The first week of December in Miami is a fun one. It’s called Art Week and everywhere from South Beach to downtown MIA is transformed into a sort of open-air gallery. No wall is safe, as graffiti artists from around the world come and commandeer and tag up wall space. Tents filled with art from emerging artists to Basquiats and Picassos, the latter not available to the general public because they are in private collections, line the beach, convention center and city parks. The biggest and baddest of these art events being Art Basel, which takes over the Miami Convention Center. In the music world, simply put, it’s like the SXSW for the art world.
But before brands and parties took over SXSW, music was the main draw for that festival. Art Basel is on the brink. It still caters to the artist, but set to the backdrop of South Beach, lined with glitzy hotels like the Delano and Shore Club and late night haunts like LIV and the SOHO House, it also adds a little of VIP partying into a week art gazing.
VIBE holed up in Miami for Art Week. We hit the Wynwood Walls where we caught up with streets artist like Madsteez, Rone, Chor Boogi and Apex, who showed us that the street art scene is full of collaboration and admiration. We caught up with Alec Monopoly on a boat and talked to him about overexposure. And, of course, hit up the parties, like FLAUNT’s takeover of the Mana Wynwood warehouse where Kendrick Lamar performed. We saw SZA perform at 2AM set beachside at the Soho House, and Chance the Rapper got wild at Basel Castle, a mini festival with live painting within Art Basel.
Fueled on four hours a sleep a night to make room for it all, we ultimately left saying, “We can’t wait to come back next year.”