Postcard from Miami: Art Basel at the Beach, MiMo, Deco, and PoMo Galore!

My postcard to home base at Spruce!

Hi everyone! I’m fresh from the beach, enduring the onset of an actual winter here in Austin. My skin is dry, the leaves have fallen from the trees, and the temperature is hovering at a cool 55 – 70 degrees Farenheit. Brrrr! Well, if you had just been in lovely Miami like me, you’d understand how harsh this environment is! In tropical South Florida last week I wore tank tops and skirts in the day and sweat, observing pasty New Yorkers holiday on the beach. People were swimming in December! I got a sunburn while romping around on foot the first day and applied sunblock the other days. This may sound awful to those of you who really cherish an actual wintery season around Christmastime, but to me it’s paradise and rapture.

For years I’ve been so curious to visit Art Basel in Miami. When my (really neat and cool plus handsome) novio suggested the trip months ago I was dazzled. A plane ride and an Airbnb reservation later, we’re breakfasting on the beach from salty oceanfront bodegas! Fuggeddabowdit!

The first night in Miami we went to the Design District and Wynwood neighborhood for Pre-Basel festivities. Graffitti artists were bombing walls everywhere. In the design district’s vintage mall, galleries were descending on empty retail and office spaces. This was so fun to see, truly! Mall shop spaces were re-purposed for the event into individual galleries and rare pop-up shops. We wandered in and out of private parties and counted Lamborghini and Ferrari all night. Best! Kenny Scharf had a good amount of wall space on several buildings, which was a highlight for me. Photo below…

Kenny Scharf mural in Wynwood, Miami.

Day two, we hoofed it from North Beach to South Beach and saw the sights! I never tire of Florida’s beachy pastels and Deco shapes. We saw building after building of this type of gold:

Miami Modern, or “MiMo!” Gaaaah! So good.

“PoMo” in Miami!

At lunch we met some “Basel-ers” from New Mexico. They gave us a pass to the Aqua show, set up in a vintage Miami Modern beach hotel. Galleries from all over the U.S. were showing in each room, so after around 30 plus rooms showing several artists, it can be dizzying. So fun. Thanks you two! At night, we went to see giant video art in the park, where beanbags were provided for lounging. This primed us for the next day at the NADA Art Fair where there was countless more art to see. A walk on the beach and then to a party at night, and then I was off to visit friends in New York by the weekend. Wheee!

I came away with a ton of research to do in my down time, naturally. Lots of names and galleries to peruse online. One of my favorite discoveries was a ceramic artist named Nathan Prouty.

nathan prouty

Images of Nathan Prouty’s Ceramics via the blog “Design for Mankind

His work was so sensitive, speaking dialects of post modernism, pop, and much more. The colors were marvelous and clever and the forms humorous. My new favorite artist for sure.

Oh, but don’t I have retirement fantasies of Miami now? I would be pleased to inhabit that cliche! I could spend my twilight years in pure Vitamin D, leathering myself on the beach. I must (sooner than later) buy an old and abandoned Deco hotel (they’re abundant now) to be the crone hotelier. Art, architecture, temperate seaside. A dream!