Alt Basel: 5 Alternative, Affordable Fairs To Visit This Week
Take it from a local: Miami Art Week can be a LOT.
But... it can also be a really fun time full of great art and the best parties. It’s all what you make of it. After three years living in this Magic City, my go-to strategy is to take advantage of all the free parties (Veuve-Clicquot on tap... Why not?) and then just enjoy the art. Seriously: the amalgamation of art in this one single week rivals the collections of some of the best contemporary art museums in the world. Yet when it comes to buying, Art Week can be a little tough to navigate for most of us. But you just have to know where to look. Here are the top fairs offering affordable art from amazing artists during Miami Art Week 2018.
Why It’s So Great: OK maybe I’m biased. But Superfine! Is the perfect antidote to the Art Week frenzy. Inviting, fun, and accessible, it’s a welcome break from the big box fairs out there. This year it’s right in the center of it all at 10th and Ocean in Miami Beach. Everything is quirky, thoughtful, and affordable, making it a top stop for young collectors and first-time buyers. It’s also one of the most affordable fairs to drop by for a cocktail–local eatery Bistrotters will be running the bar, with special prices on bubbly all fair long and $6 Rose Kennedy cocktails during a daily happy hour from 4-6pm.
Why It’s So Great: Local hub and hotel The Gaythering is one of the few venues to successfully bring the concept of a salon (i.e. the educative, social kind of salon… not where you get your hair cut) to Art Week. The cool thing about it is that instead of walking through a cold white tent, you’re invited into each artists’ room to learn about their life, have a conversation about their work, and possibly (probably) buy it. Plus, it’s totally free. This year, Art Gaysel will also have a special booth at Superfine!, so stop by for a preview of the show before you go.
Why It’s So Great: Year after year, PULSE always brings something fun. Last year’s showpiece from Fischer Cherry–empty syringes and other vessels once filled with fertility drugs artfully arranged in cake dome displays–was one of the most grammable works of the year. They continue to introduce us to some of the most promising new artists year after year. This week, Superfine! Alum Kal Mansur has a solo exhibition at the fair, which is not to be missed. Don’t miss their Private Preview Brunch from 10am - 1pm on Thursday, it’s the best time to catch a first look at the art and kick off one of the busiest days of the week.
Why It’s So Great: Since its founding by artist and gallerist Alexis Hubshman in 2004, SCOPE has always taken an interest in young artists and collectors alike. This year, the fair returns to 8th and Ocean Drive with a range of works from emerging artists at (somewhat.. Depending on your budget) affordable price points. The installation by Okuda San Miguel aka OKUDA (originally shown at the inaugural Superfine! Miami) at the fair’s entrance is a definite highlight.
Why It’s So Great: During a week in which most artists, gallerists, and fairgoers take themselves way too seriously, Aqua always feels refreshingly down-to-earth. Headquartered at the Aqua Hotel on Collins Avenue at 15th Street, it’s an easy stop on the way to or from all the other fairs. Pittsburgh’s BoxHeart Gallery, one of our favorite galleries and Superfine! DC and NYC alum, will be at Aqua this year, bringing work from artists including Sara Catapano, Nicole Renee Ryan, and Daria Sandburg.