Huffpost Latino Voices

Art Basel 2011: The Grandest Of Art Festivals

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By Enrique Oramas Vicario

My idyllic Miami once again gets back to its best as it transforms for the 10th time into the worldwide capital of the art world. From December 1 through 4, over 250 of the world's renowned galleries and their provocateurs -- Larry Gagosian, Thaddaeus Ropac, Marian Goodman, Sadie Colles, Elba Martinez, and more -- will vaunt the works of some 2,000 artists they represent.

The typical tourist in sandals and shades makes way for rabid art collectors, aficionados and voyeurs bent on acquiring the most prized pieces, or simply enjoying the cultural ambiance the Magic City has to offer.

In this latest edition of Art Basel, there will be some sure bets -- paintings, photography and some signature sculptured works -- and, to the detriment of conceptualism, more difficult to digest installations -- to simply give them a name -- that at times certain gallery owners push to appease their harshest critics, confusing the annual festival concept with that of a biennial.

I suspect that life-long collectors and proprietors will open their bulging checkbooks from Chinese banks to the former Soviet Union: Добро пожаловать Товарищи! Welcome, comrades!

Reading the list of exhibitors calls attention to the increased participation of Latin American galleries and less participation by Miami galleries.

Highly recommended within the framework of the festival is the Art Basel Conversations events (at the Miami Beach Convention Center auditorium), which promises a discussion with triumphant Mexican artist Gabriel Orozco on Thursday, Dec. 1 and Saturday, Dec. 3 at the "A Decade of Transformation," along with a constellation of mega collectors: Braman, De la Cruz, Margulies and Fontanal-Cisneros among them.

It won't be long now, so contain your enthusiasm and prepare for Art Basel Miami Beach 2011 -- the grand festival.

This was originally posted on AOL Latino.