Art Basel 2010 is over, and I can tell you it needs to be. The phenomenon had engulfed the city since Wednesday, and keeping up was exhausting. But rewarding and fun as hell, too. I’ve poked around the blogosphere and found equal parts cynicism (“Basel is a decadent corporate orgy.”) and hedonistic glee (“Basel is a decadent corporate orgy!”). To the former sentiment, there is no doubt Basel is an excuse to binge sip and dress as if one is the center of the universe while pretending to give a damn about art brought to you by AOL. But the fact is there was almost infinite inspiration contained within Miami over the last several days. From SEVEN to INK to NADA (come to think of it, all the capitalized shows were great) to Fountain, the smaller satellite fairs managed to breakdown my general disdain for contemporary art and get me excited about what creative folk are doing on earth right now.
Best of all, in my experience, was Wynwood on Saturday during the day. The weather was, as the dowagers in town might have said, divine, and the streets teemed with happy Miamians taking in the sight of graffiti artists giving their gallery district a beautiful makeover. A savory breeze of smoked chicken and ribs swept down NW 2nd Avenue and tempted pedestrians out of the galleries. People took photos of the bombers up on raised platforms, their shadows tossed against the walls they were painting by a gently warm sun. It was a special day in Miami’s homegrown art scene — as opposed to in the large (and largely boring) white tents of Midtown — and one that a lot of Miamians will cherish until next year, when the Art Basel madness recommences.