Miami Beach, Florida is a true arts destination. The international art fair Art Basel, sister event to Art Basel in Switzerland is celebrating its 10th year in South Florida this December.
Art Miami, which predates Art Basel 12 years, will unfold in Wynwood with works by 1,000 artists including Henry Moore and Robert Rauschenberg, along with an installation by Finnish artist Kaarina Kaikkonen called "As A Tree, I Can Feel the Wind" consisting of palm trees strung with secondhand clothing.
The eclectic lineup for Art Basel Miami Beach, which runs Dec. 1-4, with a host of related events beginning Nov. 30 includes live graffiti painting, an enormous rose bed soaring 20 feet high, vintage photos of Andy Warhol, a Picasso up for auction and a naked woman living in a pig pen.
Known for photographing herself nude in subway tunnels or in front of graffiti walls, performance artist Miru Kim will actually be living with pigs for her performance "The Pig That Therefore I Am."
"The immediate connection between pigs and me will be felt through seeing the living bodies mingle through skin," Kim told The Associated Press. A glass barrier will act as "an insatiable gap between the spectacle and the onlooker, just like in a zoo."
Miami's art scene has grown tremendously since it started, and last year 46,000 people attended, not counting thousands more who took in ancillary events piggy-backing on the main arts-filled weekend.
Organizers for this year's event are promising another round of great art, with thousands of works by more than 2,000 artists from around the world. Painting, drawing, sculpture, installation, print, photography, film, performance, video and digital art will all be on display at various venues, galleries, satellite fairs, outdoor exhibitions and private parties. New this year is Art Video, a 7,000-square-foot outdoor projection wall on the New World Center building designed by architect Frank Gehry.
The art experience begins at Miami International Airport with Harmonic Convergence, a 72-foot-long window wall with diamond-shaped panes of glass in 150 transparent colors.
The installation by architect and composer Christopher Janney creates a gradually changing pattern of colors, similar to a rainbow. It was installed a few months ago in an airport entrance by a people-mover walkway. Travelers will hear sounds Janney recorded during trips to the Florida Everglades, scuba dives in the ocean, and other natural environments. At the top of each hour, a short composition with percussion instruments plays, marking the time of day.
Images of art world stars Warhol and Robert Indiana taken in the early 1960s by photographer William John Kennedy will be on display for a pop-up event on the heels of Art Basel. "Before They Were Famous: Behind the Lens of William John Kennedy" will be part of the special programming at SCOPE Miami in the Wynwood Arts District.
The exhibit will include images of Warhol creating his Marilyn Monroe painting and Indiana holding his iconic LOVE piece, printed from original negatives as silver gelatin fiber prints.
Elsewhere in the Wynwood district, which is known for open-air museums of street murals, street artists will be painting over neighborhood's graffiti-clad walls.
For the first time, works by artists from the outdoor art park Wynwood Walls will be for sale at "Shop at the Walls," its first pop-up gallery.
Miami gallery owner Gary Nader will launch an auction house during Art Basel featuring modern and contemporary work by big names like Fernando Botero, Damien Hirst and Roy Lichtenstein.
Will Ryman's "65th Street" installation of four colossal rose buds will bloom 20 feet over the Sagamore Hotel in Miami Beach. The pink and red buds, 5 to 10 feet in diameter, with a brass aphid and beetle nesting in the tallest bud, were recently in New York City.
Another side event, Design Miami, includes 28 galleries and explores the relationship between design and architecture, including furniture and lighting.
One theme will be vintage and contemporary jewelry with pieces designed by sculptors Alexander Calder and Harry Bertoia. Design Miami also includes an installation of utopian architect Buckminster Fuller's 1970s Fly's Eye Dome alongside Lord Norman Foster's reconstruction of Fuller's Dymaxion car.
ART BASEL MIAMI BEACH: http://www.artbaselmiamibeach.com/ . Dec. 1-4, with related events like Art Miami — http://www.art-miami.com/ — and Design Miami — http://www.designmiami.com — beginning Nov. 30.
TOURS: Art critics will also be giving walking guided tours — in English and Spanish — each day for an hour, $20; details from ArtNexus, 305-891-7270, ext. 4, http://www.artbaselmiamibeach.com/go/id/ijb/