I feel that there is nothing more truly artistic than to love people.”
— Vincent Van Gogh
Any visit to Miami evokes a nostalgic flow of my emotions these days. During a difficult, thirteen year tenure of teaching disadvantaged, middle school students in inner city schools, there, from 1982-1995, I often lacked awareness of how stimulating this unconventionally modern city really was. Yet in my infrequent visits to downtown, now, I see both sides of the extremes of human condition. Witness now the stark contrast of glittering skyscrapers and luxurious mansions overlooking pristine, Biscayne Bay with the heart-wrenching poverty of Overtown and Liberty City further inland.
Miami also casts another flair for the extreme as winter-weary tourists and freedom-seeking immigrants flock to this magic land of subtropical fantasy to experience the good life of the “American Dream.” One would not be surprised to know then that the internationally renowned, Art Basel Exhibition would find an ideal home for its eclectic collection of bold, modern art here. Since its Miami inaugural in 2002, Art Basel now showcases over 200 of the world’s leading international modern and contemporary art galleries with eclectic artworks by over 4,000 artists, including paintings, sculptures, as well as installations of photography, film, video, and digital art.
Recently, my wife and I fortunately obtained free tickets to two, major exhibitions at Art Basel: “Context” and “Art Miami” in early December, thereby avoiding the normally the steep rate of $50.00 for daily admission. Our mid-morning arrival at the fair that day would allow us to saunter freely amidst the relatively uncongested aisles at our leisure. Having no desire to purchase art pieces that exceeded our income, we quietly reveled in the multifaceted spirit of “Embrace Love in Life” that pervaded this year’s collection. Several art pieces “caught my eye” to exemplify my own perceptions of this underlying theme..
1. Find Empathy For Oppressed Condition
2. Appreciate the Friendship Of Animal Life
3. Find Serenity Of Inner Peace
4. Arouse One’s Sensory Addiction Of Food
5.Embrace Political Differences
6. Feel Groove For Oldies Music
7. Be Curious To Travel
8. Arouse Sexual Pleasure
9. Conquer Mental Distraction
10.Lighten Up And Enjoy A Childhood Spirit