As some of Miami's most shameless party crashers scramble to prove their legitimacy and worthiness of Art Basel's highly coveted party invitations, others are already on the approved lists, trying to figure out what to wear and how not to miss a single second of the hype and circumstance. For our intents and purposes, we are keeping an eye on only those events featuring bona fide celebrities. Not celebrities in their own minds, and not celebrities on canvas. Real celebrities. Works of art in their own rights. Although we will update the post as more celeb events trickle in, here now, in no particular order, are the big ticket Art Basel celeb events and spaces thus far:
1. MOCA & SPiN Galactic Present The Art of Ping Pong. When: Saturday, December 4. Who: Susan Sarandon, owner of NYC and LA's SPiN Ping Pong Club, who has called herself the "Johnny Appleseed of Ping Pong." Status: Strictly by invitation no matter how big your balls are, crashers.
2. Steve Martin book reading at the W South Beach Hotel & Residences. When: Wednesday, December 1. Who: The once wild 'n' crazy guy is a lot tamer and artier these days but no less witty or amusing as will be seen when he reads from his book An Object of Beauty, about the Manhattan art world. Expect Martin to also be among the other A-listers at a private dinner that night at Mr Chow hosted by his pal, art dealer Larry Gagosian. Status: Forget about it.
3. MOCA Los Angeles Beach Party at the Raleigh Hotel. When: Wednesday, December 1. Who: Director of LA'S MOCA/art dealer/gallery owner Jeffrey Deitch goes all out at what we personally think is Art Basel's best event. Last one we attended, we found ourselves on stage with the larger than life Beth Ditto and her band Gossip as Rachel Zoe looked on, mouthing the words, "I die" to her husband. This year's headliners? LCD Soundsystem. Status: This one requires pretty much everything, from blood samples and DNA proving you really are related to Grace Jones to your social security number for entry.
4. The Royal at the Raleigh. When: Throughout and after Art Basel. Who: Chef John DeLucie, formerly of Graydon Carter's boite away from home The Waverly Inn, and currently of star studded NYC hot spot The Lion, opens a similar outpost of such at The Raleigh, where American comfort food meets celebrity. Status: Not an easy reservation to snag but nonetheless open to a certain public, we're hearing The Royal may give some of those other members' only clubs a run for their money--and their celebrity clientele.
5. The Arts of Seduction at the Wolfsonian. When: Wednesday, December 1. Who: Isabella Rossellini, who has collaborated with the Wolfsonian for a project called Seduce Me, will be feted at a $1,000 a plate Robert Mondavi Winery dinner featuring Margrit Mondavi and the cuisine of Jean-Georges Vongerichten. Status: Capacity is 120. At last count it was already at 117.