Miami Art Week is, in itself, always a giant of a happening. This year, organizers are going bigger than ever – literally – with ambitious art projects stretching from Lincoln Road to the mainland that are larger than life. Here are just a few things we don’t want to miss. You won’t want to, either.
ON THE ROAD
A 45-foot-high female nude aglow with thousands of LED lights? Sounds perfect for Lincoln Road. The 32,000-pound “R-Evolution,” a kinetic sculpture by Marco Cochrane, debuted at Burning Man but this season will grace Miami Beach’s strolling street through the winter season. If you’re anywhere near Lincoln and Meridian Avenue, you won’t be able to miss her.
400 Lincoln Road, Miami Beach.
The Beach and the drag scene have been bedmates since the ‘80s, when The Strand was THE place to end the night and a Sunday afternoon tea dance was the place to end the weekend. A newly commissioned installation by Brazilian collective Assume Vivid Astro Focus honors iconic drag personas in hanging flags along Española Way – this year’s rendition of Elevate Española, a public art program launched by Miami Beach in 2022. Those with long memories may recognize Adora, Athena Dion, Carla Croqueta, Fantasia Royale, Juice Love Dion, Lady Paraiso, Persephone Von Lips, Power Infinity, The Regina Black, Tiffany Fantasia and TP Lords.
Española Way between Washington and Collins avenues
At the beach in front of Faena Hotel, Sebastian Errazuriz shapes sand into a giant labyrinth to execute an AI-assisted design for MAZE: Journey Through the Algorithmic Self. The work explores the ethical complexities of AI’s impacts on our world and underscores the value of human interaction.
Inside the hotel’s Cathedral entry, Errazuriz’s marble sculpture “Battle of the Corporate Nations” brings a mythological touch to Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg, and new Miami Beach resident Jeff Bezos, locked in a tussle for technological domination. Also in The Cathedral: a digital work by none other than Beeple (remember his $69 million NFT?), presented by the soon-to-be realized Reefline underwater art installation.
And in the Faena Art Project Room, artist Kelly Breez nods to the bar scene of old South Florida with an immersive installation “Dirt’s Dive.” Club Deuce, look out.
3201 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach
IN THE LOBBIES
A full dozen hotels are part of this year’s No Vacancy installations, when hotel lobbies are transformed into temporary art spaces thanks to support from the city and visitor bureaus. This year’s line-up features work by some of Miami’s most beloved artists, including Carlos Betancourt (at The Betsy), Gonzalo Fuenmayor (at the Avalon) and Christina Petterson (at the Cadillac). Along with eye candy, you can grab a cocktail and rest those weary feet.
No Vacancy, at a dozen hotels in Miami Beach. Details at mbartsandculture.org/no-vacancy/.
PARTY WITH PURPOSE
Of course there are parties - it’s Art Week! But the Dec. 6 gala at the Loew’s Hotel is more than just a romp. Co-hosted by rapper will.i.am, founder of the i.am/Angel Foundation, and Dean Kamen, founder of FIRST, supports STEM education. Champion supporters include The Bezos Family and the Siegel Family Foundation. Tickets start at $2,500.
Tickets at firstinspires.org/gala
AT THE SAGAMORE
The Sagamore’s famous brunch is back with a digital focus curated by Nolcha Shows and Gamma.io. Festivities kick off Dec. 7 with The Nolcha Shows: Ordinals Edition, an art-meets-Bitcoin conference powered by Gamma.io that brings together builders, artists and collectors from the digital art ecosystem on Bitcoin. Conference tickets start at $198 at nolchabtc.com. Tickets for the hotel’s popular Saturday morning cocktail brunch by the pool start at $25 on eventbrite.
The Sagamore, 1671 Collins Avenue; sagamoresouthbeach.com
IN THE GARDEN
New this year, the Tribeca Festival comes to Miami Beach Botantical Garden. Kicking off Dec. 6, the festival features four nights of live music and what should be scintillating conversations, with speakers that include Robert de Niro in conversation with French photographer and street artist JR on Dec. 9, actor John Stamos Dec. 8. Also Dec. 8, Tribeca Festival co-founder and CEO Jane Rosenthal and Whalar co-founder Neil Wallerwill discuss the evolution of the creator economy.
