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Happy Twenty, Art Puzzle Miami

Happy Twenty, Art Puzzle Miami

Since the show debuted in 2002, Miami has changed. Museums and the art scene popped up. The Miami Vice era is a thing of the past.

When 20 years ago, the organizers of Art Basel decided to go to Miami with their first branch in the USA, it caused amazement and a shake of heads. Because the city was a lot of things back then, but it’s definitely not an art hotspot. “Twenty years ago, South Florida was in the era of Miami Vice,” Mark Spiegler, the outgoing global director of Art Basel, said at the press conference. “The cultural ecosystem was much less developed than it is today,” he added. But even then, the gallery knew how to stage itself with pool parties, art right on the beach, and enough glitz and glam that it quickly became the winter meeting point for the international art scene. The author of these lines attended the debut of Art Basel in 2002 (and many more times over the past 20 years).

Much has changed since then. With the exhibition’s arrival, an art scene developed. New museums are on the Bayfront and in South Beach, an entire gallery scene developed in the Design District, and with the appeal of Art Basel, many other commercial galleries also settled in the Sunshine State at the same time.

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