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The South Florida Roundup

Miami Art Week at 20: Less digital hype, more artistry - and bigger than ever

Art Basel

Every year, for one week, Miami transforms into the center of all things art, design, music and culture. This year the flagship institution, Art Basel, turns 20.

Hundreds of galleries, collectors and art lovers are strolling through countless international satellite fairs and locally-based art exhibitions throughout Miami-Dade.

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The enthusiasm around crypto and NFTs that dominated Art Basel last year seems to be missing. But, the conversation surrounding how and why we produce and consume traditional and multimedia art remains strong this year.

Miami Herald art reporter Amanda Rosa told the South Florida Roundup that although she has seen less NFT-related events, artists who create in this space are still seeing the opportunities there.

“In terms of artists who are big in the NFT space, they're so very excited about what the technology can do for their careers,” she said.

“I think artists are getting very creative in terms of digital art, which is always exciting because usually when people think of like digital art or NFTs, now you may think of the kind of infamous Bored Ape Yacht club gorilla things. But I'm seeing some really cool and insightful work in the digital space.”

Rosa said that the audiences she’s experienced so far this week seem very excited to be back in-person after the COVID-19 pandemic. Last year, fewer galleries were able to participate because of travel restrictions or financial hardships.

“Marc Spiegler, who [is] the global director of Art Basel, said that this year in Miami Beach is the largest edition we've ever had, because of the sheer number of galleries who are participating,” she said.

“When I went the other day, it was frankly kind of overwhelming... It's a lot of people who are very excited, a lot of art collectors who are very busy buying art for millions and millions of dollars and galleries were very happy with the turnout.”

There are several themes throughout the shows and galleries during Miami Art Week. Rosa said she observed a mixture of “light and dark” themes on display, with a lot of the pieces that stood out to her dealing with climate, identity and the pandemic.

Marcus Blake, a Jamaican-born, Miami-based multimedia artist also joined this week's SFR.

His work includes poetry, street art, fashion, performance and visual art. He told host Wilkine Brutus that his overall mood as an artist in 2022 is "hopeful" and that his art takes form as he absorbs his environment.

“I'm just truly in the moment. There is not a precursor of how to get it done… It’s really like nature. You could plant a seed and the tree will do what it needs to do,” he said.

His art show “Pure Imagination” is taking place at Little Bohemia until Sunday, December 4th. For more information on his show and art pieces, visit his instagram @mdotblake.

If you are looking for ideas for Art Week this weekend, here are some art shows on Rosa’s radar:

  • SCOPE Art Show, 801 Ocean Drive, Miami Beach FL 33139 
  • AIRIE Art + Environment Summit, 3333 NW Sixth AvenueMiami, FL, 33127
  • Sunshine featuring works by Mark Fleuridor, 2100 Biscayne Blvd, Miami, FL 33137
  • Point Comfort Art Fair + Show, 249 NW 9th St, Miami, FL 33136 
  • The Art of Transformation, 675 Ali Baba Ave, Opa-locka, FL 33054
  • Boil, Toil and Trouble, 39 NE 39th St Miami, FL 33137

On the South Florida Roundup, we also discussed the Biden administration's decision to ban imports from a Dominican sugar company with Palm Beach County links and a Miami-Dade commissioner calling out FIU's Cuban Research Institute for inviting an author to speak about her new book examining Cuban advantages in the federal immigration system.

Listen to the full episode above.

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