Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Traveling to Art Basel

This week, my travels will be geographically close at hand ... but intellectually all over the place ... as I dash from art fair to gallery to party to exhibition at Art Basel Miami Beach.

Officially speaking, Art Basel Miami Beach is a single fair showcasing modern and contemporary art from 200 galleries worldwide. It takes place Thursday - Sunday at the Miami Beach Convention Center. From Picassos to Dubuffets, everything here is for sale, though for those of us who are financial mortals, the joy generally is in the viewing and dreaming.

Art Basel Miami Beach is an offshoot of the prestigeous Art Basel fair held annually in June in the medieval city of Basel, Switzerland. (That's Basel, as in Basil Rathbone, not BA-sel, as in the herb.) Because the town is small, and because the lifestyle in Europe is more reserved than that in Miami, the Swiss fair is more contained.

In Miami's physical and mental sprawl, Art Basel spreads out, stretching from Miami Beach to the Design District. So, too, does its influence. This year's Art Basel season comes with 24 side fairs, nearly all unrelated to -- but spurred by -- events at the convention center.

You can learn more them, the main fair and daily happenings at the Miami Herald's Art Basel website.

Come along; everyone is welcome. Word of advice: Wear comfy shoes. When it comes to feet, this week is a killer.

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