An Insider's Hot-Ticket Guide to Art Basel in Miami Beach

Art Basel Miami_ - Getty - H 2019
Patrick McMullan/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

UTA’s Fine Arts creative director Arthur Lewis, a longtime attendee of the international art fair — where the scene will include a LeBron retail opening — reveals his tips and must-see exhibits.

Art Basel Miami Beach, which runs Dec. 5-8 at the Miami Beach Convention Center, is one of the most dizzying art confabs to navigate, with dozens of satellite fairs, fashion events, private dinners and museum soirees happening around it. This year's must-score off-site tickets include the Dior Men's pre-fall 2020 fashion show Dec. 3; the grand opening of LeBron James' retail flagship Unknwn on Dec. 4 with art installations and a photo studio; and The Surf Lodge pop-up at the W South Beach, which includes a Dec. 5 dinner with ARTnews, hosted by Swizz Beatz and art adviser Lisa Schiff, who counts Leonardo DiCaprio as a client. Get behind the velvet ropes at the second annual Faena Festival Dec. 2-8 at their The Last Supper showcase of spirituality and food; Tulum's Gitano will also land at Casa Faena Dec. 4 with a private dinner followed by disco and hanging gardens by Manscapers; Snapchat will team up with Gucci for a private party and screening of Duck Duck, a short film by Harmony Korine Dec. 4 at The Melin Building; for the fifth year Gagosian and Jeffrey Deitch co-present The Extreme Present in the Miami Design District feature works by both emerging and established artists, from Theresa Chromati and Sayre Gomez to Damien Hirst and Ed Ruscha, with an opening reception Dec. 3. Here's how UTA Fine Arts creative director Arthur Lewis plans to navigate this year's fair, which includes 269 galleries and a new Meridians sector featuring more than 30 large-scale installations and performances.

What are you most excited to see in Miami?

Art Basel Miami Beach is one of my favorite art fairs. I'm excited to view the works of the Rubell Family Collection's artist-in-residence Amoako Boafo and attend the Pérez Art Museum Miami's Dec. 5 event featuring singer Jamila Woods. I also look forward to viewing [satellite nonprofit fair] NADA and being exposed to new artists. Taking the time to discover new artists and galleries that you don't already have a relationship with or haven't discovered is what makes Art Basel great.

What else is on your itinerary?

I wouldn't miss the Dec. 6 Little Haiti Cultural Center's event, "The Visual Life of Social Affliction," featuring artist Florine Démosthène, and the Dec. 4 Aperture Foundation "Black Is Beautiful" event [a discussion on issues of race and sexuality] at Soho House.

What do you enjoy the most about going?

Seeing artists who are constantly evolving their practice is something that resonates with me the most. It's amazing to see how they present new ideas, especially in such a unique environment.

Interview edited for length and clarity.

This story first appeared in the Nov. 25 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.