The eclectic Miami scene is always the perfect scenario to breathe in culture, fashion and art; but the best example of this trinity is probably Miami’s Art Basel, which takes place annually in early December and welcomes artists, celebrities, art-lovers and people-watchers from all over the world.
This year’s Basel (pronounced bah-zel, not bay-zel) consisted of hundreds of galleries, daily events and parties that extended from Miami Beach to Downtown, Wynwood, Midtown and even Ft. Lauderdale. The main exhibit was at the Miami Beach Convention Center, but smaller galleries in Wynwood and established museums like the PAMM also showcased exhibits worth visiting.
The “A Sense of Place” exhibition in MANA Wynwood showcased a collection belonging to Jorge A. Pérez, of over 50 works by Latin American artists, all exploring their cultural identity through their works. What caught my interest about this collection was realizing that I was standing at the epicenter of a cultural mecca. Cultural diversity is very relevant to Miami. This is a place where local traditions transcend city limits and stretch to countries like Cuba, Argentina, Colombia and Venezuela to name a few.
The diversity is what has transformed Miami and its locals. Everyone is in a constant mission to express how they stand out from the crowd; yet we all blend to produce a fun, dysfunctional and very fashionable paradise called Miami.
I had the chance to speak to Diemar Patiño who designed the book and collateral material for the “A Sense of Place” exhibition (book cover image above). The Venezuelan designer told me how he got his inspiration for this project.
“The letters in the logo are missing some parts, representing the artists and Miami locals, who have made this city their home, but, at the same time, are missing parts of their home countries,” explained Patiño. “The colors represent all Latin American countries, from Argentina (blue) all the way to Mexico (red), which reminds us of the diversity of Miami and how we have all come together in this great city.”
Diemar identified all too well with the collection; the Venezuelan artist has found himself exploring a new city that offers an opportunity for self-expression and rewards cultural identity. The designer usually looks for inspiration in the iconic Miami Beach or the up-and-coming Design District. His favorite activities are riding his bike through Wynwood and visiting the local breweries and galleries in the area.
What were your favorite Art Basel exhibitions, events or parties? If you’re looking forward to next year’s Basel, join the club and comment below!