Words by Natalie Weiner— Art Basel, though legendary in the art world (and for the crazy parties that inevitably go along with it), is not necessarily known for its commitment to diversity. Miami is just one of the festival’s three locations, and especially given the extraordinary variety of cultures found there, the main exhibition is often surprisingly unrepresentative. Luckily, local Miami arts organizations that work to advocate for diasporic artists time some of their most exciting exhibitions to coincide with the festival.
The “Caribbean Fantastic” exhibit, for example, is taking place at the Multitudes Gallery whose curator Babacar Mbow specifically focuses on presenting art from around the African diaspora. This exhibit, which runs from December 3rd to January 2nd, is centered on Haiti and features Haitian artist Jean Claude Legagneur. Legagneur’s work uses bright colors and strong textures to show the many different faces of Caribbean and American culture, generally through intimate portraits. The show opens tonight, and naturally the gallery is throwing a party to celebrate – specifically, a “Night of Haitian Diplomacy” for Haitian, American, and Haitian-American art fans to eat, drink, and enjoy the paintings. It starts at 7:30 – check out all the details here.