Art Basel Miami 2023 Event Guide: Latino Artists, Perreo, and the Best Parties
Tun tun tun (pretend that’s a corneta noise). Art Basel in Miami is upon us! And we’re already gearing up for exhibitions spotlighting Latino artists, perreo-ready parties, galleries upon galleries, and a cocktail (or two).
As the Magic City continues its post-pandemic boom (update: high-rises keep going up faster than all that hierba mala on our childhood sidewalk), so do all the very cool happenings around town.
And of course, that includes this year’s much-anticipated Miami Art Week.
This year’s Art Basel event in Miami Beach’s Convention Center is officially set to run from Friday, December 8 through Sunday, December 10. However, this week’s events really start around five days before that.
Plus, while on the topic of art fairs, we also recommend hitting Design Miami, SCOPE, UNTITLED, NADA Miami, and Art Miami. Taking place across the city, you’ll slightly step away from the hubbub of Art Basel — and see some very cool art.
Whether you’re a 305 veteran, or just traveling to the city to catch all of the gallery events— and yes, a few clubstaurants — we’ve got you. Ahead, find our running list of some of the best events happening during Miami Art Week that you may not know about yet.
1. “Spaces of Influence: Shaping Community in the Modern World” by Faena Art
First up, you can’t miss Faena Art’s “Spaces of Influence: Shaping Community in the Modern World.” The public exhibition is across Faena Beach and Faena Cathedral in Miami Beach. Setting up shop on December 5 and staying put throughout Miami Art Week, we’re especially excited for Chilean artist Sebastian Errazuriz’s sand maze installation, “MAZE: Journey Through the Algorithmic Self.” Feel free to explore inside the epic labyrinth, which was designed using AI.
2. “Lucky Love” Exhibition by Bernardo Medina
Another fun event taking place during Art Basel week is Puerto Rican pop artist Bernardo “BeMe” Medina‘s exhibition. “Lucky Love” will be at the Museum of Contemporary Art of the Americas on December 5 at 6 p.m. You will surely be struck by Medina’s colorful art depicting flowers, coconuts, gorgeous abstract collages, and even plátanos. The best part, though? He will also present his new coffee table recipe book, “The Sofrito Manifesto,” a celebration of straight-from-abuelita Boricua cuisine.
3. Lladró Art Editions by Javier Calleja
Another can’t-miss event taking place during this year’s Miami Art Week is porcelain figurine company Lladró’s 70th birthday party. To celebrate the big day, the classic brand is teaming up with Spanish artist, Javier Calleja. He has partnered up with companies like Vans and Rolls Royce in the past. The invite-only event will take place on December 7 at 7 p.m. at Marquez Art Projects. The gallery was founded by John Marquez, a Miami-based collector who was raised in Venezuela.
4. Monkey Shoulder Whisky’s Disco Nap Pajama Party
A far cry from porcelain figurines, malt Scotch whisky brand Monkey Shoulder is hosting a disco-themed pajama party. Trust us, you will talk about it for years to come. The fête will take place at Centro in Wynwood on Friday, December 8, at 9 p.m., and will bring in Miami-based, Haitian DJ Louie Arson for all the sickest beats. As far as the brand’s past “Disco Nap” events are concerned, it seems like guests get silky orange PJs at the entrance, plus some feather boas. Sold!
5. Atwater Cocktail Club x Sweet Liberty
Another party we’re already thinking about is Montreal-based Atwater Cocktail Club’s pop-up event at Miami Bar Sweet Liberty on Wednesday, December 6 at 7 p.m. The bar will bring on Atwater Cocktail Club’s signature cocktails, and will even give us some Basel-y decor, playlists, and merch.
Even cooler, the Montreal bar’s Guatemalan-American co-founder, Roberto Porres — an artist focused on “doodle stories and landscapes” using liquid acrylic on paper — will make live art in front of party guests.
Porres, artist and founder of Groupe Barroco, gave mitú some insight about what to expect at the event. “I’ll be doing this method on some canvases — I’ll go off of what I am feeling at the event so it’ll be freestyle.”
