Art Basel Miami Beach 2019

(Miami Beach Convention Centre, newly finished, photo by FBC)

Yes, like every December for the last seventeen years, Art Basel in Miami Beach has showed up in the Convention Centre…

Inside you will find galleries that are either represented by big corporate sponsors, (main sponsor, or “partner” as they call it is UBS), or have paid thousands to appear for a week at the Miami Beach Convention Centre…

And what do they bring? Well supposedly the “best” of modern art. I will not put any of their images on my post. I am offended that such things are called “art”. If you want to either agree with me or disagree, please visit their website: artbasel.com/miami-beach/the-show

Art, in this day and age, is subject to the patronage of banks and other big corporate entities. Of course since these companies have made many rich, they need to create art so that the new rich can be like the old rich who own precious works of art. After all, if you are a “nouveau riche” you can own anything else that the established aristocracy can except that. So they create “artists” that half fill a glass of water and call it art and sell it for more than 20.000 Euros.

Or like an exhibit I saw a few years ago at Art Basel in Miami Beach, which consisted of an old wooden hanger with a woman’s silk blouse (yellow) hanging on it. This was one of the “artworks” that such a gallery brought to exhibit. The artist really didn’t need to work on this at all, I mean, she didn’t even paint the hanger, what for? It would sell for a few thousand regardless. Actually, when I looked around the gallery I saw that it was part of a series, each hanger with a blouse of a different colour. Of course, why make just one when in ten minutes you can have a dozen!

I do recommend going to Art Basel in Miami Beach. No, not for the “art work”, or for the Basel, no need to pay the exorbitant price they charge to go in…the years I went I was always given free tickets…because you can see all sorts of strange art all around the beach, mostly for free, like this. This thing is on the sand…occupying an area of the public domain…behind the luxurious and famous FAENA HOTEL on Collins Avenue…

But in truth, I recommend going to Miami Beach because at this time of the year, Miami has the best weather in the United States. The sun is always shining, sometimes like a star that’s about to take a dip in the Atlantic Ocean…

(Miami Beach, photo property of OCS Valencia)

The temperature drops to a very comfortable 17 degrees centigrade and you feel you are in a privileged location, a true paradise. I’ll show you some shots…

Yes, there is true beauty and real art all around Miami Beach. You can enjoy it simply by walking around. And the buildings, the nature, the landscapes, all took much more talent, much more planning and much more imagination and work than most of what you would see inside the Convention Centre while Art Basel Miami Beach is in town…

Sunsets creating a silhouette of the buildings in far away Downtown Miami, on the mainland. Yes, Miami Beach is an island, actually many islands and through them is the Intracoastal Waterway that goes all the way up towards north Florida.

I hope you understand my position regarding this type of “art” that I have mentioned. I, in no way judge the entirety of the art or the artists represented in Art Basel Miami Beach or anywhere. I reserve my right to have an opinion and to express it because I believe art is something that you have to learn, develop, craft and dedicate time to. That is how an artist develops talent. Talent is not something you are born with, otherwise it would be some kind of genetic condition. Talent is developed through work, experimentation, research and the use of your imagination, and you were born with that…

If you agree or disagree, let me know. I think we…all who love art…should be talking about it. We should be able to discuss, amicably and respectfully, anything and everything concerning the art world, be it the actual creative work or what goes on in museums, galleries and exhibits. So, please, if you liked this article, hit that like button, follow and share and by all means, give me your opinion.

THANKS!

INSTAGRAM: @Francisco_Bravo_Cabrera

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Miami Beach…What Can I say…

(Sailing on the Atlantic Ocean, Florida coast, photo by FBC)

Miami Beach, what can I say? Well…

I lived there for over thirty years. The best were the first fifteen, in many ways and for many personal reasons. The last few, not to say that they were bad, because I never regret anything I do, but they were not as good, for many personal reasons as well and because the city changed so much…towards what I would say negative progress…that I could not wait to leave.

Miami Beach, as I have previously written, was a great little city. During the 1950’s it was all gold and glitter. Frank Sinatra was singing at the Roney Palace, Jackie Gleason did The Honeymooners at the Miami Beach Theater of the Performing Arts, later renamed in his honour and most of the rich and famous partied there. Later, after the 1960’s it was virtually abandoned. Most of the great hotels, all oceanfront, became dilapidated, ugly, dirty and cheap and no one wanted to even pass by Ocean Drive. Then towards the end of the 1980’s the “Beach” resurfaced again and called itself “South Beach” and once again bars, restaurants and hotels began to pop up, the old Art Deco buildings began too look as good as they once were and the streets were once again filled with tourists and with those who wanted to live there and be a part of the history that was being done there at the time.

I was one of them…

I loved the galleries, the live music venues, the jazz clubs, the blues clubs, the rock clubs, the sushi bars, the Thai restaurants and everything else that suddenly made its way to South Beach that was not there before…

But it is not there anymore. When “South Beach” became “SoBe”, everything changed. No one could afford to have small businesses there or many to even live. The galleries all evaporated. The clubs and music venues, disappeared. In their place are now large dance clubs with electronic music. The small restaurants and bars, vanished in the haze. Now corporate America rules and runs the show with their Nike stores, and all of their symbols of affluence. No one else could afford Miami Beach, not even Crate & Barrel could afford the rents on Lincoln Road in Miami Beach.

Since everything I liked and admired about Miami Beach left, there was no other alternative for me than to leave as well…

But there are things that I do remember and that can never leave…

It is a shame, in many ways. Most of my previous Miami Beach friends have left as well. The ones that still live there complain that the City no longer cares about the permanent residents and is only concerned with the tourists and visitors. The City of Miami Beach is also quite interested in their best residents, the great hotels that line Ocean Drive, Collins Avenue and other areas. They city does not even allow Air BnB to operate and they will fine you $20,000 if they catch you renting your flat to a tourist! Hotels seem to be the only establishments to get the full attention of the city government, for in residential areas, right on Collins Avenue, construction has torn up the streets and for more than two and a half years, the city has not bothered to complete it. Why? There are no big hotels there so they want to pressure people to sell and leave so that hotels could be built there and the politicians could be happy…

But…I wonder what the Ocean actually thinks about all these atrocious aspects of progress…

In conclusion, the best and only imperishable and immutable aspects of the city of Miami Beach is the great Atlantic Ocean, the perfect climate and the bluest of skies…so glad the city’s politicians cannot change that, so I will keep those memories always…

All photographs are property of FBC and cannot be reproduced or copied without written permission. C.2019 (Derechos Reservados)

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THANKS!