FORBES: ART BASEL MIAMI BEACH 2015 – 6 ETIQUETTE TIPS FOR ATTENDING AN ART FAIR

Nel-Olivia Waga FORBES Art Basel

http://www.forbes.com/sites/neloliviawaga/2015/12/02/art-basel-miami-beach-2015-6-etiquette-tips-for-attending-an-art-fair/

It’s this time of the year again, where the world’s art elite, trend setters and millionaires gather in the sunny Miami Beach. When the private jet terminal at the Miami Airport and yacht harbors are experiencing their busiest time of the year, all top restaurants and luxury hotels are fully booked, you know it’s Art Basel time in Miami Beach. Without doubt, this week, Miami is the hot place to be.

For its 14th iteration in Miami Beach, the Swiss art fair brings together 267 galleries from 32 countries. Hosted at the Miami Beach Convention Center, the show officially runs from December 3rd through December 6th 2015. December 2nd and the morning of December 3rd are preview days, exclusively open to art collectors and VIPs, by invitation only.

The fair is as much a buzzing social occasion as being the world’s most exclusive art exhibition. Brands are throwing glitzy parties with an artsy flare for their most valued customers on and off the fair. This week, Miami Beach is a great platform for doing business, entertaining clients, and extending one’s network.

As we all know, the art world is just a world of its own. Art itself is something that you shouldn’t try to understand. It’s a passion. You should either feel and like it – or not. But there are a few things that are good to know about the etiquette, when attending an art fair, like Art Basel – especially when it’s in the company of your clients, business partners or friends, who are collectors or experts. Ultimately, it’s all about paying respect to the art.

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Photo Credit: Art Basel

 

#1 Less is more

While a lot of artists are bohemian by nature, remember: you are not an artist and should dress classy and in accordance with the occasion. That means: no shorts and no extraordinary colorful outfits, no fancy accessories. Let the art be the highlight of the show and not you. Remember, it’s an art fair – not a catwalk.

#2 Sunglasses

Another big no-go is: wearing sunglasses inside the hall. It’s an offense to the artist, when you look at his art through sunglasses. You might not be able to see the true colors of a painting or its fine finishing.

#3 High-heels

There are different opinions about attending an art fair on high-heels. A glamorous lady can have even more grace, when showing-up in beautiful flats than in extreme heels. As simple as it is: would you be able to walk the huge fair, a whole day, in high-heels? I wouldn’t. The pain isn’t worth it.

#4 Don’t touch the art

(” unless you can afford to pay for its damages). You might not be able to imagine, but there are artists working on their installations for months and years, putting all their effort and creativity in the art piece. A little touch could ruin the whole construct. Make sure you stay away from touching it or stepping on it.

#5 “My kid could do that!”

Saying this to an artist or an art collector could offend the person, who actually has genuine appreciation for the piece. You should never comment or judge an art piece, if you’ve got no idea about art. Debating about a price of an art work is as useless as the comment about your kid. If no one asks you for your opinion, the best advice is: to say nothing.

#6 Entering a booth

When entering a booth, be aware of the fact, that it’s a gallery exhibiting in this booth and not the artist himself. Don’t ask the art dealer, whether he is the artist. He is not. If not interested in experiencing or buying an art piece, avoid “hanging out” at the booth space, taking selfies or having conversations, that are not related to art. Otherwise you are simply stealing the gallerist’s time and space.

“The artist must create a spark, before he can make a fire and before art is born, the artist must be ready to be consumed by the fire of his own creation.” (Auguste Rodin)

Photo Credit: Mitchell-Innes & Nash, Eddie Martinez (Gallery & Artist)

Photo Credit: Mitchell-Innes & Nash, Eddie Martinez (Gallery & Artist)