If you’ve not yet attended Art Basel in Miami, FL, think of it as the SXSW of the art world. Endless exhibits, galleries, parties, events, live painting, and murals occur over the weekend long festival and even the week prior to the official opening day. Art Basel has been kicking ass in since the 1970’s and the festival has continued to grow with ever year that passes.
Art Basel stages the world’s premier Modern and contemporary art fairs annually in Basel, Miami Beach, and Hong Kong. A driving force in supporting the role that galleries play in nurturing the careers of their artists, Art Basel frequently expands its platforms to include the newest developments in the visual arts.
Basel is a one-of-a-kind experience bringing artists from around the globe into one city to cover any inch of available space. A handful of local SprATX artists had the opportunity to visit the festival and had the time of their lives. Local artist, Jomau states that to understand Basel you should “imagine a whole reconverted industrial area where every single piece of wall is covered with a dope piece of art and most local shops turn into a gallery while thousands of people are wandering the streets, partying and having a good time. 5 stars, will do it again.”
HEAVY MENTAL GALLERY
A handful of SprATX artists painted at the Heavy Mental Gallery and Event Space produced by ER and Kazilla out of Miami, FL. The venue hosted two events during Basel, “Art Babble” and “Fractal Basel”. Over 40 artists participated in the gallery show and live murals. Gallery located at: 49 NE 22nd st.
Chalk Riot (Austin, TX)
A WORD FROM AUSTIN, TX ARTISTS…
“I’ve always wanted to visit Miami and especially during Art Basel. It seemed a little mysterious, edgy, glamorous, and most importantly, a city where something very important and exciting was going on with artists. THE new artist mecca of the world perhaps? I found out that my artist friends Helena Martin, Liza Fishbone, Chelsea, Nanu, Jomau, and JMuzac also wanted to go. E.R. extended an invitation to us to hang out with him and Kazilla in Miami. It was meant to be so we made a plan.
Austin was cold, rainy, and sad the moment I stepped onto the plane headed to Miami. But I was grinning from ear to ear. Freedom to explore the possibilities. I made it to Miami in the afternoon. The air was warm, humid, and windy. I decided to rent a car and one of my favorite moments was driving in that car by myself on the highway, taking in the views: palms, cityscapes, curved lines. I was meeting up with several friends, all artists. First stop was E.R. and Kazilla’s event near Wynwood. Everyone had been working on their murals at the huge warehouse and it looked awesome. I met some new artists and had a badass vegan taco from a local food truck (watch out Austin).
Every morning our group went to the same little Cuban grocery / cafe and gorged on plantains, yucca, chicken soup, and cuban cafe con leche which is the bomb. We’d take our time to enjoy a meal over conversation, mostly centered around Art.
“I don’t even know where to start, this was my first time attending Art Basel and I came back with inspiration for months. We got to Miami early that week which allow us to see a lot of artists at work and a lot of murals from last year too before they got painted over. If you enjoy street art and murals even a little bit, this is the place to be at least once in a lifetime.