Art Basel Miami Beach, the prestigious annual art fair that transforms the city into a vibrant hub of creativity, is just around the corner. With a myriad of events, exhibitions, and installations, it can be challenging to navigate the extensive offerings. To help you make the most of your Art Basel experience, we’ve curated a guide featuring some of the standout activations happening in and around the city.
No Vacancy at Esme Miami Beach
Open to the public – Nov 16 – Dec 14
Various, largely along Washington and Collins Avenues and Ocean Drive
This juried art competition presented by the City of Miami Beach and the Miami Beach Visitor and Convention Authority places local artists on a platform and invites the public to experience Miami Beach’s famed hotels as fleeting art destinations in their own right. Now in its fourth year, No Vacancy has tapped 12 artists to create site-specific works across 12 iconic Miami Beach hotels including Esmé Miami Beach, The Betsy, Faena, The Catalina. Installations will be on view from November 16 through December 14, when the winner will be announced.
Creed x Kolodny Sculpture with Esmé Hotel and Española Way
Open to the public – Dec 4 – May 10
At the intersection of Española Way and Drexel Avenue, Miami Beach
Shawn Kolodny, who’s known for his Dippin Dots’-like massive spheres, has partnered with fragrance brand House of Creed to debut two installations during Art Basel: one at Creed’s Design District store and the other on Española Way. As the spheres are entirely mirrored, Oglers can become a part of their piece as they stare at their own reflection. And do inch up close; the work has been sprayed with a scent of Creed.
“Less About Us” Photography Expo
Open to the public – Dec. 2, 6-9pm
The Roof at Esmé Miami Beach Hotel – 1438 Washington Ave., Miami Beach, FL 33139
For the second year in a row, Esmé Miami Beach Hotel will be hosting a photography expo featuring top local artists sharing different perspectives on the Magic City. Featured photographers include @devography and @unkleclarence, who are part of the That’s Beside the Point collective, which recently shot Drake and NIKE’s NOCTA collection, and trendy Vogue collaborator @lainezim. For one night only, Esmé’s Mediterranean sundeck will transform into a vibey, living room-style lounge with music, art and their famous sangria flowing.
Mociun Jewelry Pop-up x Helle Mardahl
Open to the public – Dec. 7-9, 10am-5pm
Casa Matanza at Esmé Miami Beach Hotel – 512 Española Way. Miami Beach, FL 33139
Fine jewelry brand Mociun will be bringing its playful, geometric jewels to Esmé Miami Beach Hotel for a pop-up in collaboration with Danish designer Helle Mardahl. Named “the IT item in Brooklyn,” Mociun is known for one-of-a-kind and custom-made pieces composed of rare and unusual diamonds and gemstones. Mociun and Helle Mardahl will be displaying the whimsical, glass pieces—created as a part of their limited collection—in Esmé’s stylish Casa Matanza building.
Open to the public – Dec. 5-6, 9am-5pm
The lobby at Esmé Miami Beach Hotel – 1438 Washington Ave., Miami Beach, FL 33139
Sustainable accessories brand APAYA will pop-up in the lobby of the chic Esmé Miami Beach Hotel. All straw bags are handmade by Colombian artisans—95% of them women—using natural fibers and fabrics found in the Andean Region of Latin America. You can find APAYA’s best-selling cofre bag featured in Vogue and Vanity Fair Italia.
Building Basel: LEGO® Lounge at W South Beach
Open by RSVP – Dec. 10, 12-3pm
W South Beach lobby & ballroom – 2201 Collins Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139
The LEGO Group is bringing its signature adult experience—LEGO® Center for Creative Flow (CFCF) —to Miami at W South Beach, known for serving as center stage for all things Art Basel. LEGO will bring its CFCF experience to life through a private lounge in W South Beach’s immersive ballroom with 360-degree mapping technology, the first of its kind in a North American hotel. The lounge invites VIP attendees to participate in a custom-building session throughout the weekend while also enjoying stunning art pieces customized by a LEGO artist. Serving as a creative space that offers adults a temporary respite from daily responsibilities, guests can tap into their inner creative flow state. LEGO will open the exclusive CFCF experience to the public for Art Week’s finale, featuring a celebrity DJ and beloved influential guests on Sunday, December 10 from 12-3 p.m. Spots will be limited and can be reserved online.
