Americans spend $60 billion a year on weed—so what do the people growing the 6th biggest cash crop in the country spend their money on? Functional and decorative art, of course.
The art world’s major annual Art Basel Miami Beach turned 20 this year. Galleries from five continents and countless US collectives flocked to medically legal Florida for three days, transforming the city into a place where ATMs rank you by wealth and bananas taped to walls sell for $120,000.
Cannabis makes fine art even finer, of course, and weed money has long-helped pay artists’ bills. Legalization and normalization just supercharges it. Gawk at these pics from cannabis-themed events at the 20th annual Art Basel.
Terp Basel year #1 morphed a skate park into a smoker’s paradise for three days celebrating art and cannabis culture—sponsored by west coast brands like Alien Labs, Terphogz, Jelly Wizard, Humboldt Terp Council, and Preferred Gardens. A blunt rolling competition, paint walls, and performances by Smoke DZA and Curren$y lit up the park. More and cannabis markets across the country have begun networking, and Terp Basel allowed California brands to show love for artistic creativity.
Dab Day—Art Basel Edition
On Saturday, the landscape of a whole city block became Dab Day, a festival “curating Florida medical cannabis culture.” This is where the crowd took a minute to revive those creative juices with live painting, brand booths, music performances, a free arcade, and on-site glassblowing. Miami shop Casa De Cristal curated ‘Glass Basel’ at ‘Dab Day’.
Mins Pipe Show—Mins Basel 2
Art Basel hosted the second year of the Mins pipe show, which included highly worked borosilicate glass marbles that fetch thousands of dollars. It helps to be extra-baked when you’re collecting rare, designer marbles.
Last Prisoner Project Pop-up Showcase
Artist Brother Bob did 14 years in federal prison for weed. His vibrant prison works fuse slices of collected images into rich pop-art mosaics using nail clippers and prison toothpaste. Artwork by Brother Bob took center stage at a Last Prisoner Project pop-up at Art Basel.
Visitors also had the chance to meet the artists and experience book signings by Billy Dekle, and former race car driver Randy Lanier, both authors who each served over twenty-five years on cannabis charges.
Art Basel Miami is still very much the art world’s party, but cannabis is the hottie on the guest list. Who knows, next year we might see a $10,000 nug of Sour Diesel taped to the wall, or an interactive exhibit where you walk through a fake pot field with piped-in sights and sounds.
Here’s some more heady artists who showed at Art Basel; via Instagram.