Cosimo Commisso on art in one of the world’s most beautiful cities
Nestled in northwest Switzerland is an incredible city called Basel. If you’ve never heard of it, check it out — and prepare to feast your eyes on one of the most beautiful cities on this planet. I know that’s a big statement, but it’s true. The Medieval town is steeped in history, and visiting it makes you feel like you’ve transported back in time about 500 years. So it probably doesn’t come as a surprise to learn that Basel has become something of an art capital. Its culture-rich streets are the perfect backdrop to its now famous art scene — and also to the world-renowned art fair, Art Basel.
In 1970, three Basel gallerists got together to bring this contemporary fair to life. It has since expanded into three annual fairs: the original in Basel, plus one in Hong Kong and another in Miami Beach. Each fair is unique while still holding up many parallels to the others. It’s formed a unique connection between the art scenes in Europe, America and Asia.
Art Basel’s 2015 Europe show was one of its most successful yet (think over 280 international galleries and over 2,000 artists). The 2016 edition is coming up this June, and I highly recommend using it as your excuse to cross Basel off your list of places to travel. If you’re in a creative industry — a chef, writer, designer, maybe an artist yourself — this is the perfect time and place to source some serious inspiration. Connect with galleries and artists, celebrate (and perhaps take home) some of the most ingenious modern art in existence, and do it all while savouring the rustic beauty of Basel, Switzerland.