Monday, 6 December 2010

Back from Miami

The week's work in Miami during Art Basel Miami Beach coincides neatly with the cold snap in the UK: London is snowless on departure and the thaw is complete by our return. Miami is consistent in the opposite extreme. Cloudless on arrival and departure, and most of the rest of the time as well. There's a chasm in temperature between Florida and the rest of the US - it's obvious why it's a place to flee to in the winter.

Art Basel Miami Beach brings together about 250 top end international galleries with hundreds of top end international collectors, curators, movers and shakers, and then there are another dozen or more satellite shows around the city. My work with The Art Newspaper goes on late into the night, so there's time during the day to explore and draw. Apart from the beach with its meandering palm tree-lined board walk, and the tasty art deco architecture - best in the evening when the neon kicks in - there are plenty of shows about town. Isaac Julien's sumptuous Ten Thousand Waves at the Bass Museum is showing on nine large screens in a dimly lit room that is interspersed, you realise once your eyes become accustomed to the light, with people sitting on the floor with the hush of a religious service.

At the Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami, are the sculptures of Jonathan Meese and black and white photographs by Bruce Weber of Miami's Haitian community that explore the way refugees from the Caribbean country are handled by the US immigration system. That these photographs come from the lens of the photographer best known for his shots advertising Calvin Klein underwear somehow makes them even more powerful.

But the cafe-less museum is a $35 ride from Miami Beach, and when we ask where we can buy a coffee, and they offer to order us a taxi to take us to a Dunkin' Donuts, you can't help thinking they are missing a trick.

1 comment:

Don McNulty said...

Sounds like an interesting week, fun to read your blog and see your drawings.