Art Basel Miami: What a tease

Sand, surf and palm trees, clubbing and shopping…not to mention a world-class gathering of galleries and exhibitions, all in the gloomy month of December. What better place for a the offspring of Art Basel in Switzerland than sunny, energetic Miami Beach? And what better time than this weekend? Let’s compare visual forecasts:

In case you’re confused, the first image is New York and the second is Miami. Is sun enough to lure people to open their shrinking wallets, when even Black Friday fell a little flat? I doubt it. Not sunny weekend is going to save the cotemporary art market from belt-tightening. Art Basel kicks off this Thursday, for a long weekend of shows and events through Dec. 7.
According to its cheery website,

Art Basel Miami Beach combines an international selection of top galleries with an exciting program of special exhibitions, parties and crossover events featuring music, film, architecture and design. Exhibition sites are located in the city’s beautiful Art Deco District, within walking distance of the beach and many hotels. An exclusive selection of more than 250 leading art galleries from North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia and Africa will exhibit 20th and 21st century artworks by over 2,000 artists.

Art Basel Miami sounds a hell of a lot better than fighting through tourist-infested Rockefeller Center to buy my dad a bowtie from the only store that makes them wide enough for his taste. I could even go dancing without putting out a coat, gloves, and a scarf. I stare out the window at the dark; it’s only 5 pm. Ah Miami. Just daydreaming of it puts the Beach Boys in my head. And that awful Will Smith song Welcome to Miami. Guess it’s not all fun and games, especially with drooping sales from recent auctions. What a tease though!

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