Art Basel Miami 2018: When the Vine met Art

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By: Larissa Dubose, Resident Wine Educator, The Lotus & The Vines

Fine wine and art are synonymous with culture, class, refinement, and The Elite. Both are highly sought after as collectibles among the wealthy, and those with lofty aspirations of success and financial gain. They are status symbols, and we all got a peek of just how much Wine is coveted amongst the “NBA Secret Wine Society” with this article published in February 2018. My passion for Wine Knowledge is no secret, so it was only a matter of time before I bridged the gap of Wine and Art and made the trip to Miami for the infamous Art Basel Weekend.

Art Basel is truly an experience—not one that can be summed up in words, trendy Instagram posts, or detailed-filled FaceTime convos—but one I hope all my Wine and Art-loving friends get to enjoy.  I’m still buzzing and overflowing with creative inspiration after attending my first Art Basel earlier this month! According to the show’s website, Art Basel is featured in Basel, Switzerland, Hong Kong and Miami. The Miami show features leading galleries from North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia, Australia, and Africa show significant work from the masters of modern and contemporary art, as well as the new generation of emerging stars.

Miami is already an electric city that overflows with artistic creativity. During Art Basel weekend, the entire city embraces the Wynwood-area’s energy—pop-up art galleries are all over. From the newly developed Design District, Brickell, Wynwood, Miami Beach, South Beach, to the epicenter of the weekend, the convention center. It’s impossible to take in all the art in one day (I highly suggest getting the weekend pass.). The sensory overload reminded me of going to Las Vegas for a quick weekend. Personally, I need to space it out!

 We kicked off our weekend Friday evening at Anthony Liggins Studios. A truly gifted artist with a genuine spirit, he is an abstract expressionist influenced by world cultures, rhythms of music, and emotions of dance. The Coda Gallery writes that “Liggins’ soulful work connects with the viewer and exudes a particular passion that can be felt by kindred spirits,” and I can definitely attest to his stunning work.

Saturday, we made our way to the convention center. In addition to the visual stimulation, Ruinart Champagne, was one of the sponsors, and had mobile Champagne stations throughout with the opportunity to purchase your choice of a glass of the Blanc de Blanc or Rose. While I walked around with my Champagne, it was hard not to straighten my posture and personify my inner “Art Girl,” as I looked at art pieces valued at $500,000.

After a few hours at the convention center, we took the complimentary shuttle to the Pulse Contemporary Art Fair. PULSE offers visitors an engaging environment in which to discover and collect the most compelling contemporary art being produced today. One of the artists that stood out to me was Bisa Butler. Her signature medium is quilt that communicates art, emotion, heritage, tradition and beauty. The rich colors, and imagery, coupled with the captivating details left everyone awestruck.

If you are one who enjoys a good turn up, this weekend provides that too. However, it all depends on your level of “turn up,” because there are definite levels. Dwyane Wade, Swiss Beats, and DJ Khaled were a few of the celebrities that were hosting signature events. While our level of turn up was more parental mode, we found our way to Wynwood Saturday night to see DJ Jazzy Jeff spin—he didn’t disappoint!

As someone who thought she had seen all sides of Miami including Liv, Tootsies, Ocean Drive, Wynwood, Brickell, and North Miami Beach to name a few, Art Basel was a refreshing change of pace!