Scope Miami 2019

It took me a year to write about Scope Miami 2019. Nothing was preventing me from writing, but since I did nothing cool in 2020 (I think you know why), it feels good to reflect back on the fun I had last year.

The Scope contemporary art show in Miami Beach…

So what’s it like? A huge gallery of galleries on the beach in South Beach, Miami, filled with contemporary art from around the world. Like a museum on the beach. With a bar, and a dancefloor with a DJ. Some of the best art you’ll ever have a chance to see, and buy, and some of the most beautiful people on earth (that’s South Beach in general). Much of the art is similar to what you’ll see in magazines like High Fructose & Juxtapoz. It’s a candy-coated feast for the eyes.

Here’s the entrance, with the color-gradient yard art by Hot Tea:

Scope Entrance

The highlight of the show was by Asbury Park, New Jersey artist Porkchop, presented by  Jenn Hampton of Parlor Gallery:

Sculpture by Porkchop

Colorful money & a mirror ball in the party room. I don’t know the artist, but the gallery representing them was in C15.

Mirror Ball

Don’t sit on the King’s Tongue!

King tongue

Balloon Heads (I don’t remember the artist) on the beach.

Balloon heads

Metal & fur Moth. (I’ll add the artist and gallery when I figure that out). I liked this one quite a bit.

Moth

Teacup motorcycle helmet ladies by Lucio Carvalho were memorable. Gallery link.

Tea Cup Helmit

Laurina Paperina’s cartoon-based art was excellent & hilarious, and her parody of Maurizio Cattelan’s $120,000 duct-taped banana was funny as well:

I don’t have a photo here, but I liked artist Yuka Mitsui’s Japanese-style woodcuts of Eddie from Iron Maiden and Tim Conlon’s graffiti train car models that Roman Fine art had on display.

Here’s the full list of exhibitors and the virtual tour. There were other art fairs happening in Miami at the same time: notably Art Basel & Design Miami (which still happened in 2020 regardless of the pandemic).

Sunrise Miami Beach

South Beach Miami in 6 (or more) Images

December 5-8th, 2019, I visited Miami Beach for the Scope and Art Basel art fairs. I stayed at the El Paseo Hotel (clean, cozy, homey) on Española Way. I got breakfast from a local bakery, dinner from 5 Guys. When not at the art fairs, I enjoyed the beach and exploring the town. I recommend it, but definitely bring someone with you to enjoy it with.

Sunrise, Lummus Park.

Sunrise, palm trees, a big beach with coral & shells to beach comb, swimmable & crystal clear water: what more can you ask for? Miami Nice (yeah, I said it).

Sunrise

A Lifeguard Station

The lifeguard stations are a trademark of South Beach. They come in different shapes and sizes, but they’re all pink.

South Beach - Lifeguard Stand

Española Way

Where my hotel El Paseo is. Lots of restaurants & a gelato shop.

Espanola Way

Mannequins in the Surf Style window

There are a lot of souvenir & bathing suit shops in town.  The mannequins accurately reflect the local visitors of South Beach. Nearly everyone looks like a model — I felt like an ogre next to them (but also, I do not care).

Mannequins

man

Chicken advertising Chicken

Chicken

Ocean Drive Bars, Hotels & Restaurants at night

Each bar, hotel & restaurant in the Art Deco district was illuminated with a different color of light: orange, green, purple, blue, red — like a pack of colored crayons. The hum of celebrating people, dance music, and the roar of supercars filled the air.

Ocean Ave

And of course, there’s the Egg.

Not part of the photo set really, but this was the coffee/library room from the El Paseo hotel circa December 5th, 2019.

El Paseo coffee room

The Egg aka the Betsy Orb

“The Egg” aka the Betsy Orb is a sculpture of an ovoid egglike entity wedged between two buildings on Ocean Court in South Miami Beach, close to the intersection of Ocean & 14th Place. It’s named for the Betsy Hotel that it is wedged against.

Update: the Orb is actually a walkway between the buildings!

Miami egg

I last saw the Egg on December 7th, 2019. I was impressed, but somehow expected more.

Wynwood Graffiti Mural

Wynwood Miami Art Murals

Wynwood Walls is an outdoor museum located in the Wynwood section of Miami, Florida. It was created by Tony Goldman to transform and revitalize a once bleak warehouse district. The museum features a courtyard surrounded by buildings covered in colorful pop-art murals and an indoor museum/gift shop. The museum itself is impressive, but the neighborhood is mind-blowing.

The art seems to have spilled over the museum walls and flooded the entire neighborhood, as every building, street sign, and even giant industrial hopper/feeder silos have been covered with art.

I visited Wynwood Walls and the Wynwood neighborhood on December 8th, 2019, after spending 3 days in South Miami for the Scope and Art Basel art fairs. You might think I would be tired of art, but Scope & Basel only primed me for the Wynwood experience.

Exploring the Wynwood neighborhood was like being lost in an amazing city-sized maze museum. Every street I wandered down, every inch of the town was coated with eye-popping, technicolor art. It was an Alice in Wonderland-like experience.

If you’re in Miami for a few days, give yourself 2 or 3 hours and check it out. Bring a camera. Get some lunch. The tip I got was to get there early before the tourist buses start dropping people off — so I’ll pass that tip along to you.

Here’s a small sample of the murals you’ll find in the neighborhood:

Wynwood Graffiti Mural

Wynwood Graffiti Mural

Wynwood Graffiti Mural

Wynwood Graffiti Mural

Scrooge McDuck:

Wynwood Graffiti Mural

Not art, per se, but half a pink cow:

Wynwood Graffiti Mural

A red rocket hiding in a private parking lot:

Wynwood Rocket