He also said that the 305 will surely get his creativity flowing: “I’m excited to have fun that evening pulling inspiration from my time in Miami — spending time on the beach, the palm trees and surrounded by so much art.” Even more, there will be a raffle of his art at the end of the night.
6. The Art of Being Latin by NTERTAIN
Next up, NTERTAIN STUDIOS, the folks behind shows like “Los Montaner” and Netflix’s “La Firma,” is putting on an entire cultural experience on December 9 and 10 for Miami Art Week. The two-day event is all about showcasing Latino talent, bringing on talks by music titans like Tainy, Lex Borrero, and Sofia Reyes, plus “Blue Beetle” actor Xolo Maridueña, Puerto Rican filmmaker Angel Manuel Soto, and Miami street artist Ahol Sniffs Glue. There will also be music performances and Latino art exhibits.
7. Esaí Alfredo at Spinello Projects
Esaí Alfredo Figueroa Ruiz, an artist from Yabucoa, Puerto Rico, has teamed up with Spinello Projects gallery to present his first solo booth presentation at this year’s Art Basel. Look out for his beautiful, moody work exploring his hometown of Yabucoa, sci-fi, cinema, and more. His exhibition, ”Mundo Nocturno,” is part of Spinello Projects’ “GAY ERA” solo show collection, which spotlights artists who “embody the rich tapestry of queer experiences.”
8. UMiami’s Alián Martinez Rives at Wynwood Gallery
The University of Miami’s graduate Master of Fine Arts students are putting on a show at Wynwood Gallery during Miami Art Week. While several student artists will be featured, we are particularly struck by Sancti Spíritus, Cuba-born Alián Martínez Rives‘ work.
Martínez Rives blends art and technology to illustrate his life growing up in the Cuban diaspora. His project, “90 Miles of Dataspace,” uses images of the Straits of Florida “to define new poetics of space and experience,” and points to the distance between Cuba and the Florida coast.
9. Food Tours in Miami
Elevate your Miami experience with mouthwatering food tours that add flavor to your art-filled escapade. If you want to taste all the hidden gems the 305 offers, take advantage of Food Tours in Miami’s authentic, fun culinary tours throughout the city.
The company offers a convenient South Beach tour, taking you through all the must-see beach spots. Or journey to the heart of Cuba with their Little Havana food tour, where Calle Ocho’s gems await your taste buds. Why choose when you can savor both?
10. LVMH Culture House
French luxury conglomerate LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton (yes, fancy, fancy, fancy) will host their “Culture House” in Miami’s Design District from December 6 to December 10 from 10 AM to 6 PM. The LVMH Culture House will host daily panels and art exhibits showcasing artists of color, women, and individuals with disabilities. Come here to engage with the work of artists like Cruise Bogle, who is quadriplegic, Crystal Paris, a Black artist specializing in wearable creations, and more. Panels from LVMH execs from brands like Bulgari and Givenchy will surely be very thought-provoking, too.
11. Art With Me
While you’re appreciating all the art during, well, Miami Art Week, you might as well clock in some very-Miami partying, too. That’s where the upcoming music and cultural festival Art With Me comes in. Taking place from December 8 to 10, the three-day Tulum, Mexico export brings its iconic concept to Miami’s Historic Virginia Key Beach Park.
There, you’ll immerse yourself in the festival’s six pillars: “Art,” including major installations across the grounds, the sustainability-focused “Care,” yoga and meditation as part of “Breathe,” the family-friendly “Play,” the self-explanatory “Eat,” and of course, “Dance” — with major musical acts like Underworld and Polo & Pan.
12. ¡Que Flow! at Oasis Wynwood
While Art With Me seems more focused on electronic acts, you might be more interested in old-school perreo for your Basel party scene. Luckily, you’ll be in Miami — so of course, you’ve come to the right place.
