Photo courtesy of Vanessa Beecroft / Vanessa Beecroft

As inhabitants of the art world descend upon Miami for Art Basel, this year’s week-long event features over 300 exhibitions, 12 art fairs and countless all-night VIP parties that is taking the city by storm. It’s by far the most glitzy, star-studded and colorful art week in the world, and probably the least pretentious one, as well. It goes without saying that Miami is a party city, but this annual soiree proves that the style here comes with substance.

Now in its 17th edition, this year’s Art Basel (originally founded in 1970 in the namesake town of Switzerland) boasts public art, murals in Wynwood and design. Among the newer fairs, eco-friendly furniture has made a splash at Design Miami, while UNTITLED featured cutting-edgw artworks from New York galleries.

The parties, you ask? Travis Scott and Kendall Jenner were spotted at the Playboy party at Arlo, while Paris Hilton DJed at the W Hotel South Beach, not to mention Gucci Mane and 2 Chainz performing at Rockwell Nightclub. Beyond the lineups, beach bumming, and #miamiart hashtagging on Instagram, here’s everything you didn’t want to miss at this year’s Miami Art Week and Art Basel Miami Beach 2019.

10 Years of Wynwood Walls

In 2009, local graffiti artists started spray-painting the industrial walls of the then-desolate Wynwood district of Miami. Now, a decade later, the district is booming with art galleries, design boutiques, and an open-air museum better known as the Wynwood Walls. The neighborhood is celebrating the 10-year anniversary with a retrospective hosted by GGA Gallery and its nearby walls, showing works by Kobra, El Seed, Okuda, Faile, Shepared Fairey, and more. The show is open until January 2020 at GGA Gallery on 266 NW 26th St Miami.

Photo courtesy of GGA Gallery

Virgil Abloh’s ‘Dollar A Gallon’ in the Design District

The Louis Vuitton artistic director is showing a public art sculpture on view at Paseo Ponti in the Design District, between NE 41st Street and NE 40th Street. This artwork depicts a sinking Sonoco sign, which taps into the rising prices of oil in our increasingly polluted world.

Photo courtesy of Paseo Ponti

Momentum at Nautilus by Arlo Hotel

The link between sports and art is not often bridged, but now, the NBA presents their first-ever exhibit that explores the relationship between basketball culture and art. Of course, there’s sneakers, those worn on 16 different occasions of legendary court moments, portraits of ball players and a video of clips featuring the most iconic dunks in NBA history. One key highlight is a stunning wall rug created by Brooklyn artist Bradley Ward, who says use basketball as a vehicle to “illuminate the difference in realities the black community faces.”

Photo courtesy of Arlo Hotel

Jonathan Chapline at The Hole

On view at UNTITLED Miami Beach, Jonathan Chapline’s technicolor patio exteriors, filled with ferns, retro furniture and electric sunsets, are pure saccharine eye candy. Never has modern minimalist bungalows looked so chic, and otherworldly. They could be set in California, South Beach or maybe New Mexico, but these paintings take us elsewhere.

Photo courtesy of UNTITLED Miami Beach

Tau Lewis at Cooper Cole Gallery at Art Basel Miami Beach

Toronto-born artist Tau Lewis shows a series of sculptures, crouching figures, in a purple-painted booth of Toronto’s Cooper Cole Gallery. By sewing, carving and fusing together recycled, and often found materials, the artist depicts portraits that tap into migration, folklore and the diasporic experience.

Photo courtesy of Cooper Cole Gallery

Vanessa Beecroft x Kappa’s 50th Anniversary

Italian artist Vanessa Beecroft might be known as the famed collaborator of Kanye West (she recently directed his opera, Nebuchadnezzar), brought a stunning performance art piece with sportswear brand Kappa, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary. Pairs of 50 models, dressed in neutral tones, imitating the Kappa logo (sitting back to back) in the swooping concrete Lot 11 Skate Park in downtown Miami, which just opened on December 6. The artist said in a statement: “While my work is still self-referential, based on a study of the female form, and position in the physical and spiritual worlds, this performance is an opportunity for me to explore an interaction and new interpretation of a couple today.”

Photo courtesy of Vanessa Beecroft

Harmony Korine’s ‘Duck Duck’ with Gucci and Snap. Inc

As part of his new experimental film, Duck Duck, director, curator and artist Harmony Korine held an exhibition in the Miami Design District showcasing projections of clips from his new film, which is a bizarre chase scene following a man wearing a hot dog suit on a skateboard. The opening party was held with Gucci and Snap Inc, and this short film was shot entirely with Snap’s Spectacles 3 glasses. A stylish limited edition of 50 glasses are for sale, called Spectacles x Gucci by Harmony Korine. Watch the short film below.

Devan Shimoyama with De Buck Gallery

On view at UNTITLED Miami Beach, The New York artist Devan Shimoyama is showing new works with De Buck Gallery, including Cherish, a painting of two black women—gazing outward at the viewer—a new work that redefines the female gaze as not only a recipient, but a power-holder. The artist is known for his colorful gradients, 3D materials used on canvas, and glitter, sparkles and other materials that aren’t traditionally accepted into the art canon.

King of Arms Art Ball

New York-based artist Rashaad Newsome brought more than just art this year to Art Basel Miami Beach—he brought a voguing ball, with Swizz Beatz as one of its judges. The event, which ran on December 4, showcased hosted the King of Arms voguing competition at the Soho Beach House in South Beach, co-presented by the Dean Collection and Oolite Arts. Newsome has been using Harlem-born ballroom culture in contemporary art since 2013, and here in Miami, Jack Mizrahi from the FX show Pose was the night’s MC. One dancer wore a coat emblazoned with the phrase ‘David Hammons,’ as a shout out to the African American artist of the 1970s, while the winning dancer was Davon Dyu.

Photo courtesy of King of Arms
Words by Nadja Sayej