MLB Player Turned Artist Micah Johnson to Install Custom ‘Aku’ Art Pieces at Michelin-Starred Le Jardinier for Miami Art Week
Open to the public by reservation – Dec. 7-10, hours
Le Jardinier Miami – 151 NE 41st St Suite 135, Miami, FL 33137
After a one-night exclusive installation for Art Miami’s VIP preview day, Michelin-starred restaurant Le Jardinier will house retired MLB player Micah Johnson’s newest canvas art presentations of ‘Aku,’ a Black astronaut character who once graced the cover of TIME Magazine. Tucked within the Miami Design District, the ultra-futuristic restaurant adorned with pops of chrome and electric green, will serve as the astronaut’s landing pad for the week – exposing diners of the lauded culinary gem to Aku’s world of creativity and exploration. In a cohesive partnership, the globally renowned restaurant by The Bastion Collection fuses artistic expression through the marriage of cuisine and canvas in Aku’s captivating presence. In a limited opportunity to have a first-hand view at the retired sportsman’s custom works, the collection of ‘Aku’ paintings will be on display from Thursday, December 4 through Sunday, December 10, 2023 during the restaurant’s normal hours of operation. To reserve your table at Le Jardinier during Miami Art Week, visit www.lejardinier-miami.com.
Buaisou Residency at Zuma Miami
Open to the public by reservation – Dec. 4-10, hours
Zuma Miami – 270 Biscayne Blvd Way, Miami, FL 33131
Collaborating with the esteemed artisans Buaisou, creators of the Zuma Shibori, the globally renowned restaurant by Rainer Becker presents an exclusive Artist Residency from Monday, December 4th, to Sunday, December 10th. This celebration intertwines culinary excellence with Japanese artistry, showcasing the captivating Shibori dyeing technique. Guests will savor signature dishes and cocktails amidst the backdrop of Miami’s iconic boats and yachts, immersing themselves in the Japanese craftsmanship and the story behind choosing Shibori as an authentic part of the Zuma legacy. Explore the narrative, methods, and essence of Shibori, amplifying the Zuma experience during this vibrant week of artistic celebration. Learn more at www.zumarestaurant.com/locations/miami.
For Those Flying Private: XO’s Palm Beach Lounge Exhibiting New Romero Britto Collection
Dates: Dec 1 – Jan 3
For anyone considering flying private to Miami Art Basel this year, XO, the premier private aviation network, is giving Members and clients exclusive access to a never-before-seen Romero Britto exhibit in XO’s very own Palm Beach lounge. Those who fly with XO into Palm Beach from Dec 1 – Jan 3, will have the special opportunity to view Britto’s unprecedented collection, ‘The Graffiti Collection.’ All unique pieces will also be available for XO fliers to purchase.
The First XO Member to book a chartered flight to Miami during Art Basel, will win a literal Golden Ticket to visit Romero Britto’s Palace Studio and dine with world-renowned chef, Daniel Boulud. The one lucky Member will receive a private interactive tour of Britto’s art collection, and a private dinner hosted by Britto and prepared by Chef Daniel Boulud. Always creating once-in-a-lifetime experiences for its community of Members, this exclusive opportunity is part of XO’s recently launched XO Firsts program which gives Members complimentary access to exclusive experiences on a first-come first-served basis.
