Every first week of December (or in the case of this year, the last week of November), I have to stop and think about how many editions of Art Basel Miami Beach I have attended. Which is...all of them. All 15. Fifteen years of seeing how this fair has transformed the economic and cultural landscape of Miami in an unprecedented way. To think that an art fair could add so much value to a city in an already developed area and in a highly visited state - it's quite an undertaking. And I have grown and evolved with this fair so much as well. I opened my company seven years ago, right before Art Basel 2009 (I had attended all years prior as a collector/art aficionado), and ABMB triggers emotions and memories that have marked my life. And I'm always, always in awe of something that I discover at the main fair or in the parallel ones. You'll have to follow me on Instagram to know what those will be this year, because even when I get so many previews from the galleries and so much information from so many sources, nothing really compares to the experience of being there.
In the spirit of planning for 2016, this is my very edited list of the events and shows surrounding ABMB (other than all the fairs) that I really want to see:
1. Erik Parker, Greg Bogin and Tony Matteli, incredible artists who I love and respect, are presenting new works in a three-person show called "Fountain of Youth" at the new space of Bill Brady in Little Haiti.
2. Julio Le Parc's "Form Into Action" exhibit at the Perez Art Museum: this Argentinian master of kinetics and op-art who's now 88 years old, was underrated for so long. But no more. This is his first North American retrospective encompassing more than 100 works exhibited in the special exhibition floors of this gorgeous museum.
3. Viola Meets Mozart: a performance created by Bill Viola will be accompanied by the PhillarMIA Orchestra at Mana Wynwood on November 29.
4. "Desire" presented by Jeffrey Deitch and Larry Gagosian and curated by Diana Widmaier-Picasso. This is the second annual collaboration between Deitch and Gagosian at the Moore Building in the Design District. The show will present works of more than 50 artists, ranging from Picasso to Marilyn Minter, exploring eroticism. This should definitely be hot.
5. Miami Mountain by Ugo Rondinone at The Bass Museum: the Bass isn't ready to be opened to the public after a couple of years of renovations, but Ugo Rondinone will unveil a new mega-totem right outside of it, similar to the "Seven Magic Mountains" that he did in the desert of Mojave, Nevada. Rocks standing on top of each other in hi-glo colors symbolizing the contrast between nature and the artificial structures created by humans. I know we have seen them a million times on Instagram but it should be fun to see this one in person and in a beach context.
6. Also in collaboration with the Bass Museum, the AB/MB PUBLIC will feature 20 site-specific installations in Collins Park (Collins Avenue between 21st and 22nd Streets, South Beach). Inspired by David Bowie's "Ground Control," there will be massively large, medium and small sculptures by Tony Tasset, David Adamo, Wagner Malta Tavares, and performances by Rob Pruitt, Wagner Malta Tavares, and Lady Bunny which promises to turn the park's rotunda into a spaceship-disco tribute to Bowie.
7. Faena Forum: last year the art-driven hotel by Alan Faena opened its doors to the public and this year it is the turn of the 50,000 sq. ft. forum and multi-auditorium space designed by Rem Koolhaas, including a suite of programming, live events, a mural by Argentine artist Graciela Hasper, a procession-performance of brilliant artists like Carlos Betancourt, Los Carpinteros and Ernesto Neto, and a geodesic dome on the beach designed by the multi talented Juan Gatti. The dome will host a rotating sample of virtual reality, video and other immersive experiences by different artists.
8. Oceana Bal Harbor will unveil the condo's new site-specific art collection commissioned including two sculptures by Jeff Koons, and works by Taryn Simon, Callum Innes, Garth Weiser and Jorge Mendez Blake among many others.
9. Wynwood Walls (2520 NW 2nd Avenue, Miami) will launch their new collection of 12 artist murals with new walls by AVAF, Beau Stanton, Case, Dasic Fernandez, David Choe, Faith47, Felipe Pantone, Findac, Okuda, Pixel Pancho, Risk and Tatiana Suarez.
10. The Rubell Family Collection will open three new exhibitions including High Anxiety, which will be showcasing the works of 32 artists acquired in the past two years exploring unrest, polarizing political views and cultural tensions. Perfect timing. Some of the artists in the show include Torey Thornton, Jordan Wolfson, Frank Benson and Ryan Trecartin. New Shamans is another exhibition comprising the works of 12 emerging and mid-career Brazilian artists exploring environmental, social and political issues: Maria Nepomuceno, Erika Verzutti and Eli Sudbrack are part of this exhibit. Finally, Video Art in Latin America: Selections from Brazil,which is curated by the Getty Research Institute, will show a selected sampling of important video artworks from Brazil from the 1970s to the present. These works employ video technology to create powerful observations on art and society.