This is what an art lover’s dreams are made of.
One of my best friends/brother-from-another-mother and I took South Beach head on this past weekend at Art Basel. Art Basel presented artworks from the world’s leading galleries including Africa, North America, Asia, Latin America, and Europe with special exhibitions at museums and galleries across Miami. Art Basel attracts over 70,000 visitors each year. It was most enjoyable!
A.J. and I landed around 8 am Friday morning and hit the ground running. Our driver, Amine, picked us up with our favorite coffee drinks on hand and drove us to Nautilus, our South Beach Hotel on Collins ave. We checked into our rooms then headed to brunch. After brunch we returned to Nautilus for cocktails and beach time.
Nautilus is an oceanfront hotel that was designed in the 1950’s by architect Morris Lapidus. The property stretches from the street to the beach with an expansive backyard offering cozy nests for ultimate relaxation and poolside slumber. In this backyard, in honor of Art Basel, was a design by visual artist Saya Woolfalk. Below you’ll see how Woolfalk merged culture, fantasy and science into this geometrical throne.
Kristy, one of the coolest bartenders I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know, makes a mean Cabana Club. One of these will have you slightly unstable. It was the perfect cocktail to start the weekend.
After we spent a few hours playing on the beach, we freshened up and had an incredibly delicious dinner at Osteria del Teatro with friends. This award-winning Italian restaurant in South Beach’s Art Deco District provided an unparalleled, elegant experience with impeccable service, and tasty cuisine. After dinner, we grabbed a few more cocktails and hit a few beach parties.
The second day was an eventful one. After we had coffee, breakfast, and mimosas, we went back to our rooms, got ready for the day, then indulged in a couple of Cabana Clubs in the garden.
Amine picked us up around 1 pm and our first stop was Collins Park to view the Public sector of Art Basel. Collins Park showed over 20 large-scale sculptures and installations by leading and emerging international artists, curated by Nicholas Baume, Director and Chief Curator of Public Art Fund. The sector is produced in collaboration with the Bass Museum of Art.
Next stop was the Miami Convention Center to check out the show. Leading galleries showed work from the masters of modern and contemporary art, as well as pieces by a new generation of emerging artists. Paintings, sculptures, installations, photographs, films, and editioned works of the highest quality were on display in the main exhibition hall. For more information about the different sectors, click here.
We mingled with old and new friends, submerged ourselves into the work, and thoroughly enjoyed the community of fellow art enthusiasts.
After a few hours, some of us headed to dinner at Pubbelly for an Asian-fusion meal and sake. As expected, everything was delicious. We returned to the hotel to see some of our favorite bartenders for more cocktails.
I woke early to do Kemetic yoga on the beach. It was a spiritually grounding morning.
I met A.J. for breakfast then we lounged around the pool until brunch at Driftwood Room. “Driftwood Room’s menu features creative updates on simple dishes made with locally sourced ingredients, marrying the cuisine of Southern France with a Miami palate.” We enjoyed chatting with Kristy, Eric, and Veda, and I must send plenty thanks to the food and beverage manager for going above and beyond during our dining experiences.
After brunch Amine drove us back to the convention center so we could view the rest of the art we hadn’t seen the day before.
Unfortunately we didn’t make it to the Wynwood Arts District. It’s quite alright since we’re attending this wonderful international art show in 2017. Wynwood will be our first stop, for sure. Hopefully our hotel will be Nautilus. Everyone in the hotel was exceedingly accommodating and earned our loyalty.
I hope to see you all next year!