The Jet Set – Miami Beach edition

It’s December. For weeks the talk has been of Miami Beach – not a mass-emigration of snowbirds, but rather the who’s-who of the art world will descend upon this turquoise town to feast their eyes.

I wish I could say that I am busily packing my toothbrush and sunscreen, but alas I must keep the home-fires burning. Instead, my boss Linel has the happy chore of flying south this winter.

Miami Beach isn’t all mai-tai’s and all-night disco’s; it is a nearly unfathomable experience, uniting artists, gallerists, collectors, curators and a myriad of other players for five days of buying, selling, wheeling, dealing, networking, and playing business card poker.

Many of the galleries you saw at Art Toronto will be in attendance, some as visitors and others as exhibitors.

“I’ll bring you back a tan!” He joked with me as he packed his briefcase full of newly-minted Art Toronto application packages and our 2010 Prospectus (check our website if you’d like to lay hands on your own copies of these!)

Of course the nature of these beasts is so ironic. The majority of the visitors to Miami Beach will, like Linel, fly in and out in time for the show only, skip the beach and head right to the show venues, and rather than innocuous conversation over margaritas and barbeque, serious shop-talk will dominate as dealers, collectors and show directors like Linel help others plan their 2010 budgets.

In 2009, with a solid base of devout galleries, we were very successful in selling our show — when you factor in the cost of booth rental, shipping works, and airfare and hotel for gallery employees, every decision to show outside the gallery must be carefully calculated. For our attendees it was an easy decision. (Maybe Linel should pack his swim-trunks after all…?)

Linel’s secret trick? No tricks, no secrets. Our show has held it’s own for ten years, each one more successful than the last. In Canada, we are the singular international contemporary art fair, literally the door to the Canadian art market. Shows like Art Toronto, like Art Basel Miami Beach – they are tremendously exciting places to be. Each event showing the alpha and omega of art for that year with a look to the next.

I am going to try and bring you updates about the goings-on at Art Basel Miami Beach via Linel!

While my boss is enjoying the sun and strange, I’ll be at home turning up the thermostat, eating a key lime pie, and most decidedly not being jealous.

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