Art Basel Miami 2018: Highlights

Between the plethora of art shows, exhibits and pop-up events around Art Basel Miami, it’s easy to be overwhelmed by the visual stimuli that takes over the city during Art Week. There were some distinct prevailing themes that dominated the latest event in December, such as feminism, LGBT and subversive clever takes on pretty much everything and everyone. I found that the greatest visual pleasures were off the beaten path.

Immersive Spaces

DOH HO SUH immersive 'breakfast corner' at Art Basel Miami

Several galleries and pop-up spaces created immersive, floor-to-ceiling installations, providing an engaging theatrical experience through the use of colour saturation, shape repetition and reinforcing lighting.


In her 'market' booth, selling art by the pound, Zhanna Kadyrova uses fun and interactive methods to expose the complexity of the value of art and its 'commodity' quality at Pulse Miami

Artist Tschabakaka Self turned this booth into a bodega at Art Basel Miami

From bodegas to a fruit stall and demountable house-turned-boxing-gym, these made for interesting storytelling in a cohesive context and use of material, composition and prints.


Ghost frequency climable bridge by Red Bull at Wynwood Miami

Kathryn Andrews Wheel of Fortune Cookie at Art Basel Miami

In an effort to engage onlookers and invite them into their world, multiple artists used kinetic or digital sensorial installations and objects in a variety of different ways, from a giant rainbow bridge that offered a breathtaking bird’s eye view of Miami’s art district with a 360 degree photo booth to a wheel of fortune.


Installation outside Design Miami by Pedro Reyes and Carla Fernandez

Larger-than-life pieces exploring blown up pieces has always been a tried and true part of Art Basel. This year, however, the pieces felt a bit more dainty and unexpected in the space.

Playful props and spaces

KAWS x Campana at Design Miami

Pope. L Party Room installation with 112 Irish rose bottles at Art Basel Miami

Tapping into nostalgia, fantasy and play, artists created pieces that engage our child within and evoke a sense of warmth and humour.

Cool craft props

Lucy Sparrow felt convenient store at Context Miami

A plethora of craft techniques was wonderfully explored, using a combination of recycled materials and incredibly detailed soft sculptures.

Type play


Eugenio Ampudia at Untitled Miami

Jack Pierson at Art Basel Miami

Typography was greatly explored in every way imaginable. I particularly enjoyed these pieces as they translate very well in store designs, pop-up and VM.

Subverted branding

Hermes paint can at Scope Miami

Jonathan Meese used Adidas as a canvas for his embroidery at Art Basel

Some artists took on luxury and covetable brands and gave them their own twist. They borrowed logos, branding and items to re-invent them meme style, and in funny disruptive ways.

Woven poetry

Faig Ahmed handmade woven carpet at Untitled Miami

Artists explored exquisite ways to reinvent tapestries: From distortions to assemblage, the result was breathtaking.

Soft versus hard

Bulgari and the Art Production Fund partnered to present a sculpture by Raul De Nieves at Faena Hotel Miami

The juxtaposition of soft materials layered over hard materials created beautifully balanced pieces that felt particularly strong and interesting.

Samar Younes recently vacated her role as global design director: brand visual experience at Coach to set up Samaritual Studios, an interdisciplinary design studio based in New York.

Instagram: Samaritual

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