Plugged in to the "matrix" at work, reading my auto-emailed Daily Om (an inspirational thought for the day kind of email) I realized it was ironically about being in awe of beauty. It was ironic because I was just logging off to go meet friends at this year's Art Basel events in Miami.
It said: "Beauty speaks to us in soft whispers or bold declarations. She calls on us to gaze in awe at her splendor. We are enticed by beauty. We adore her, idolize her, and even court her. Beauty seduces all of our senses. We find beauty in the wonders of nature. Beauty offers us a symphony of colors with every sunrise and sunset and reveals to us her brash power through a storm at sea. Beauty can be cruel, and our pursuit of her can be in vain. We may go to the opera in anticipation of finding beauty there, and she may bore and disappoint us. Beauty will forever inspire works of art, and she will always pose for her portrait, selecting the artist who is most worthy of her catching her likeness." Daily Om http://www.dailyom.com/
As I walked through the halls of Art Miami, mouth open, heart and soul pumping, feeling alive I found myself surrounded by hundreds of amazing, larger than life art pieces, photography, sculpture, etc. I looked around and realized all these fine people are here in Miami from all over the world because like me, they are addicted to the high that art gives you, that they are in "awe of beauty". Just like the email, Art Basel is all about bringing beauty into our world, not by noticing mother nature's sunset but enjoying man's manipulated photograph of that same sunset, replicated, frozen in time for all to enjoy, snap more photos of and even maybe buy (if you can afford it). It was such a "wow" moment to realize I was surrounded by people that have come to be fed by the fantastical images that have come out of some genius moment an artist somewhere picked up from the universal vibrations floating around in other dimensions the rest of us cannot see. In a way the art we see are windows to other dimensions that on some level our spirit needs to see and it feeds that same spirit and calms it in making it aware and confirming again that this mundane life we lead is NOT all there is!
I bought my condo (pre-construction) at the Midtown project for that reason. To be in walking distance of the Design District when Art Basel comes. Each year never ceases to amaze and each time it evolves into a bigger animal, drawing thousands more. All for the sake of sipping the absinthe-high of manmade beauty made solely for beauty's sake. This year Midtown seems to have evolved into an extension of the Design District and hosts enough art to satisfy the most hard core art-addicts out there. There's even an indoor skate park (human art in action) where the Ocean Drive studio will be. The usually desolate streets are now teeming with people walking and talking, just like the developers dreamed it would. It has become a little SOHO down in the tropics, Miami-style baby. I like to call it "MoHo" like "Mojo", the Cuban all-spice with NY attitude mixed in for good measure.
Out of all the tents, the SCOPE miami is the edgiest with the most up and coming artists represented (I spoke to one of the gallery rep's that brought about it's birth). The Art Miami tent exposes more established talent and is just as wonderful. Oh and don't you dare miss the back of the SCOPE tent where the Friends With You genius' http://www.friendswithyou.com/ (Cubans homies representin') have created an adult wonderland with bounce house and a candy colored live DJ to match the walls. Another favorite discovery at Photo Miami was the work of young artist from Paris, Pascal Loubet- very sexy Desperate Living photo series of men inspired by the TV show Desperate Housewives. http://ewgalerie.com/about/Artists/Loubet/Loubet.html
My best advice is to talk to the Gallery reps in the day about the pieces you like. They are all so passionate about their artists that they invariably enrichen your experience by giving back stories of the pieces and how they came to be. **Bonus tip, if you like some pieces, snap a picture with your cell phone camera or digi-cam and enjoy the art any day of the year as your wallpaper or home screen image on your phones. I changed my Blackberry's home image to a naked picture of Naomi Campbell surrounded by bananas and apples- FOR FREE- how cool is that?
Another place you have to experience is the Aqua hotel on 1530 collins, South Beach. A boutique hotel with some amazing hand picked galleries in each of the rooms. If your lucky, you might get to catch the hairy bear guy with a black tanga (his balls were showing) hanging above the hot tub while a tub of honey was poured all over his face and back. It was refreshing and cute to see that. Don't you dare miss the anti-hero series of Stephen Hopwood-Lewis at the http://trustthepublic.com/ room (first one on the left)-Simply Amazing! The Chinese art in the last room on the 2nd floor-doubly Ammazing!
Now get your arse up from your computer, call in sick from work and go feed on the BEAUTY and feel why right here, right now, Miami is the best place in the world to be!