Art Basel: Behind the Scenes
With a number of our alumni participating in Art Basel Miami this past year, we decided to go straight to the source for a behind the scenes look at a few of the various aspects that go into the festival.
Scott Vincent Campbell, one of our first Resident Artists of 2016, is no stranger to Art Basel Miami. Having done art shipping and handling again this year, we asked him to give us some highlights on an aspect of Art Basel that often gets overlooked.
HOA: How would you summarize the experience at Art Basel from a shipping & handling perspective?
SVC: If I had to highlight anything, I think it would be the sheer amount of organized chaos it takes to mount these fairs. Shippers, art handlers, dealers, and countless others pull off minor miracles on a daily basis to put on what I believe is now up to 19 art fairs over the course of a single weekend.
SVC: As a small example, when my shipping company arrived to deliver at NADA, we learned that the freight elevator was broken. The fair and venue decided to cut a hole through a second story wall so they could forklift in any shipments that were too large or heavy to be carried.
SVC: Another thing that always strikes me about the fairs is how abruptly it all comes to a close. Less than 24 hours after the close of the fairs (which are only open for several days to begin with), the crowds are gone, signs have come down, tents are being dismantled, and thousands of trucks have been loaded up and are getting ready to head North on 95 out of Miami.
SVC: Doing logistics at these art fairs is best described as organized chaos. It’s hectic, it’s stressful, it’s challenging, but you get some great stories and meet even better people doing it.
Drew Merritt, one of our previous Resident Artists this past year, also was in Miami doing a collaborative mural with INSA. Having met in DC during another mural festival, they decided to take a different approach while in Miami, creating a GIF mural consisting of 12 frames. This resulted in having to paint and repaint the same frame 12 times over the course of 3 days.
You can see a video of the completed mural here.
Beau Stanton was also a participant of Wynwood Walls this year, a mural festival that brings street artists from across the world to create new works of art in the warehouse district of Wynwood. At roughly 9 x 14 feet, he completed his mural over the course of 4 days.
You can’t talk about Art Basel without highlighting at least one of the after parties. If you attended the Scope Art Show you may have recognized the artwork on the bar installation at the Gilt.com lounge, which Beau also created while he was there.