Art Basel 2015: Ultimate guide to music, fairs and parties

By Phillip Valys, Barbara Corbellini Duarte and Talia J. Medina


Last year at about this time, we were stuck on the Julia Tuttle Causeway, bearing witness as scores of anti-police-brutality protestors marched down the center of the highway. Traffic stayed clogged for two hours as demonstrators trekked into Wynwood, wearing Guy Fawkes masks and holding picket signs scrawled with the phrase, “I can’t breathe.” This is all to suggest that any pilgrimage to Art Basel this year will bring plenty of unpredictability, from the maze of traffic to the countless air-conditioned white tents.

Here’s our survival guide to Art Basel week 2015, including the best parties, music, new satellite fairs and pop-ups (Art Basel-only events) worth your attention. We’ll even show you where to park.



Miami Street Photography Festival

Dec. 3-6. History Miami Museum, 101 W. Flagler St., Miami. Exhibit, panel discussions and talks are free. Workshops cost $175-$2,000. Portfolio reviews cost $120-$300.

About 2,200 street photographers from across the world submitted photos to participate in the Miami Street Photography Festival. A panel of judges selected the best 94 images, which will be in exhibit at History Miami Museum Dec. 3-6. The festival also features workshops, talks and portfolio reviews by prominent photographers, including Peter Turnley, who’s photographed the Gulf War and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Basel House and Bushwick Collective Block Party

Dec. 3-6. Mana Urban Arts Project, 594 NW 23rd St., Miami. Free.

Wynwood, also known as the Miami Arts District, has turned into a mecca of street art in recent years, and Basel House celebrates that. The block party will feature live street performances every day, with artists painting walls, cars, canvases and other objects. There will also be food trucks and free concerts.


10 a.m.-4 p.m. Dec. 2, and 2-8 p.m. Dec. 3. Kyriakides Plaza at Miami Dade College Wolfson Campus, 300 NE Second Ave., Miami. Free.

Making South Floridians understand that climate change and sea level rise is a real threat can be a challenge, but this art installation will attempt to do just that. The piece is an elevator-size aquarium in which performers will be doing mundane tasks, such as reading a paper, selling fruit or tuning a guitar. As the water rises inside the aquarium, performers will keep trying to do their tasks while swimming to the top to get some air. The audience can hear the sounds from inside the aquarium through headphones connected to the tank.

“Stop Telling Women To Smile”

Dec. 1-Feb. 28. Butter Gallery, 2930 NW Seventh Ave., Miami. Free. 305-303-6254 or

Tatyana Fazlalizadeh has gained international attention for her art series “Stop Telling Women To Smile,” in which she spotlights harassment of women by spreading posters on the streets of big cities. Her posters show faces of women and text representing what they would say to a harasser. The faces on the posters are of real women whom Fazlalizadeh interviews and photographs. Fazlalizadeh will be at Butter Gallery on Dec. 1 for a kickoff party with live music. Her works, including oil paintings and posters, will be on exhibit until Feb. 28. She’ll also be putting up posters across Miami throughout Art Basel week.


Art on Paper Miami

Dec. 1-6 at Deauville Beach Resort, 6701 Collins Ave., Miami Beach. $25-$60.

This new fair, operated by the same folks behind Miami Project and the new Satellite, features 55 galleries presenting paper-based art. On our radar is New York’s Allouche Gallery, showing comic-book-themed silk-screens by the Brooklyn duo Faile, and Miami’s Art Vitam gallery, presenting Jadikan’s “142 Secondes,” a sculpture of the word “everyday” written with bent aluminum rods wrapped in paper.

Superfine! House of Art and Design

Dec. 3-6 at the Citadel, 8300 NE Second Ave., Miami. $10-$15. Superfine.Design

The 3,000-square-foot chandelier installation “Ascend With You,” by Little Haiti costume designer Diego Montoya, is the glitzy centerpiece of Superfine!, which takes over the massive Citadel workspace. A strong nightly music bill may overshadow the art, with performances from Chris Baio of Vampire Weekend and Millionyoung and Afrobeta, both of Miami.

Satellite Miami Beach

Dec. 1-6 at the Garage, 6625 Indian Creek Drive; the Deauville, 6701 Beach Resort; North Beach Bandshell, 7275 Collins Ave.; Ocean Terrace Hotel, 7410 Ocean Terrace; and the Pharmacy, 7430 Collins Ave. Free.

Russian punk-rock provocateurs Pussy Riot are the high-profile collaborators on a performance-art project titled “Recycling Religion,” one of the main attractions of the new Satellite fair, which takes over four North Miami storefronts near Collins Avenue. Details are scarce, but we know the project will comment on Eastern European communist religions. Satellite, like Superfine, also boasts a strong music lineup, a 34-act bill headlined by Wu-Tang rapper Ghostface Killah.

X Contemporary

Noon-9 p.m. Dec. 3-6 between 240 and 252 NW 25th Street, Miami. $20-$25.

Some 30 exhibitors, including Boca Raton’s Vertu Fine Art and Miami’s Robert Fontaine Gallery, will fill a handful of Wynwood warehouses. Highlights include the Castle Fitzjohns Gallery-curated “Keith Haring: Pop Shop” and a showcase of handmade postcard collages by late painter Jean-Michel Basquiat.


Superfine concert series

7 p.m. Dec. 2-5 at the Citadel, 8300 NE Second Ave., Miami, $25 per concert. Superfine.Design/Tickets.

