CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Fitness goddess Tracy Anderson hosted one of her detox weeks in Miami last month, at Body & Soul in Coral Gables. Here we are at Prime One Twelve, re-toxing; I couldn’t be happier for locally based gallerist Anthony Spinello, who will participate in the Art Positions sector of this year’s Art Basel Miami Beach for the first time, with a solo show of works by Argentine artist Agustina Woodgate; with Nacho Figueras at the Destination Fashion event at Bal Harbour Shops; with Micky and Lin Arison of Carnival Corporation at the Destination Fashion event at Bal Harbour Shops

Art is positively transformative, in more ways than one. By now, it’s not news that urban revitalization seems to start with an art gallery opening or two. Buildings on gritty blocks renting (or—to the prescient among us—selling) at cheap per-square-foot prices means affordable space for studios. This lures artists, which invites a bit of foot traffic, and then, next thing you know The New York Times assigns some writer from Brooklyn to sniff out three quirky things to turn into a trend piece…. and voilà! The neighborhood wins a cool badge, which attracts fashion, which attracts just about everyone…. And here we are today.

That’s a tad simplified, but it’s much more romantic to think that Miami’s evolution—from luring the likes of Don Johnson and bikini-clad broads to now Damien Hirst and Eli Broad—all happened overnight. However, without the visionary minds who saw early real estate potential in the Design District (Craig Robins), Wynwood (the Goldman family), and Midtown (the Cayre family), the city might not have had enough of a local arts scene to capture Art Basel’s imagination in the first place, inspiring its first satellite show here 11 years ago.

The once-desolate mainland blocks west of Biscayne Boulevard are now where you’ll find the likes of Hermès and Louis Vuitton. What has happened in the Design District is nothing short of remarkable, and more parts of town are following suit. In downtown Miami, the 20,000-square-foot Dwntwn ArtHouse (the former Captain Harry’s Fishing Supply) is offering free or low rent to artists. Maybe we’ll have a Bergdorf Goodman on Biscayne Boulevard someday! Okay, now I’m dreaming.

This Art Basel Miami Beach, I’ll be running back and forth over the causeways, because the best exhibitions, parties, and even shopping will take place everywhere. I’m particularly excited to see Bill Viola’s video installations, in “Bill Viola: Liber Insularum” at MOCA; Anthony Spinello presenting “New Landscapes,” a solo exhibition by Agustina Woodgate, at Art Positions; and the Untitled art fair, held in a beachfront tent designed by former MAM Director Terence Riley. At night, you’ll find me at parties for Terry Richardson and Bruce Weber, then at André Saraiva’s Chez André, because I’ve heard he’ll have a live karaoke band. Beyond ABMB, there are myriad fabulous cultural happenings lined up this month, including The St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort gala on the 15th and the wonderful MISO performances on December 15 and 16—the subject of this issue’s “Hottest Ticket”—whetting our appetites for what Miami has to offer all season…. which, by the way, is only beginning.


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