Miami Beach Botanical Garden, 2000 Convention Center Drive. Tickets and details at tribecafilm.com/musicloungemiami.
AT THE CONVENTION CENTER
The free Art Basel Conversations program offers brain food for art aficionados, with insightful views from major artists and insiders. This year’s program kicks off Dec. 7 with a conversation with Cuban-born artist María Magdalena Campos-Pons and PAMM Director Franklin Sirmans. Collector Estrellita Brodsky talks with Brooklyn-based artist Guadalupe Maravilla, artists from Europe and Miami discuss climate change, and Chance the Rapper talks about his journey to combine art, music, and cinematography.
Dates / times vary. Space is limited and talks require digital passes, available by RSVP at artbasel.com/miami-beach/the-show
INSIDE THE ROTUNDA
During Art Week, watchmaker Audemars Piguet struts its contemporary style with an eye-catching installation that defies its staid Swiss heritage. This year, it has commissioned Brazilian artist Sallisa Rosa’s first U.S. solo exhibition, Topography of Memory. Set inside the Collins Park Rotunda, the sculptural installation comprises more than 100 floating spheres and stalagmites made from clay and set in a circular pattern, where visitors can explore the connection between man and earth.
2100 Collins Avenue, from Dec. 5
IN A LOOP
Once darkness descends, head over to the Wallcast project wall in Soundscape Park to catch “encounter?flee (untitled),” a film loop by Julianknxx that melds poetry and film in a constant flow of figures that appear, disappear and reappear. The installation is part of presentation by UBS and ARTNOIR that includes a group presentation by Anthony Akinbola, Sonia Gomes, Melissa Joseph and Nari Ward near the Meridians sector of Art Basel Miami Beach.
Soundscape Park, 17th street and Washington Avenue; nightly Dec. 5-11
OFF THE WALLS
At Wynwood Walls, this year’s round of street art murals centers on the Power of Purpose. The standout includes a 48-foot-long reclaimed subway car – a nod to the art form’s origins – and a 15-foot-tall “Temper Tot” sculpture by New York’s Ron English. Featured artists include The London Police and Shok1 from the United Kingdom, Greg Mike from Atlanta, Defer and Lauren YS from Los Angeles, Dan Lam from Dallas, the Netherland’s Leon Keer, Canada’s Sandra Chevrier and Miami’s own Mojo. Words by internationally known KAI will be showcased inside the Annex Gallery.
Activations kick off early this year, thanks to that extra week between Thanksgiving and the Art Basel Miami Beach VIP days. Look for the subway car unveiling Nov. 25, watch-and-learn ‘Street Sessions’ with artists on Nov. 28, 29 and 30, and artist discussions Dec. 1-3. Details at thewynwoodwalls.com.
NW Second Avenue between 25th and 26th streets, Miami
ABOVE THE DISTRICT
You’ll need to crane your neck to catch this year’s sky-high exhibition in the Miami Design District: a striking mural by Miami-born Cuban-American twins Elliot and Erick Jimenez. It’s been a big year for the artistic partners, with landmarks including an All-Spanish TIME magazine cover featuring Bad Bunny, People’s Choice winner of the Orlando Museum of Art’s Florida Prize and Emerging Fashion Photographer of the Year honors in the Latin American Fashion Awards. Their work can be seen at eye level at Spinello Projects in Allapattah.
IN THE DISTRICT
▪ Yes, Design Miami/ co-founder Craig Robins has sold his interest in the fair, but his long-standing passion for art and design is ever-evident in the Miami Design District he developed and runs. Along with the Jimenez brothers mural, check out the friendly, bulbous work by this year’s winner of the District’s design commission, Lara Bohinc, and sleek new benches by Samuel Ross. At the Craig Robins Collection in the Dacra offices is “A Train of Thoughts,” a selection of works by Bisa Butler, Jana Euler and John Baldessari.
▪ Flare Design Studio’s glassy Stardust Pavilion at 95 NE 40th St. blends geometry and intrigue to create a sanctuary in harmony with nature. Swampspace partners with Spinello Projects to present work by Adolfo Rene Sanchez.
▪ Uber curator Jeffrey Deitch and haute gallery Gagosian once again force forces in a free, thematic exhibition of works by top artists. This year’s edition, “Forms,” explores the space between figurative and abstract formats. Metaphor-rich works by Theater Gates, Albert Oehlen, Nari Ward and Tauba Auerbach, among others, challenge the status quo.
