Every year it seems the art of Art Basel becomes ever more eclipsed by parties, but what if the art were the party?
Such is the mission of Basel House, a one-stop shop for day-to-night action in the form of live mural painting, live music, good food, friends, and fun. Nestled in the heart of Wynwood’s graffiti-stained streets, the fledging fest returns for a third year, this Thursday through Sunday, to take over the old RC Cola factory and turn it into the center of all things street art.
“For a lot of people, that [old factory] symbolizes graffiti more than any other place in Miami,” longtime street art supporter and organizer Tony Albelo says. “Basel House, for me, is the epicenter of graffiti in South Florida.”
Albelo and his team at Swarm Inc. know there are myriad exhibits and shows to explore Basel weekend, but throughout the years, they never felt graffiti was getting its due. As Wynwood emerged as a world-class, open-air muralist capital, they saw an opportunity to celebrate the art of the people in a way that was as inclusive as it was exciting.
This year aims to be the biggest and baddest Basel House to date, with live concerts every night, including a special opening show from Miami’s Problem Kids and a closing-night concert from Fat Joe. The concerts are free, which means attendees can save their money to nom on offerings from the 50 food trucks that will be onsite.
But it’s not about the food and the music, although that stuff is pretty cool. Basel House is truly about the street art, of which there will be a dazzling array. Albelo and Swarm teamed with the Brooklyn-based Bushwick Collective to lure more than 50 of the globe’s finest street artists, representing Tokyo, Germany, Amsterdam, France, Brazil, and, of course, Miami itself.
Artists will paint live day in and day out, changing the face of Wynwood for another year. Take a night off of champagne sipping and save a few dollars. Leave the stuffy art deals to the celebrities, and hit the streets.