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December 04, 2010

Pieces of work: Art Basel celeb roundup, chapter 3


Lots of random celebrity encounters have been reported around town, from Ben Stiller on line at the Starbucks at 69th and Biscayne to Barry Manilow and Elvis Presley (see below) at Art Miami to, well, Isabella Rossellini in the urban trenches of Wynwood. In between the randomness, however, have been expertly curated, carefully orchestrated gatherings where celebrities and assorted luminaries have been nothing short of expected.

That's Me In the Corner. That's Me in the Spot. Light: REM frontman Michael Stipe was seen Friday night at The Standard Spa for the screening of video artist Marco Brambilla's newest piece, Evolution (Megaplex).

Bonfire of the Vanities Redux: If you didn't know any better, you'd almost think it was 1987 Friday night at The Royal where photog Bruce Weber, wife Nan Bush and designer Victor Alfaro hosted a dinner poolside with 30 guests whose names have filled many a NYC fashion sheet and gossip column.  Among them: Calvin Klein, stunning socialite and ex wife of Donald's brother, Blaine Trump, Ingrid Sischy, contributing editor at Vanity Fair and her partner Sandy Brant, international editor of Vanity Fair and ex wife of mogul Peter Brant, who is currently in a detente from a nasty divorce battle with supermodel Stephanie Seymour, YSL designer Stefano Pilati, Estée Lauder Group president John Demsey, and PR macher Paul Wilmot, among others.

Elvis Was Here: Just before the anniversary of his father's death, Julian Lennon stopped by Art Miami to marvel at a portrait of his late dad--composed entirely of miniscule visages not of Yoko Ono, which would have been way too predictable, but of Elvis--by artist Alex Guofeng Cao from New York’s ChinaSquare Gallery. Also seen gawking at the artist's work: Barry Manilow, whose portrait, may we suggest, should be composed of miniature visages of Michael Bolton. Just kidding. We meant visages of Bette Midler.

Pop (Chips) Art: For those expecting any of the so-called celebrities to drop $30 million for a Rothko, consider this. After refusing swag including a thousand dollar pair of jeans and a Corum watch, actor Gerard Butler had only one request: Pop Chips. Yep, those light 'n' airy chips, whose ads you've probably seen everywhere, have been the crunch of the town. Adrien Brody requested a delivery, too. Why? Says our insider, "They're too cheap to break into their hotel mini bars."

Love and Haiti: After raising over $120,000 on its first night, the Haiti Art Expo continues to raise funds for housing in Haiti at SCOPE Miami tonight at an event featuring an appearance by Russell Simmons and then most definitely on Sunday when Wyclef Jean will perform live with a 7-piece Haitian band and provide what will undoubtedly be priceless sound bytes on his most recent trip there during elections and that whole, thwarted running for Haitian president thing. Remember, though, this is all for a good cause--the goal of the night will be to sell the remaining pieces of art still remaining from which 100 percent of the proceeds go to United Way for a specific earmarked project, promoter/philanthropist  "Michael Capponi's camp in Belvil," his greatest promotion to date.