Art Basel: A Hedonist’s Paradise

by Genna Rivieccio

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Perhaps the ultimate quote of the weekend at Art Basel for me was, “Why would I ever leave Miami? Why leave paradise?” And while the man had a point, as Eve (the Bible bitch, not the hip hop singer) and Lana Del Rey in Tropico will tell you, the boredom of paradise can become pretty hellish after awhile. This may be why Art Basel is limited to a long weekend. Too much of a good thing can drive you crazy, as there’s a fine line between pleasure and pain.

 

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From the warm weather to the vibrant colors of the scenery and the art, Miami serves as the ideal 1980s-inspired backdrop for a spectacle that embraces such a wide range of styles. And, since Art Basel is a time of celebrating all the senses–especially the gustatory ones, the food truck prevalence only adds to the enchantedness of the event. In Miami, food is as much an art as painting, with arepas, Mexican fusion, Cuban sandwiches and everything in between beckoning to be added to the voluminousness of your backside.

 

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Granted, the affair seems to have taken on the played status of other events like Coachella or South by Southwest, what with Miley Cyrus getting in on the action as an “artist,” but nonetheless, one can’t help but believe that Art Basel still has many years left of showing us how it’s done when it comes to celebrating the artistic spirit. Still very much a non-whorish moneymaking endeavor, most of the events are free (except for the bougier ones) and the general vibes are not indicative of anyone trying to prove he or she is better than someone else, unless, of course, you’re one of those lucky artists to have drawn in the eye of a wealthy collector/patron.

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Existing on another plane, one where wall to wall graffiti and performance art installations are the norm, Miami is the magical unicorn on which Art Basel was destined to ride. But it’s best to get off before the horn of the unicorn stabs you in the face.

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