The Perfect HEIST

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Yesterday marked the official start of Art Basel Miami, the all-out artfest dubbed “the most important art show in the United States“ (but also known for its faaaabulous parties). It all started thirty-eight years ago in Basel, Switzerland, an extravaganza drawing everyone who was anyone in the art world, plus tourists. Likewise, the Miami show features an exclusive international collection of more than 200 leading galleries and over 2,000 artists in North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia and Africa, and draws equal attention from millionaires, cultural elitists, and young, hip creatives from all corners of the globe.

Since Tuesday, Miami has shifted its trademark party fervor onto all things artsy. Everything is Basel’from the Art Deco District on the beach to the Design District on the mainland to the (most appropriately named) Wynwood Art District. The latter, situated at NW 2nd Avenue between 22nd and 23rd streets, is home to Art Miami, one of the most exciting younger shows happening during Basel; it’s where you want to be from December 5-9 if a diverse array of contemporary and modern work, photography and high-end design’all with a fresh twist’is your thing. And a great perk of Wynwood is that street parking actually exists.

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Absolutely not to miss is the show called Heist. The affair is threefold: part art gallery, part lounge and part retail space, and it’s set up in the sleek warehouse Charcoal Studios. The space is almost stereotypically chic, as are the smooth, mellow grooves that greet you at the door. Once inside, there’s an area to browse magazines and brochures and pick up a cocktail from one of myriad bars. (A buzz always ups our art appreciation factor). While you think up opinions to share later at dinner, take a spot on one of the ����ber-modern chairs and beds placed strategically within the space or hang out in the green, intimately-lit back garden (a safe haven for smokers).

OK, on to the actual art. It’s colorful, multimedia, a sort of globally focused Generation X amalgam. The roster: Madsteez, whose “Madsteez X Dennis Hopper“ pays homage to the iconic actor an artist, Motomichi Nakamura, whose inimitable combination of live video and animation has earned him a MoMA exhibit, music industry alum (and Grammy nominee) Jesse LeDoux, collage artist Greg LaMarche (the dynamic “Lying“ is not to be missed), minimalist master Matthew Waldman, satiric and esoteric painter Daryll Peirce, painter Chad Robertson, whose paintings depict human emotion (conscious and subconscious), pop artist Anthony Lister and graffiti artist, Bigfoot. All are generating quite the buzz, especially during the day as their pieces become peppered with pink “sold“ dots. And although there is drinking and mingling going on, there is never a line. Everything Heist is quirky-yet-tasteful and young-yet-sophisticated. That absolutely matters.image

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