This morning marks the official VIP opening of Art Basel Miami Beach, the actual art fair. But the fair itself is hardly what anyone means these days when they say “Art Basel Miami Beach,” “Miami Basel,” or any kind of other abbreviations. Rather, the whole thing these days is one giant cluster of parties, #brand “activations,” vaguely art-related soirees, and exclusive pop-up clubs designed to exclude those breathing poor-people air.
But how, exactly, did Art Basel Miami Beach grow beyond an actual thing focused on people buying art, and more a winter-time spring break for the wealthy and their hangers-on? Check out this timeline of the evolution of the fair itself, and the moneyed sprawl surrounding it.
Arielle Castillo is Fusion's culture editor, reporting on arts, music, culture, and subcultures from the streets on up. She's also a connoisseur of weird Florida, weightlifting, and cats.