Now in Its 15th Year, PULSE Art Fair Offers a Place to Recharge Amid the Flurry of Fairs

Pulse Miami Beach will debut a new bilingual series of talks, a wellness lounge, and art from 65 exhibitors next month.

Courtesy of PULSE Miami Beach.
Courtesy of PULSE Art Fair.

With the megaliths and upstart satellites tallied together, the number of fairs that descend on Miami at the beginning of December comes in somewhere around 25. If that stupefying number has your head spinning before you even head to the airport, know that you can find respite—if you know where to look.

For its 15th  edition, PULSE Art Fair is calling itself “The Calm in the Palms.” “It’s a hectic week and a stressful one, so PULSE is here to help to relax the mind so that the eye can actually ingest the beautiful art we are presenting,” said Cristina Salmastrelli, the fair’s director. 

The focus on wellness accompanies a few other exciting new initiatives and projects, including a can’t-miss special project. Below, check out our guide to what’s new and unique at PULSE Miami Beach 2019. 

PULSE Art Fair 2018: VIP Private Preview Brunch. Courtesy of PULSE Art Fair.

A Surefire Way to Fight Fair Fatigue

If you’ve already reached your visual saturation point by the time you arrive at PULSE, head straight for the fair’s Wellness Lounge, where you can nap in hammocks, take in oceanside views, and even give mediation a try, all in an effort to restore equilibrium so you can better enjoy the fair itself. 

If a much-needed cocktail or a tasty meal sounds more like what you’re craving, then pay a visit to the oceanside restaurant, Malibu Farm catered by the Eden Roc Hotel group, inside the PULSE tent. Diners can expect fresh farm-to-table meals with a focus on sustainability. Oh, and be sure to enjoy the signature PULSE Miami cocktail (and let us know what’s in it).

“There’s an abundance of ways you can take some time out at PULSE to relax, even if it’s simply taking a moment to reflect on our oceanfront view,” Salmastrelli said. “We want to revive and reinvigorate visitors.”

Ralph Ziman, SPOEK 1. Courtesy of PULSE Miami Beach.

Ralph Ziman, SPOEK 1. Courtesy of PULSE Art Fair.

A Vibrant Special Project 

A showstopper of the fair (and one you would be mistaken to miss) is SPOEK 1, an 11-ton decommissioned Casspir vehicle that has been restored and reclaimed by South African artist Ralph Ziman. The new work is a central piece of the artist’s overarching Casspir Project, which also encompasses installation, photography, and film.

The Casspir is an all-terrain, bullet- and mine-proof armored vehicle developed in the 1970s and often used against civilians by the South African Police and the South African Defense Force during the apartheid era. Ziman has reclaimed this symbol of violence through a collective art project; artisans from Zimbabwe and the Mpumalanga province of South Africa covered the vehicle’s surface with 70 million elaborate and brightly colored glass beads in traditional patterns, to vivid effect. 

“The visual spectacle is an entry point to the deeper messages within my work, which speak to a history that cannot be erased, connecting to contemporary conversations around state violence and the militarization of police, especially against communities of color,” the artist said. 

PULSE Play. Courtesy of PULSE Art Fair.

PULSE Play. Courtesy of PULSE Art Fair.

A New Perspective on Video

Continuing PULSE’s longstanding tradition as the only art fair with a video-focused platform, this year’s Play will debut The Savonarola Suite, an installation by New Jersey-based artist Gregory Perkel, presented by Black & White Gallery / Project Space. The visually arresting cross-media installation, composed of photographs and a diptych video, explores recent art-market history through a variety of perspectives and protagonists.

Courtesy of PULSE Art Fair.

Courtesy of PULSE Art Fair.

Also not to be missed is a debut feature for the fair, PULSE Perspectivos, a dual-language series of talks and tours held in English and Spanish. The conversation “On Identity in the Arts: What Does It Mean to be Latino/a? Latino, Latina, Latin(x), Hispanic…”, held in Spanish at 2 p.m. on Saturday, seems particularly promising. The conversation will be led by art critic, writer and blogger Florencio Lennox Campello who has been spearheading interactive events discussing these issues for the past few years and will also include the artists Sandra Ramos and Alessandra Torres, along with  Tessie Penin of Uprise Art. 

PULSE Art Fair is located as Indian Beach Park, 4601 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach, and 46th Street with direct access from the beach and the boardwalk.

PULSE Art Fair is open to the public from Thursday, December 5 through Sunday, December 8, 2019. A Private Preview Brunch will be held Thursday, December 5, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

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