MIAMI BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) - Art Basel is back in Miami Beach after going online last year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The art show, one of the biggest in the world, is once again ready to reel in visitors.
Artists, art lovers and celebrities will be coming to visit from all over the world.
“I think this is pretty significant for the community,” said Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber. “I want to commend the fair hosts.”
The event kicked off Tuesday with preview week at the Miami Beach Convention Center. Opening day is set for Thursday.
Art Miami also kicked off its 31st live edition with a preview of its own in downtown Miami.
The “Wolf of Wall Street” himself, Jordan Belfort, showcased pictures he’s in, taken by David Yarrow.
“You know this is only available at Maddox Gallery in Art Miami,” said Belfort.
Some pricey sales have already been made.
“It’s called ‘Charlie Brown’ by Banksy, and it’s sold this morning for $4 million,” said Jay Rutland, creative director of Maddox Gallery.
“The art collecting audience hasn’t been here in almost two years, so we’re expecting a very big crowd,” said Nick Korniloff, director of Art Miami.
And with big crowds, attendees can expect heavy traffic.
“Traffic is crazy, I’m telling you,” said a resident.
Local residents are no strangers to backups, but with thousands of people flocking to South Florida this week organizers advise to pack some extra patience.
Heavy congestion has already been seen throughout portions of downtown Miami and much of the surrounding areas.
Cellphone video sent to 7News captured traffic congestion on Interstate 395, with red brake lights as far as the eye can see. People sat in bumper-to-bumper traffic stretching all the way back to the MacArthur Causeway, with many heading back from the beach.
Despite some of the traffic headaches, people who spoke with 7News said the wait is worth it if it means gaining access to some of the biggest art shows in the world.
“To actually have the enthusiasm of everyone being here, everyone from all over the world, is great,” said an Art Miami attendee.
Galleries will open to the public on Thursday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and will run through Saturday, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
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