Vampire Weekend bassist Chris Baio doesn’t care much for your Oxford comma, but he is fond of A Very Superfine! Kickoff Party, where he’ll perform Dec. 2 with YouTube star Lauv. On Dec. 3, Las Vegas singer Shamir Bailey (“On the Regular”) will bring his futuristic dance-pop with Aeroplane, the pseudonym of Belgian nu disco DJ Vito de Luca. An all-Miami battery of electronicamakers Afrobeta, Millionyoung and Bedside will follow on Dec. 4. Los Angeles’ Jeffrey Paradise (of Poolside), the U.K.’s Gilligan Moss and Miami’s Krisp will close it out on Dec. 5.

Art Basel week at Bardot

10 p.m. Dec. 1, Dec. 3-4 at Bardot, 3456 N. Miami Ave., Miami. $20. 305-576-5570 or

Connan Mockasin, in the running for strangest New Zealand act since Flight of the Conchords, will deliver his barrage of high-pitched psychedelic pop on Dec. 4. On Dec. 5, DJ Avey Tare of Animal Collective (the terrific “My Girls”) will spin with Miami’s Uche.

III Points Art Basel concert series

9 p.m. Dec. 4-5 at 318 NW 23rd St., Miami. $25-$400.

On Dec. 4, British DJ Jamie XX, of the London indie-pop trio the XX, will spin alongside electronica collaborator Four Tet, aka Kieran Hebden. On Dec. 5, rapper A$AP Rocky will promote his new album, “A.L.L.A.,” with Kaytranada, a Haitian-Canadian producer of up-tempo neo-soul.

Slick Rick

10 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 5 at Blackbird Ordinary, 729 SW First Ave., Miami. Free. 305-671-3307 or

The British bard of hip-hop, born Ricky Walters 50 years ago, still considers himself a rap storyteller, and will no doubt come armed with anecdotes, gold-chain necklaces, a black eye patch and plenty of old-school classics (“Children’s Story,” “La Di Da Di”).


Dave 1 at Bardot

3456 N Miami Ave, Miami. $20. 305-576-5570 or

David “Dave 1” Macklovitch, half of the electro-funk duo Chromeo, will return to Bardot for the weekly Slap and Tickle Tuesday party, this one an Art Basel edition, at 10 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 1. The Canadian producer has been mixing since the 1990s and will bring surprise guests to the party. Slap residents Pirate Stereo and Santiago Caballero will also spin.

Wall Miami

2201 Collins Ave, Miami Beach. Tickets cost $70-$80. Door price to be announced. 305-938-3130 or

The ultra-chic Wall Lounge at the W South Beach will host parties all week during Art Basel, starting Tuesday, Dec. 1 with Favela Beach hosted by Los Angeles-based street artist Mr. Brainwash, and music by Juskke of New York, Miami favorite Ruen, and Reid Waters, who also lives in Miami and spins dancehall. Wednesday’s event will include performances by headliner Behrouz, along with Damian Lazarus. Paris Hilton will hit the decks on Friday, Dec. 4 alongside Miami DJ Mr. Mauricio. Sunday will offer a grand finale party. Last year, celebrities such as Rick Ross, Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire, Zoe Kravitz and Joe Jonas were spotted dancing at Wall. For tickets and reservations, email

Be prepared

Use the Pay-by-Phone app: For painless metered parking, go to or download the Miami Parking Authority’s Pay by Phone app for Android, Blackberry and iPhone. Once you park, launch the app, punch in the location number and duration, and you’re done.

Know where to drive and park: The Venetian Causeway has been closed off for a $12 million upgrade, so as an alternate, take the MacArthur or Tuttle causeways to the beach. Exiting into Wynwood or the Design District? Avoid the North Miami Avenue exit from I-395, often crushed with traffic at rush hour or anytime between 6 p.m. and midnight. We also spotted free street parking in the neighborhoods between Northwest 36th and Northwest 29th streets and between North Miami Avenue and I-95.

Pack supplies: You’re not camping, but bring rations. Obvious: Bottled water, bananas and trail mix. Not so obvious: a portable power bank for your smartphone, a plastic bag for garbage.

Know what’s free (and what isn’t): Art Basel Miami Beach is not ($30-$100), and most rooftop parties require a VIP stamp. These satellite fairs are free: Ink Miami (1850 Collins Ave., Miami); Spectrum Miami (1700 NE 2nd Ave., Miami, Thursday and Friday only); Miami River Art Fair (400 SE Second Ave., Miami, print passes via; Prizm Art Fair (100 NE First St., Miami); Pulse (4601 Collins Ave., Miami Beach, free Dec. 5 for Miami-Dade residents only) and Satellite (between 73rd and 75th streets, Miami Beach). Admission to Perez Art Museum Miami (1103 Biscayne Blvd., Miami) is free through Dec. 6 with a Lego toy donation.

Use public transportation: A few incentives for ditching the car: Miami Beach will offer a free trolley linking the Miami Beach Convention Center to satellite hubs in Wynwood, the Design District and other points. First-time Uber users can go to for $20 off your ride. The Metromover, which loops around downtown Miami and to the airport, is also free.

Eat free ice cream: We can’t survive without it, and neither should you. Spencer Finch’s ice-cream truck will roll into the Hyde Midtown Suites and Residences (3401 NE First Ave., Miami) parking lot 5-10 p.m. Dec. 1 and 1-8 p.m. Dec. 2-5 with free cones of vanilla soft-serve. How is ice cream artistic? Finch describes the ice cream’s colors — light orange, cotton-candy blue — as “inspired by the painting of a sunset.” OK, we’ll accept that.

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