For those of us who call South Florida home, too much of a good thing is never a problem. That's unless we're talking about the first week of December, when Art Basel in Miami Beach challenges our tolerance for excess and forces difficult decisions about what to see and what time and traffic will force us to skip.
More than 50,000 visitors have swept into town on a wave of the planet's top art galleries and the talent they represent, all congregating here for the international art world's foremost block party.
Inside the Miami Beach Convention Center, a select 260 galleries from 29 countries representing North and South America, Europe, Africa, and Asia are exhibiting 20th- and 21st-century artworks worth upward of $2.5 billion. More than 2,000 artists — from Picasso and Warhol to emerging geniuses and relative unknowns — will be represented at the big show. Experts estimate the fair will generate in excess of $500 million in sales.
Beyond the confines of Art Basel proper, more than 20 satellite fairs, snaking outward from South Beach to Wynwood and Little Havana, will draw an estimated 1,000 more galleries and an untold number of artists.
This week, South Florida transforms into an art lover's paradise, with miles of outdoor murals and installations, pop-up shops mushrooming around town, and a new museum on the bay opening its doors for the first time — plus dozens of concerts, club parties, and DJ sets. They're all competing to attract the eyes and ears of visiting glitterati and curious locals alike. It's the height of our cultural calendar, offering an overwhelming menu of events that's as challenging to navigate as it is to anticipate.
That's why New Times has assembled the Magic City's most comprehensive guide to the best fairs, the edgiest works, and the can't-miss parties. Get ready to indulge in too much of a good thing as the whole world watches.
Above is a handy-dandy map of all the fairs. At the bottom of this page is the key, and below are links to the rest of our informative guide. So read on!
1) Zones Art Fair Miami
Dec. 3-9. 3850 N. Miami Ct., Miami; 305-303-8852; zonesartfair.org. Free.
2) Brazil ArtFair
Dec. 4-8. 3501 NE Midtown Blvd., Miami; brazilartfair.com. $10-$15.
Dec. 3-8. 3201 NE First Ave., Miami; 305-515-8573; contextartmiami.com. $15-$75.
4) Art Miami
Dec. 3-8. 3101 NE First Ave., Miami; 305-515-8573; art-miami.com. $15-$75.
5) Red Dot Art Fair
Dec. 3-8. 3011 NE First Ave., Miami; 917-273-8621; reddotfair.com. $15-$25.
6) Spectrum Miami + ArtSpot International
Dec. 4-8. 3011 NE First Ave., Miami; spectrum-miami.com. $5-$25.
7) Miami Project
Dec. 3-8. NE First Avenue between NE 29th and 30th streets, Miami; 212-518-6912; miami-project.com/miami. $25-$50.
8) Arts Kuala Lumpur-Miami
Dec. 6-8. 2235 NW Second Ave., Miami; 305-433-2008; artskualalumpur.com. Free.
9) Pulse Miami
Dec. 5-8. Ice Palace, 1400 N. Miami Ave., Miami; 212-255-2327; pulse-art.com/miami. $15-$25.
10) Miami River Art Fair
Dec. 5-8. Miami Convention Center, 400 SE Second Ave., Miami; 973-270-7774; miamiriverartfair.com. $10.
11) Fridge Art Fair
Dec. 5-8. PAX Miami, 337 SW Eighth St., Miami; fridgeartfair.com. $15 suggested donation.
12) NADA Art Fair Miami
Dec. 5-8. The Deauville Beach Resort, 6701 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; 212-594-0883; newartdealers.org. Free.
13) Art Basel in Miami Beach
Dec. 5-8. Miami Beach Convention Center, 1901 Convention Center Dr., Miami Beach; 305-674-1292; artbasel.com/en/Miami-Beach. $26-$90.
14) Design Miami
Dec. 4-8. Miami Beach Convention Center P Lot, Meridian Avenue & 19th Street, Miami Beach; 305-572-0866; designmiami.com. $15-$55.
15) Ink Miami
Dec. 4-8. Suites of Dorchester, 1850 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; 212-674-6095; inkartfair.com. Free.
16) Select Fair Miami
Dec. 4-8. Catalina Hotel, 1732 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; 718-832-6100; select-fair.com/miami. $15 suggested donation.
17) Art Basel Miami Beach Video Art
Dec. 4-9. SoundScape Park, 500 17th St., Miami Beach; 305-673-7577. Free.
18) Aqua Art Miami
Dec. 4-8. Aqua Hotel, 1530 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; 305-515-8573; aquaartmiami.com. $10-$75.
Dec. 4-8. Ocean Drive and 13th Street, Miami Beach; 646-405-6942; art-untitled.com. $15-$25.
20) Scope Miami
Dec. 3-8. 10th Street and Ocean Drive, Miami Beach; 212-268-1522; scope-art.com/shows/miami-beach-2013/about. $25.
21) New Material Art Fair
Dec. 5-8. Chesterfield Hotel, 855 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; newmaterialartfair.com. Free.