This weekend the 11th edition of Art Basel, the most prestigious art show in America, is in full swing in South Beach. Thousands of internationally acclaimed artists, gallery owners, curators and celebrities have descended for a days of gallery tours, installations, and swanky parties. I couldn’t think of a better tour guide than my friend Jennifer Rubell. Her family owns the Rubell Family Collection in Wynwood (a hip, emerging neighborhood), one of the most important collections of contemporary art in the country.
And in the last few years, Jennifer has morphed from running hotels and writing about food to creating stunning art installations with all things edible (say, one ton of barbecued ribs with honey dripping on them from a honey trap mounted to the ceiling; or cell padded with pink cotton candy). So over a lunch of tilefish and tangerine sorbet, I asked her for the lowdown.
So I just landed in Miami and realized I’m wearing entirely too much clothing. Where can I get my Basel on for a weekend of openings?
If I want clothes that I can wear again in some other city, I’ll go to Maison Martin Margiela in the Design District. But I’d rather go into full Miami mode and get a whole ridiculous skin-tight, all-sequins-all-the-time outfit for 60 bucks (including shoes!) at Rainbow on Lincoln Road.
To get properly buzzed for sensory overload, who pulls your favorite Cuban coffee?
I love David’s Cafe on Collins. You go to the walk-up window and the ladies call you “mi amor,” when they ask you what you want. Perfect.
Beyond the convention center, where do we find the coolest art?
The coolest art? I actually like some of the alternative spaces started by artists like Locust Projects and the Bas Fisher Invitational.
What are three essential Basel experiences?
Going to Art Basel Miami Beach itself, in the Miami Beach Convention Center; having lunch poolside at the Raleigh Hotel; and buying at least one piece of art, however small and inexpensive, at one of the fairs.
What makes Art Basel worth the trek?
It is the absolute center of the art world right this second.
What artists/exhibits are you most excited to see, and where will they be?
I would go to all the museums and private collections you can.
Where/what are you excited to eat while you’re in town?
Do you have a favorite cocktail destination?
The outside terrace of the SLS Hotel (with a frozen blue cheese sandwich alongside)
What will be happening at The Rubell Family Collection this weekend?
It’ll be open to the public all weekend. Two really interesting shows: Oscar Murillo, who is a very young Colombian-born artist who lived at the Collection this summer. And the other is Alone Together, essentially 28 solo shows of some very exciting contemporary artists.
￼What are three words that describe your Miami?
Sexy, exciting, exhausting
Rumor has it you’re South bound–we heard you’ll have an installation at SCAD, the Savannah School of Art and Design, early next year. What can you tell us about it?
Guess we’ll have to stay tuned.