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Let the Basel Begin

The progenitors of Art Basel Miami Beach have long tentacles. So long that you can trace their suck marks all across town this week, where more than a dozen ancillary fairs have latched like remoras onto the underbelly of a bloated whale. But it’s at the Octopus’ garden at the Miami Beach Convention Center (1901 Convention Center Drive, Miami Beach) that you can encounter a full freshman-year college course on contemporary art courtesy of the Swiss instead.

At the convention center, 250 top-shelf galleries from 29 countries representing North and Latin America, Europe, Africa, and Asia will exhibit artworks by more than 2,000 artists. You can find works by artists ranging from Andy Warhol to Kehinde Wiley under the big tent. Special sections will also feature performance art, video art, public projects, and an area showcasing upstart young galleries. Art lovers can expect a little of everything from museum-quality works costing millions of dollars to multiples from unknowns for a few hundred bucks. Today through Sunday, Basel turns the Magic City into a giant sprawling art orgy slithering from South Beach to Wynwood and beyond with plenty of free keggers and Facebook invites to afterparties to keep the culture cramming civilized. For ticket costs and event schedules, visit artbasel.com.
Thu., Dec. 2; Sat., Dec. 4, 2010

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Carlos Suarez De Jesus

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