Art Basel in Miami Beach has come a long way since its 2002 inception. Posed as a cultural meeting point in the art world between North and Latin America, the fair has always leveraged a diversity of work and exhibitors as part of its appeal. When Art Basel opened its doors in Miami Beach in the early 2000s, the city was in the process of rehabilitating its cultural image as an arts and leisure haven rather than the libidinal-fueled party life that defined its reputation across the 1980s and ’90s.
Although that nightlife is still present across Miami Beach, preserved, too, is the mile-long strip of prominent Art Deco architecture that defined the city in the 1930s. Against this backdrop, one feels like a time traveler chasing the ghosts of old Miami’s social scene, which drives so much of its culture today and reaches new heights annually during Miami Art Week.