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Art Basel – Miami Beach

A few of us made it to Miami Beach this year for the hoopla that is Art Basel. It’s always nice to drop in occasionally to see what the art world is up to, and glean what it deems hot or not. Not surprisingly, vulgarity still reigns large. But as I’ve noted elsewhere, hyper-superficiality can provide a breath of fresh air: making snap judgments based on whether or not something simply looks good is comforting in the same way that spending a December weekend in 80 degree weather is comforting.

Art Basel is definitely the most glamourous of all the art fairs that set up tent in Miami Beach, but several others created a strong buzz. Nada Art Fair, the free fair that focuses on smaller, independently-run galleries, is the younger, hipper and more tech-savvy alternative to Art Basel. The art at Nada wasn’t exactly impressive, but their events were far more eventful and exciting than those being hosted at Art Basel. I was able meet the people who run Bad At Sports, a dynamic group of people who do podcasts on contemporary art and had built a makeshift hut inside the lobby of the hotel where Nada was staged.

Almost as entertaining as crashing private cocktail parties that weekend was watching Miami Beach return to normal after everyone packed up and returned to their own private corners of the globe. Minus the influx of well-heeled visitors and sensational party buzz, Miami Beach felt almost as drab as the mannequin pictured above—blank and confused after being disrobed of all the designer garb.

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