Bienvenidos a Miami, capital of Latin America, where they party harder then a Cuban on Noche Buena for just about any reason you can think of, with one weekend in particular taking the thickly-frosted buttercream cake: Art Basel Miami Beach invades every December, bringing along with it the international art community and a jam-packed calendar of parties and events. Blending visual arts components with celebrated indie music talent, Art Basel’s best parties will feature installations from some of Latin America’s most exciting artists.
The official dates for Art Basel are December 3 – December 6, but there’s plenty of stuff going on for that entire week. In need of a little guidance? We’ve got your 2015 Art Basel event calendar sorted – no party chasing necessary.
Fuck Art, Let's Dance!
Photograph: James Holbrook
Let’s be honest, you’re not really in Miami for the art, and the people behind Fuck Art! Let’s Dance get that better than anyone. Their yearly Art Basel party is the least pretentious way to start off the weekend – after a live performance by Miami cosmic chronic band Psychic Mirrors, the Pickle will welcome Firehouse NY DJs Kim Ann Foxman and Justin Strauss.
Thursday, December 3, 12am at Electric Pickle, 2826 N Miami Ave.
Superfine! House of Art & Design presents Caja de Cultura
Superfine! House of Art & Design is exploding onto the Art Basel scene this year with some of the most exciting events of the weekend, including Caja de Cultura, a dedicated space for artists representing the Latin American diaspora. Featuring roundtables, live performances and a curated exhibition of visual art and design objects, participating artists include costume designer and visual artist Diego Montoya, Kevin Bermudez of Diosa Del Mar Indigenous Design, and multidisciplinary artist Okuda San Miguel.
December 2-6 at Superfine!, 8300 NE 2nd Ave.
Mana Contemporary with III Points
For the second year in a row, New Jersey collective Mana Contemporary will present a curated selection of Latin American artists at Art Basel, drawn from various high-profile collections, including those of Miami collector Jorge Perez and Latin American collection fund Tiroche deLeon. Known across Miami as the home of fledging festival III Points, Mana will present high-profile musical acts every night, including performances by Jamie xx, Four Tet, A$ap Rocky and Kaytranada. They promise to be some of the best concerts at Art Basel this year.
December 2-6 at Mana Wynwood, 318 NW 23rd St.
Hotdogs, Hamburgers, and Handguns
Apparently actor Adrien Brody is more than just a pretty face: a selection of his pop art paintings, curated by Spanish-American artist Domingo Zapata, will be on view in “Hot Dogs, Hamburgers, and Handguns” at fashion-meets-art gallery Lulu Laboratorium.
Wednesday, December 2 at 10pm at Lulu Laboratorium, 173 NW 23rd St.
Safe/Off with Diego Martinelli
Homegrown talent Diego Martinelli is used to making waves on the Miami music scene, as the co-founder of legendary dance club and SAFE collective resident DJ. Don’t miss Safe Off/Basel 2015 for your Friday late-night party plans, where Martinelli will play alongside The Black Madonna and Martyn for an unforgettable night-long dance party.
Friday, December 3 at 12am at Electric Pickle, 2826 N Miami Ave.
Mana Urban Arts Project x Bushwick Collective
Call it underground Art Basel. Curated by Joe Ficarola, who started this block party in Brooklyn while he was coping with his own darkness, this weekend-long block party will feature live painting from international graffiti artists such as Ghost, GIZ, Pixel Pancho, Case Maclaim, and Shok-1 in a former RC Cola Factory space. Hosted by Basel House and New York-based Bushwick Collective, this is the one of the only Art Basel parties where your finest threads won’t be needed.
December 3-6 at RC Cola factory, 550 NW 24th Street.
Chrome Hearts VIP party featuring Los Carpinteros
Glam-rock fashion brand Chrome Hearts will host a VIP party with collaborator Sean Kelly Gallery, who’s taking over the second floor of the brand’s Design District location and filling it with works by Havana-based collective Los Carpinteros. But most importantly, a special performance by cinematic alternative Latin music group Abstrakto will get you in the mood to dance.
Wednesday, December 2, 8-11pm at Chrome Hearts, 4025 NE 2nd Avenue.
CuCu Diamantes at El Tucán
Step out of the Basel crowd and straight into 1950s Havana for a Tropicana-style affair at El Tucán, Miami’s newest live music venue, where Grammy-nominated Cuban singer CuCu Diamantes will perform alongside an 11-piece orchestra led by Cuban virtuoso Alain Perez.
Nightly December 3-5, with two showings at 9pm and 11pm at El Tucán, 1111 SW 1st Ave.
Mister Lee's Shangri-La at Soho Beach House
Close out the weekend and unleash the chonga in you in an exotic dance club housed inside a greenhouse. Soho Beach House will be transformed by abstract painter and installation artist Lisa Solberg, who scoured Miami strip clubs for the rawest, fiercest women she could find to dance among her tropical plants and gold-mirrored sets.
Saturday, December 5 at Soho Beach House, 4385 Collins Ave.
The Faena Forum
Faena Hotel Miami Beach, currently under construction.
Alan Faena practically invented the idea of selling real estate via contemporary art spaces, and he’ll christen his new condo-hotel on Collins Avenue with a series of events throughout the weekend. Expect a roller-disco rink almost directly on the beach, and a “theater curtain” installation called “A Site To Behold” by Spanish artist Almudena Lober.
December 2-6 at Faena Forum, 3201 Collins Ave.
The Material Art Fair Party
Material Art Fair is a relative newcomer to the Mexican art scene – but it’s quickly growing. Now in its third edition, Material is the only art fair in Mexico focused on young, experimental galleries, and it has established itself as the cool kid art scene. Material will be partying at Art Basel this year with help from Mexico City-based electronic label N.A.A.F.I.
December 1 from 8pm-1am at Basement Bowl at the Miami Beach EDITION. 2901 Collins Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33140
Grisi Skinis, the Art Basel Edition
If you’re looking to party and dance with the locals during Art Basel without the bullshit RSVP lists or attitude, get ‘grisi’ and let loose at South Beach’s hidden gem, Clandestino Pub mezcalería. Our PERREO NYC resident DJ Riobamba will be making her 305 debut, joined by Miami’s own Chato and DJ Lechuga. Expect tropical booty bangers, Latin bass, and reggaeton deep cuts – and no cover.
December 4 at Clandestino Pub, 758 Washington Ave, Miami Beach, Florida 33139.
Ponzoña at FU Gallery
Mexican fine and graffiti artist CILER has been making waves in D.F., and he’ll be exhibiting a solo show at FU Gallery, Little Haiti’s self-proclaimed ‘Galeria de Barrio’. Ciler’s dark work critiques societal dysfunction through collages, paintings, drawings and installation work that are filled with death, drama and violence.