THE ART OF HIP HOP
Alan Ket & Allison Freidin, Founders of The Museum of Graffiti, proudly present Art of Hip Hop, an immersive exhibition, opening in Wynwood, spotlighting the visual unsung heroes of Hip Hop culture, including photographers, album cover artists, graffiti visionaries, and logo designers. Following successful showings at SXSW and UrbanBreak in Seoul, this showcase lands in Miami on December 5, 2023, offering a unique exploration of Hip Hop’s history and Miami’s own cultural contributions to coincide with the 50th Anniversary of Hip Hop. The inaugural exhibition, entitled From the Bronx to the Beach, will showcase rare vintage ephemera from Hip Hop’s first NYC DJ, Kool Herc, to Miami’s own pioneer Uncle Luke. Visitors can expect to see the works of famed Hip Hop photographers Janette Beckman, Mike Miller, Henry Chalfant, Matt Doyle, Lisa Leone, Joe Conzo, and Daniel Hastings, alongside Hip Hop album covers designed by Cey Adams, Eric Haze, Slick, Kaws, and more. The exhibition will also shine a special spotlight on Miami’s own Hip Hop history, capturing it through the lenses of local historian and photographer Derick G and photographer Esdras T. Thelusma. The exhibition will be open to the public daily 11am – 6pm beginning December 5, 2023. For more information, please visit www.artofhiphop.com and @artofhiphop50. Location: 299 NW 25th St., Miami, FL 33127 Dates: Permanent
ANDRES REISINGER “TAKE OVER MIAMI”
Renowned digital artist and designer Andrés Reisinger presents “Take Over Miami,” a spectacular public art installation showcased at the Miami Design District. Radiating the city with a pink-hued creative energy, Reisinger transcends the boundaries between the digital and the physical, and debuts a physical version of his viral digital series of ‘Take Overs’. Reisinger presents the world’s first public art installation seamlessly transitioned from the digital canvas to the physical world. The creative talent reinterprets the architecture of major capitals around the globe with pink drapes, integrating hyper realistic elements into existing buildings. For the first time ever, in ‘Take Over Miami’ Reisinger takes a step forth and brings to physical life the digital series, inviting art enthusiasts to join the transformation of a physical space into a surreal dreamscape of boundless creativity. Location: 178 NE 39th St, Miami, FL 33137 Dates: December 4-10
JAYARAM: MAKING MIAMI
Jayaram Law is pleased to announce Making Miami, a public art exhibition, book, and permanent digital archive presenting work by extraordinary Miami artists who lived and worked in the city between 1996-2012. The exhibition will feature work from nearly 50 artists throughout four specifically curated indoor galleries that are connected by a courtyard Sculpture Garden, and accompanied by dynamic on-site programming. Capturing the essence of the Miami Beach art scene from the early 2000s, this cultural event is a love letter to the dawn of Miami’s art scene. The gallery spaces are four of the most influential spaces that emerged in the Design District in the early 2000’s, which continue to thrive and support artists today. The gallery spaces are connected by a Sculpture Garden curated by Katerina Llanes featuring works by Miami artists including a sculpture by artist Daniel Arsham’s Snarkitecture; a large-scale mural by street artist and painter Jan Stark; and a massive inflatable by FriendsWithYou. The Sculpture Garden will also showcase works by artists Loni Johnson, Naomi Fisher, Carlos Betancourt, Antonia Wright + Ruben Millares. Location: 75 NE 39th St, Miami, FL 33137 Dates: December 6-26; Monday to Saturday, 11am-8pm; Sunday, 12-6pm
DESIGN COMMISSION 2023 “UTOPIA” BY LARA BOHINC
MDD has awarded designer Lara Bohinc the 2023 Miami Design District Annual Design Commission. ‘Utopia’ spans four installations featuring irregular, bulbous forms reminiscent of growing cellular organisms. The sculptures are suggestive of living objects, mushrooming across the district. Collectively, they imagine a city where nature thrives peacefully and in harmony with our human presence. Pieces include outdoor seating, tables and oversized light sculptures, as well as a giant centerpiece egg-form, and 900 egg-shaped birdhouses dispersed throughout the trees. Bohinc’s pieces are made from cork and painted by hand in vibrant hues paying homage to Miami’s architectural color palette. Curated in collaboration with Design Miami/ Curatorial Lab, Utopia’s dynamic sculptures will also welcome visitors with a special installation at the entrance of the Design Miami/ fair. Location: Miami Design District Dates: November 2023 – March 2024
CRAIG ROBINS COLLECTION “A TRAIN OF THOUGHTS”
The Craig Robins Collection in Miami comprises over 1,300 pieces of contemporary art and innovative design, and exhibited within the Dacra headquarters in the Miami Design District. This year’s rehanging of the collection is titled “A Train of Thoughts”, focusing on two core subgroups of the collection’s holdings: figuration and conceptualism. The exhibition highlights a collecting history that has favored a taste for the abject and hyperbolic figurative image, in tandem with the self-reflexive, institutional critique of art based on ideas– a seemingly incompatible pair that yields unexpected dialogues. Location: DACRA Headquarters, 3841 NE 2nd Ave., Miami, FL 33137 Dates: December 6-8
GAGOSIAN & JEFFREY DEITCH PRESENT ‘FORMS’
Forms will be the eighth annual group exhibition presented jointly by Jeffrey Deitch and Gagosian during Miami Art Week and on view in the city’s Design District. The dominant narrative of modern art has largely focused on stylistic shifts between binary oppositions: from figuration to abstraction and back again. Playing on this history, the works included in Forms highlight, acknowledge, and challenge the pathway between abstraction and figuration with surrogates for and references to the representational world. Location: 35 NE 40th St., Miami, FL 33137 Dates: December 5 – 10