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.”

Kobra

SprATX Family (Jomau, Fishbone, Helena, Nanu, Freeman, & Jmuzacz)


 

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.

Jomau + Nanu (Austin, TX

Chalk Riot (Austin, TX)

MasPaz (DC)

Chevlove (DC)

Arista (London)


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.

Over the next few days our group explored Wynwood Arts District, which totally blew us away. I can’t even tell you how many walls there were by SO many amazing artists from around the world. There were so many pop up events for Art Basel, making it difficult to choose from. We opted to check out Scope Art Show in Miami Beach, the only show we attended that we had to buy a ticket for (many events are free), but us gals lucked out when someone handed us a VIP pass as we walked in. Scope was super impressive and I left very inspired. Afterwards we explored a famous cuban bar and dance club that looked like Christmas in Vegas on steroids. For dinner we walked to a local Miami Beach fav serving traditional Cuban. We sung happy birthday to Liza and the whole restaurant chimed in. Pure bliss.
It was really wonderful to travel with other supportive artists. We often discussed our wants, needs and dreams in the art world. We’re ready to make shit happen. Thanks Art Basel for the inspiration and see you next year!” — Kristin Freeman (Austin, TX)

“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.

 

Aside from painting at the Heavy Mental  Miami Gallery, which is my favorite thing to do ever and anywhere, my favorite part of the trip is probably the SCOPE exhibition (this is not technically part of Art Basel, but it is Miami art week as well, and it happens at the same time but on South Beach), which is a fine art exhibit showing the up and coming artists (including street artists too) with work that will blow anyone’s mind.
As often, we are trying to leave a positive message everywhere we go, in this piece, you can look like a monster but have a lot of love to share if you open up. We also love to use our surroundings at it’s best and integrated the window and electric boxes into our design instead of painting over to add to the feel that the artwork belong there.” — Jomau (Austin, TX)


“Art Basel is like the SXSW of art. It’s big, a bit excessive and some of it makes no sense but it is an amazing experience for artists. The official Art Basel is in itself a strange scene. Lots of rich people looking to find the next big artists. There are lots of com-elling work to be found in the data;list shows such as Scope and the Juxtapoz house, but the Wynwood area is the more the nitty gritty part of Art Basel. Lots of well known street and graffiti artists painting throughout the week and refreshing building after building with a new layer of paint. There are so many artists painting that it is very easy to go around putting up your own “non-commissioned” work.
All in all Art Basel is a window into what is going on in the art world.” — Uloang (Austin, TX)

PHOTO GALLERY:

Audrey Kawasaki

Vhils

Tavar Zawaki

 




All photos by local artists, Kristin Freeman, JMuzacz, Helena, ER, and Uloang

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