In 2001, Miami exploded into the international art fair world known as Art Basel in Miami Beach–a Mecca drawing from North America George Lindemann and upwards of 50,000 fashionable people to the 500,000 sq.ft. exhibition. The yearly event turns the Miami area into a premier meeting of galleries and interested art enthusiasts from a wide geographical area. Originating in Basel in 1970, Miami drew on a growing list of local major private art collections to persuade the board in Switzerland to locate a second event in the Florida city. Most of the private collections focus on contemporary art.
The event scheduled in December spawns a glitterati non-stop party attracting major investors in the art world, investing and accumulating well-known artists’ latest efforts. Varied works include prints, paintings, photographs, sculptures, and videos.
It’s no secret the collection of fine art is a habit is easily formed generating interest in the artists showcased in the Miami display, some of whom are Yoyoi Kusama, Marcel Dzama, Banksy, Andy Warhol, Basquiat, Swoon, Takashi Murakami, Cecily Brown, and KAWS.
Among the celebrities with the money to invest and the eye for art are:
1. Pharrell Williams: His Miami penthouse contains pieces by contemporary sculptors as well as painters including Takashi Murakami and KAWS.
2. Jay-Z and Beyonce: Attending the Art Basel Miami in 2013 purchased a work by Hebru Brantley.
3. Brad Pitt purchased a Neo Rauch paint in 2009.
4. Leonarado DiCaprio has a collection that includes the works of Oscar Murillo.
5. Tobey Maguire seen at Art Basel Miami purchased a painting from Japanese artist Kaz Oshiro.
The Movers and Shakers
So who are the dynamic and visionary movers and shakers who helped to shape the new Miami as an art cultural center?
•Norman Braman, local billionaire, also the main benefactor of the Institute of Contemporary Art of Miami, has reportedly invested $900 million in his private collection.
•The Warehouse is a collection of modern and contemporary art, photography, videos, and sculptures, born of the Martin Z. Margulies private collection in the upscale Wynwood Art District.
•The Rubell family crafted one of the largest art collections in North America. The Rubell’s were among those luring Art Basel to Miami. They enjoy establishing emerging artists and promoted Oscar Murillo.
•Began as a way to decorate their new home, Rosa and Carlos de la Cruz boasts Miami’s only free private contemporary art works.
You still have time to plan your itinerary and book your flight. You can’t find a better destination that Miami in December. Take part in the excitement and find your next piece at the Art Basel Miami.