Wednesday–Saturday, 10 am–8 pm; Sunday, 10 am–6 pm, at 35 NE 40th Street, Miami.
▪ Miami has come a long way since back in the day. Telling that story is a month-long exhibition, “MAKING MIAMI: The Story of an Art Community,” a showcase of works and sculptures by by seminal organizations and artists, including Diaspora Vibe Cultural Arts Incubator (DVCAI), Locust Projects, Bas Fisher Invitational (BFI), Dimensions Variable, Daniel Arsham’s Snarkitecture, FriendsWithYou, Jen Stark, Loni Johnson, Naomi Fisher, Carlos Betancourt, Antonia Wright + Ruben Millares, Cristina Lei Rodriguez, Jillian Mayer, Robert Chambers, Jason Hedges, and Swampspace/ Kenny Scharf.
Dec. 6 - 26, 75 NE 39th Street. makingmiami.com.
▪ And don’t forget the District’s permanent museums. De la Cruz Collection presents House in Motion, a selection of paintings, sculptures, and site-specific installations from the private collection of Rosa and Carlos de la Cruz including Hernan Bas, Mark Bradford, Tauba Auerbach and Rashid Johnson. The Institute of Contemporary Art - Miami explores the conceptual art of Charles Gaines through a retrospective of his work.
Miami Design District, from NE 2nd Avenue to Miami Avenue between 38th and 42nd Streets; miamidesigndistrict.com.
Art meets science at downtown’s Frost Museum of Science, which will showcase 50 works created during sailings aboard the research vessell Falkor (too). The exhibition is courtesy of the Schmidt Ocean Institute’s Artist-at-Sea program, Nautilus Magazine, UNESCO, and the Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science. Art Week programming includes panels and films.
Hip-hop fans can learn about the origins of the genre at the new Art of Hip-hop permanent exhibition in Wynwood. Created by Museum of Graffiti founders Allison Freidin and Alan Ket, the show celebrates photographers, album cover artists and other visual practitioners instrumental to the music form. A special nod goes to local hip-hop history, seen through the lens of photographers Derick G and Esdras T. Thelusma. Ket will collaborate with StockX to curate a collection of sneakers that further amplify the stories of the works featured in the exhibition. Art Week programming includes a DJ set, book release and panel discussions.
From Dec. 5 at 299 NW 25th St., Miami; artofhiphop.com.
After you check out El Espacio 23’s stunning new show of textile-based works and the always-spectacular exhibition at Rubell Museum, take time out for these new art stops. (Tip: All will be open post-Basel.)
When it first opened last fall, Marquez Art Projects showcased work by Christina de Miguel along with contemporary stars including George Condo, KAWS and Hernan Bas. For art week, Marquez replaces the de Miguel show with “Cusp,” a body of work by Miami-based José Delgado Zúñiga.
2395 NW 21st Terr., Miami; marquezartprojects.com
French photographer and street artist JR reveals the monumental mural resulting from his year-long project, “The Chronicles of Miami.” It joins long-standing immersive installations by Es Devlin, TeamLab and James Turrell at Superblue Miami.
1101 NW 23rd Street, Miami; superblue.com/miami.
Inspired by Tales From the Arabian Nights, Opa-Locka is one of Miami’s most mind-blowing gems. For decades, Ten North Group (formerly Opa-Locka Community Development Corp.) has worked to bring the luster back to the tarnished city, in part through Art Week art activations showcasing work from the African diaspora. This year the Art of Transformation will feature Puerto Rican artists in its tented pavilion along with panel discussions, performances, screenings and exhibitions of new acquisitions that include “The Cedar Men,” a series of 6-foot-tall sculptures.
Dec. 6-10, 490 Ali Baba Blvd., Opa-Locka; olcdc.org/artinopalocka
AROUND THE TOWN
Museum shows will be here all winter. Along with those noted above, standouts include “Gary Simmons: Public Enemy” at the Perez Art Museum Miami; photographs by Helen Leavitt at the ever-intriguing Margulies Warehouse, work by Juan Francisco Elso at the Museum of Contemporary Art - North Miami; a tribute to June Nam Paik’s Miami years at The Bass and a rare Colorfield exhibition at NSU Art Museum in Fort Lauderdale.