highlights of the week’s best public programs:

•  Local artist Lloyd Goradesky will dock his floating Gator in the Bay installation at the Miami Yacht Club on Watson Island for the duration of Art Basel. The sculpture made its debut during last year’s Art Basel but was only partially completed at the time, with just the 100-foot-long gator head and mouth. This year, the gator will double in size with a body made of 102 mosaic tiles covered with images of nature and wildlife. The addition of the body will stretch the entire length of the sculpture to 230 feet.

•  If you happen to be stuck in traffic on the MacArthur Causeway in the evening, you will be able to experience M|/\M|M/\X, an installation by local artists Jim Drain and Bhakti Baxter. The installation bills itself as the most exclusive party during Art Basel, a party where “everyone is invited, [but] no one can attend” as the artwork can only be viewed and experienced from the MacArthur Causeway or the Government Cut waterway. 7-10 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday. During the day, look over at the Miami Children’s Museum on Watson Island, where four giant bulldogs by Belgian artist William Sweetlove are standing guard on the roof.

•  Design buffs can check out HANDMADE, an exhibition in the Design District hosted by Wallpaper* Magazine and Jaguar that will showcase design collaborations throughout the magazine’s history with some of the world’s most prestigious purveyors of luxury goods. 3841 NE Second Ave., #103, Miami

• The YoungArts Foundation, which recently moved into the iconic Bacardi building on Biscayne Boulevard, will be open till 3 a.m. throughout the week for two video installations. Emerging artist Matthu Placek will debut a 3D video portrait of legendary performance artist Marina Abramović, while Icelandic multimedia artist Olafur Eliasson will showcase 16 films created by filmmakers worldwide to promote his Little Sun Project, an initiative to bring affordable lighting to the billions without access to electricity. 6 p.m. to 3 a.m. Wednesday-Saturday at YoungArts Campus 2100 Biscayne Blvd., Miami

•  The Sagamore Hotel will host Framing the Moving Image, an exhibition curated by John Hanhardt, senior curator for media arts at the Smithsonian. It will explore how artists capture and present their worldview through the moving image. Among included works are Interstices, a site-specific work by Miami artist Bill Beirne in which performers reenact everyday actions in the hotels to be captured by hotel security cameras, and Ken Jacob’s Star Spangled to Death (1956-1960), a lengthy film work that dissects American history and our place in the global economy. 1671 Collins Ave., Miami Beach

•  The W Hotel will show works by Andy Warhol and Jean Michel Basquiat in the lobby, while artist Jeff Koons will exhibit his balloon sculpture commissioned by Dom Perignon at the hotel’s Mr. Chow restaurant. 2201 Collins Ave., Miami Beach

•  The Shore Club will exhibit a plethora of works by emerging young artists including street artist Jona Cerwinske and San Francisco-based Andrew Schoultz, who will create an installation of 96 bricks coated in 23-carat gold leaf and 20 bricks coated in dollar bills. 1901 Collins Ave., Miami Beach

•  Ferrari hosts Piston Head, a traveling exhibition of art inspired by cars that will take over the seventh floor of Lincoln Road’s iconic 1111 parking garage and feature art from contemporary masters including Keith Haring, Richard Phillips, Kenny Scharf and Damien Hirst. If that doesn’t go you enough of a car fix, visit the Miami Beach Botanical Garden, 2000 Convention Center Dr., where BMW will have a BMW M3 GT2 designed by artist Jeff Koons for its Art Car collaboration.

• Although most of Art Basel requires an entry fee, visitors can see sculpture for free through Art Basel’s Art Public program, when Collins Park at 2100 Collins Ave., transforms into 24-hour sculpture garden with more than 30 pieces of art revolving around the theme of “social animals.” The exhibition was created by Nicholas Baume, director and chief curator of New York’s Public Art Fund. In addition, fans of the popular outdoor “wallcasts” at New World Center’s Soundscape Park can enjoy a four-day festival of cerebral and challenging art films by some of the world’s most esteemed video artists.

• While you’re at Collins Park, head over to The Night Court, a site-specific installation on the oceanfront between 21st and 22nd streets created by Los Angeles artist Ry Rocklen in collaboration with Absolut spirits. Rocklen brings a new meaning to the phrase “the winning spirit” with his work, which creates a large bar with furniture made out of trophies big and small with a mixology program inspired by the artist’s oeuvre.

• One of the more anticipated talks this year happens to be free: Architect Elizabeth Diller of Diller Scofidio + Renfro will discuss the firm’s vision for the new Broad contemporary art museum in Los Angeles alongside museum co-founders Eli and Edythe Broad, founding director Joanna Heyler and moderated by Paul Goldberger. 9 a.m. Wednesday at New World Center, 500 17th St. Miami Beach; RSVP required at

• At Bayfront Park, 201 N. Biscayne Blvd., Gary Nader Art Centre will present an exhibition of works by Iraqi artist Ahmed Al-Bahrani. The bronze sculptures subvert imagery of iconic figures in pop culture like Charlie Chaplin and Mother Teresa with inclusion of weapons and war supplies.

• Out on Key Biscayne, you will have the rare opportunity to see the Miami Marine Stadium, 3501 Rickenbacker Causeway, up close for Curiosity, a site-specific work by Kolkoz. In collaboration with watchmaker Audemars Piguet, the artist duo have created a floating ski chalet that will float in Biscayne Bay throughout the week and will be open to the public on Saturday and Sunday.

• Flaunt Magazine will present Affordable Care, a public group exhibition from Thursday through Sunday at MANA Wynwood Production Village, 318 NW 23rd St., featuring works by prolific artists like David LaChapelle, Mary Ellen Mark, Bert Stern, Rob Montgomery, Ben Jones and Jeanette Hayes.

• While you can’t see talks from superstar artists Tracey Emin and Olfar Eliasson without an Art Basel ticket, you can still catch the Absolut-sponsored Conversations series Thursday through Sunday at the convention center’s Hall C starting at 9 a.m.. The highlight is Thursday’s talk with artist Doug Aitken, who will be discussing his nomadic art project “Station to Station.”

• The Betsy Hotel, 1440 Ocean Dr., will host a large series of exhibitions including The Girls of Baltimore, a group exhibition of “words and works” from women artists hailing from the city, a showcase of works from South African William Kentridge, and a presentation of fine jewelry and wearable art from Sevan Bikakei. They also will host a number of poetry readings and art performances throughout the week.

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