Art Base 2014 kicks off this week.

What You Should Know About Art Basel In 150 Words

Photo courtesy of Art Comments via Flickr.

Art Basel 2014, which kicked off in Basel, Switzerland in June, is running in Miami Beach from December 4-7. 

2014 marks the 45th year of the popular but sometimes controversial contemporary art show.

Here are 7 things you should know about Art Basel:

1. Founded in 1970, Art Basel has become the world’s premier contemporary art show

Photo courtesy of See-Ming Lee via Flickr. Untitled (THIS/DAM/MAD/SHIT), 2013 by Newell Harry.
Photo courtesy of See-Ming Lee via Flickr. Untitled (THIS/DAM/MAD/SHIT), 2013 by Newell Harry.

2. It’s held in Basel, Switzerland, as well as Miami and Hong Kong

Photos of Basel and Hong Kong courtesy of Wikipedia, Miami photo via Fotopedia.
Photos of Basel and Hong Kong courtesy of Wikipedia, Miami photo via Fotopedia.

3. The art exhibited at the 2013 Miami event alone was worth more than $3 billion

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.
Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

4. Most of the sales are completed during a two-day preview period for holders of an exclusive VIP pass

Photo of Art Basel VIP pass courtesy of Artnet.
Photo of Art Basel VIP pass courtesy of Artnet.

5. It’s sometimes criticized for for commodifying art, turning the art world into a hollow investment exercise.

Riot police broke up a party/protest that built an artificial favela, or slum, outside of Basel last year as a protest against the large sums of money spent:

6. However, the fair also draws large crowds. The Miami event had a record 75,000 visitors in 2013, and the Swiss fair boasts similar numbers

Photo courtesy of See-ming Lee via Flickr. “Log Lady & Dirty Bunny” by Marnie Weber, 2009.
Photo courtesy of See-ming Lee via Flickr. “Log Lady & Dirty Bunny” by Marnie Weber, 2009.

7. It hosted a GIF festival in 2012:

tumblr_md1uwxSB7q1rf089no1_500
“GARETH PUGH SPRING 2012” by GIFENCHY.

Art Basel 2014 ran from June 19-22 in Switzerland and December 4-7 in Miami.

This article was originally published on June 19, 201 4. 

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