The 13th annual Art Basel has just taken place in Miami. In recent years the event has become an increasingly important date in the international art scene calendar. It was estimated that some 75,000 people decamped to the glamorous Atlantic coast city to enjoy the art on show, contributing $13m to the local economy.
Art Basel is well known for drawing some of the hottest names in street and urban art as well as a great number of VIP guest. This year saw Kim and Kanye in attendance as well as the ever twerking pop starlet Miley Cyrus. Also attending the event this was artrepublic favourite Ryan Callanan aka RYCA, who took the transatlantic trip to exhibit his work. Callanan spread some of his acid house inspired happiness when he painted the wall of a local school with a signature rave smiley and love heart, complete with a fittingly sentimental caption. Callanan has had a very busy 2014, back in October his ambitious dual venue show ‘8 Forever’ open in our sister galleries Lawrence Alkin Gallery and Ink_d.
The Wynwood Walls projects are one of the biggest draws of Art Basel and is where the real heavyweights of street art and graffiti can be found carefully plying their trade with “do not disturb the artist” signs taped to their backs. The project was the brainchild of the renowned community revitaliser the late Tony Goldman. Goldman had a single clear idea: “Wynwood’s large stock of warehouse buildings, all with no windows, would be my giant canvases to bring them the greatest street art ever seen in once place”. The venture has transformed the area from a site of social deprivation to a colourful and sprawling hub of creative. The Wynwood area now boasts over 90 galleries and draws the big league street artists with people like Obey/Shepard Fairey, Faile & Bast, Ron English and Retna all painting nearby walls.