As Art Basel returns to Miami, thousands of art lovers and collectors are expected to descend on the city. As well as highlighting the usual mix of blue chip names, this important event in the art world calendar will point a spotlight on the city’s many satellite events and its ever growing street art scene. As the excitement builds we take a look at what’s happening in the city’s iconic Wynwood District, the only place to see and be seen next week…
25 November – 8 December
In 2009 property mogul Tony Goldman realised that the large windowless walls of the warehouses in Miami’s industrial Wynwood District would make the perfect blank canvas for the city’s many street artists. Soon he had put graffiti centre stage, bringing it to the attention of the masses who until then were used to seeing it at the edges of their urban environment.
Hailed as a ‘museum of the streets’ the project brought together artists from all over the world and continues to attract big names such as Aiko, Shepard Fairey and Kenny Scharf. Since its inception the project has seen over 80,000 square feet of walls covered in murals, and this year, which marks the 10th anniversary of the walls, promises to be bigger than ever.
Although Art Basel gets most of the attention, recent years have seen a number of fringe events popping up including the Satellite fair which will take place in the Wynwood District for the first time this year. Described as a ‘groundbreaking experiential art fair’, the event is run by artists and features many young dealers as well as not for profits and artist run spaces, with this year seeing an emphasis on performance art and street art.
The Museum of Graffiti, the first institution in the world dedicated solely to street art, will open on 5th December in the Wynwood District. Artists previously marginalised by the art world will now find themselves to be the focus of this exciting new museum, their work protected and marketed like never before. Of course there will be some critics who say that graffiti has no place in a museum but there is no denying this is a monumental step in the street art revolution.
This urban festival will celebrate the best of Miami’s street art scene, taking over six blocks of the Wynwood District and featuring live digital video projections showcasing the cutting edge of the graffiti medium during the hours of darkness, as well as a free block party that will include an artists’ market, pop up shops and more.
While the famous Wynwood Art Walks usually only take place on the second Saturday of each month, next week sees the tours operating daily with specialists on call to guide you through the many murals that line the neighbourhood’s streets and point you in the direction of the perfect photo opportunity. And after a day of taking in the street art sights, why not round off the night at HIVE, a ‘four-day Cocktail & Culinary Village’ which offers an oasis from the madding crowd of the fairs.