I came back from Miami last week, a town of approximately 5.5 million inhabitants.
Since 2000, it has entered a phase of intensive artistic construction. Art Basel Miami launched the trend in 2002. Over the last12 years, hundreds of galleries and entire neighbourhoods have adapted to this particular trend and are living the life of art.
Where does this art frenzy come from?
I saw it in Miami, Singapore, Shanghai and Tel Aviv. New museums are being built in the old world, the new world and everywhere. Innovative museums are nowadays emerging from ancient as well as newly developing countries. The amount invested in the world’s artistic infrastructures and projects could reach hundreds of millions (of dollars, francs, etc.). This general movement is led by globalization. More than a billion people travelled around the world for holidays and pleasure in 2013; representing a 5% increase in worldwide tourism, in spite of the financial crisis. The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) forecasts the same for 2014 and 2015.
So when a tourist travels to a place and he doesn’t go to a beach, not even Miami Beach, what’s it called? It’s “artistic tourism.” 😉
The art tourist visits museums, art galleries and new neighbourhoods, such as the very chic Miami Design District, north of the city. 18 blocks feature new boutiques, new fashion designer-lined streets (Louboutin, Dior, Hermès, etc.) and interior designers. Everything here is very cool, very beautiful and very luxurious. It’s hard to believe that these elegant streets were once ruled by gangs and poverty until 1990.
It’s the same scenario towards the south at the Wynwood Art District. This industrial area has become ultra-trendy and artistic. In late 2013 during a 6 day period, Art Basel Miami was held (taking place annually, in early December). 50,000 of the 70,000 Art Basel professionals and amateurs made their way to Wynwood, to admire murals and art galleries. Street art has become this district’s identity and signature. Wynwoodmap.com lists all the walls and graffiti that appear in this open-air art gallery.
Pretty soon when people go to Miami, it won’t be for the beach anymore but instead, for its art!