Art Basel Miami 2018
Some where between the point of being out of New York for almost five years and living in a more slow paced environment in Sarasota, I was overwhelmed with fascination. It was as though I had never lived in a city before or been around a vast amount of art at once. It felt as if I had been struck with Stendhal Syndrome. The Stendhal Syndrome, is a reference after the French Author Stendhal. He described his experience of this phenomenon during his visit to Florence, he wrote:
“ I was in a sort of ecstasy, from the idea of being in Florence, close to the great men whose tombs I had seen. Absorbed in the contemplation of sublime beauty ... I reached the point where one encounters celestial sensations ... Everything spoke so vividly to my soul. Ah, if I could only forget. I had palpitations of the heart, what in Berlin they call 'nerves'. Life was drained from me. I walked with the fear of falling“
I actually walked in fear of missing something, not seeing all art work and forms from all over the world. These “sensations” too struck me as similarities to my own experience. As I was enamored by works of art, the fashionably well dressed and massive amount of traffic, I digress. The traffic was a total nightmare but other then that, I went into this trip as a very optimistic tourist! With the support of my long time friend from NYC who flew into Miami and my life partner, we went to as many galleries as possible during Art Week.
Our host was so kind to accommodate our early arrival from Sarasota to Miami. As we raced to avoid traffic, the never ending Alligator Alley and any hiccups causing delays. If you know me well you know that I have never used Airbnb before. I’m “old-school”, I enjoy still booking hotels for my travels.
Initially when I heard of this hip “home away-from home style” concept, Airbnb- I was excited! Before I had the opportunity to give it a try, in 2016 #airbnbwhileblack went viral. In light of these situations of racial discrimination and minorities being terrorized during planned getaways. I decided to not partake until some policy’s were put in place to prevent these types situations from happening. I will admit, as a first time user I was concerned. But the most logical way to get around was to be emerged within the community. So I continued on and booked our lodging accommodations with an open mind.
We stayed in a posh location in the guest house of a Super Host Airbnb and I was highly impressed. The host, the location, and the guest house we stayed in was to die for. We were walking distance from the Design District and every where else was a 10 - 20 min Uber drive (depending on traffic). Our host Sonia was also one of a kind, she offered us deluxe living with smart house vibes. Plus she was so kind to gift us with one VIP pass to Art Miami as well.
Miami Beach Convention Center
is a documentary and lifestyle photographer based in Miami, FL
As I mentioned before there were awesome “walking” fashion to be seen but again so little time to capture it all. During my views I stumbled into Jenny Abrams who also goes by Shayna Batya. After a simple moment over complementing her sneakers, because they were just that dope and her fit was comfortable, yet stylish as she explored the Convention Center in a very sleek black on black track suit and bright pink Nike Foam sneakers. I also recall her having a camera on hand and aura full of creativity. So of course, I asked if I could take a picture of her sneakers and she agreed. Before we parted ways we exchanged contacts. That ladies and gentleman is how you break the ice and make new connections.
Nice meeting you!
The Design District is super upscale and was like walking down 5th Ave, in New York City. Yet there was more to see as far as galleries and interactive engagement. We went to eat at the hip O.T.L, which is known for it’s modern counter serve with chill vibes; serving sandwiches, salads and baked goods. Its inside/outside seating and second story circled around an art gallery concept called The Office. Unfortunately, I was unable to catch a photo of the beautiful space upstairs but hopefully that will encourage you to visit and check it out
A few steps away we stumbled across what seemed like a pop-up gallery with a few pieces of pop and modern culture inspired concepts and works; urban, yet chic.
Was a favorite of mine, in my opinion it was the more eccentric street art. Tagged walls, graffiti artists, muralists, local artisans and food trucks. I was so happy to run into my friend and favorite artist Rae Grand, a local Sarasota artist out in the trenches showcasing her work.
Wynwood was a mad house full of people walking the streets embracing the culture. Its vibes were reminiscent to my experience in Portugal, lots of unique and entertaining things to look at. While everyone commingled at the center of it all just enjoying themselves. Like every good thing, it has an end and as we packed up to head back to Sarasota it was for sure bitter sweet moment. Seeing my friend headed to catch her flight back home. It also began to pour as we prepared to leave but all in all we are grateful for opportunity to have has such an amazing Art Basel 2018 experience.