We recommend trying out the expansive event venue Oasis Wynwood, which will host a reggaetón night on December 10. Starting early at 6 p.m. and spanning until midnight, their Basel week event, ¡Que Flow!, promises to make all your dembow wishes come true. We can’t wait for all the DJ sets, including Dominican-Bronx natives, Dos Flakos. Rakata, rakata.
13. Mario Ayala at David Kordansky Gallery
Okay, so back to the art. At this year’s Art Basel, David Kordansky Gallery is presenting artwork by Los Angeles native Mario Ayala. We’re very pumped. Inspired by growing up on the West Coast, muralism, tattoos, surrealism, pop culture, and the Latino and Brown experience, Ayala once wrote for Los Angeles Times: “A lot of my work is autobiographical, alludes to some of my family’s history.”
Speaking about drawing inspiration from his truck driver father, his Santería-practicing Cuban grandparents, and vintage lowriders, Ayala’s artistic vision is distinctly personal. And as he told W, he’s taking it all in: “It was only four years ago that I was painting in my basement.”
14. Elliot and Erick Jiménez’s “Reclining Mermaid”
If you’re in Miami this week, you should definitely stop by the gorgeous “Reclining Mermaid” installation. Created by identical twin Cuban-American painters, Elliot and Erick Jiménez, it’s a must. Born and raised in Miami, the Jiménez brothers are inspired by both Yoruba and Catholic traditions in their paintings. Also, they gave us Bad Bunny’s mesmerizing photoshoot for TIME magazine this year.
This time around, marking their first public installation, their “Reclining Mermaid” will lie across Miami Design District’s Moore Building until further notice. As the artists explained on Instagram, the installation is inspired by the Yoruba deity, Yemayá, a water spirit who is “a symbol of migration for many Caribbean immigrants.”
15. COVL at AMPERSAND STUDIOS
Another can’t-miss exhibit is Puerto Rican multidisciplinary artist COVL’s team-up with Miami’s Ampersand Studios. The creative space will exhibit COVL’s “Homesick” solo show at the studio’s Member’s Lounge from November 28 to December 1, so this is for all of you flying-in-early Basel attendees.
The Miami native’s rainbow-brite paintings are inspired by her Latino culture and upbringing. As well as “overcoming mental health stigmas” through color psychology. About bringing her “Homesick” show to Miami, COVL wrote on IG: “It’s where my journey began… This is my home. All these memories on display are rooted from my childhood.”
16. Patrick Martinez at Miami Art Week
Pasadena, California-born mixed-media artist Patrick Martinez, who is of Filipino, Mexican, and Native American heritage, is bringing his paintings, neon signage, and crucial socioeconomic commentary to two Miami exhibits this week.
For one, you can find Martinez’s work at Miami’s Rubell Museum starting December 4 as part of their “Singular Views: Los Angeles” exhibit highlighting 16 L.A. artists. Excitingly enough, you can get a glimpse of Mario Ayala’s work at the same exhibition, as well as other names like Diana Yesenia Alvarado, Nehemiah Cisneros, and Alfonso Gonzalez Jr.
However, if you can’t make it to the Rubell Museum, you can also find Martinez’s work at the “Gimme Shelter” exhibit at the Historic Hampton House from December 4 to January 22. The event seeks to become a “sacred space” for “Blacks and people of color despite the threats of violence in a segregated city.”
17. Runsy at Miami Art Week
Lastly, if you’re in Miami during this year’s Art Week, stop by the group show “Sole Perspectives.” The exhibition was curated by gallerist and entrepreneur Easy Otabor alongside Nike. lt brings together 20 artists. One of them being Mexican-American multidisciplinary artist, Esperanza Rosas.
Known as “Runsy” in the art and design world, Chicago-based Rosas is inspired by her heritage and pop culture to create gorgeous pencil-on-paper works that look painstakingly real. With collaborations with White Sox, Vans, Nike, and Ulta Beauty under her belt, Runsy is a force of nature. So, you should definitely catch this show!
“Sole Perspectives,” which celebrates Nike’s iconic Air Force 1 shoe, takes place on December 9 and 10 from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. at 3408 NW 7th Ave Miami, FL 33127.