It's not long before the who's who in the art world swarms to Miami like Kardashians to TV cameras. And while there will no doubt be a motley crew of A-list celebrities, indie bands whose songs play on Gossip Girl, and real life, big money socialites out and about, remind yourselves that it's all about the art. Just 12 days away from the big opening and we've already received a year's worth of emails touting all sorts of exhibitions, parties, parties, parties and, oh yes, exhibitions as the ones to be at. The ironic hipster gathering at the 7-11 on Alton and 15th sounds particularly stellar. But again, it's about the art. And discovered in those emails—the 30 or so that we've spared from the recycle bin, was the inspiration to create our own art. Presenting the Scene in the Tropics Running Art Basel Miami Beach Invitation Word/Name Tally Spectacular, in which from now until the big event is over, we will list a count of the most used and overused words and phrases in each and every invitation. We'll also list celebrity names, because name dropping is indeed, a true form of art, which is different from those pieces of work who are otherwise known as name droppers. We're especially hopeful that we get to use the (non) word/name Sucklord in the coming days. Check back from time to time to see which words and names are debuting and, of them, which are most ubiquitous.
November 18, 2011
December 04, 2010
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.
December 03, 2010
Despite what you may think, no that's not some desperate Miami party crasher disgused as Hello Kitty in an attempt to get into LeBaron at The Florida Room, but, rather, the real deal, the Hello Kitty herself, the true star of Art Basel, at last night's preview of the uber whimsical Small Gift Miami homage to 50 years of Sanrio. And while HK and her fashionable, animated friends were the real stars of the event, Isabella Rossellini, after marveling at animal photography by Joe Zammit-Lucia at Soho Studios' Art For a Better World show, managed to slip in unnoticed, though we don't think she waited on line for the free tattoos.
In the Design District it was standing room only at the Fendi Casa party where standing on a corner never seemed so fashionable. Nearby at the Paper Magazine/Friends With You event, an exploding crowd gathered around what seemed to be one big bounce house in order to catch the performance by Pharrell Williams and N.E.R.D. "This is the Spring Break of art," said our intrepid, observant companion who most likely was paying a backhanded compliment, adding that instead of bikinis, the de rigueur dress code involved glasses, facial hair and, in terms of local Miamians excited by the frenzy and the chill in the air, formal wear, stilletos and fedoras.
Back on the beach, following the chichi dinner hosted by W South Beach tycoon Aby Rosen and shrink slash socialite Samantha Boardman at Soleá, an after party slash tribute to the new Andy Warhol Dom Perignon bottles at Wall hosted by art dealer/artist Julian Schnabel's son Vito, gallerist Alex Dellal and Paris Hilton-ex Stavros Niarchos. Guest list at that one read like an issue of one of those socialite porn magazines that fills all its space with bold faced names and no real articles.
It was a name dropper's delight and Warhol certainly would have approved: A-Rod, HRH Princess Firyal of Jordan, Nicky Hilton, oily heir Brandon Davis, Warner Music Group CEO Lyor Cohen, hedge fund gazillionaire Steve Cohen, writer/reporter/socialite Anthony Haden Guest, artist/original Warhol Factory member Jane Holzer, writer Bob Colacello, Susan Sarandon, Sean Penn, Calvin Klein, Miss Ubiqutious Art Basel 2010 Naomi Campbell, a Real Housewife of NYC, designer Yigal Azouel, and more--like hundreds more fine looking, sneaker-sporting hipsters who likely spent hours creating that just out of bed or rehab look.
Over at the Delano, an arty, A-listish madhouse that had Susan Sarandon (pre-W) on the terrace, au natural, signing autographs and posing for pix, and A-Rod (pre-W) "behaving himself and avoiding the blonds" with manager Guy Oseary who was overheard introducing himself to someone as "Madonna's manager." Speaking of Madonna, rumors of her arrival in town have been greatly exaggerated and, according to our mole firmly embedded in the Madonna camp, are completely untrue.
Down at The Florida Room, a swelling, eager crowd storming the LeBaron bastille, including that aforementioned Miami party crasher who managed to sneak in thanks to a creepy Eyes Wide Shut mask, and rock royalty's first born son Julian Lennon plus 8 who were unfortunately neither as fortunate nor as shameless.
Photos of Calvin Klein and A-Rod by Billy Farrell Agency
December 02, 2010
The boldfaced and the beautiful have started to trickle down to this arty, boozypalooza sponsored by [insert favorite high end liquor brand here] and so far, celeb-wise, we're sort of underwhelmed. First one to make sure he was spotted: self professed amateur art collector Lance Armstrong, at a table Monday night at Blue Door Fish at the Delano. 'nuff said. More interesting than the so-called celebrities have been the colorful (and at times odiferous) crowds, who make Art Basel the second best excuse next to Halloween to dress, uh, freely.
No stranger to Art Basel Miami Beach, fiesty supermodel Naomi Campbell has begun to make her rounds, first at the MOCA Vanity Fair International party Tuesday night where she refused to pose for pictures--because, duh, that's work and pictures of her will cost you more than some of the art work for sale at Vernissage last night.
Speaking of Vernissage, the convention center was bustling with buyers, braggarts and freeloaders last night. Among them, and you decide who fits into what category: Bravo's Work of Art judge/gallerist Jeanne Greenberg Rohatyn, photog Bruce Weber, seen at the book store where he spent some time adjusting his trademark bandana, George Hamilton, who said he couldn't afford any of the art, Danny Glover, vying for the title of most random Basel celeb, and a solo Ben Stiller, who had earlier checked into the Shore Club. Besides a showcase for museum quality (and questionable) art, Vernissage also doubled as one big gay pickup joint, with nattily dressed hipsters checking each other out, looking for the next human Statue of David.
Later that night at The Raleigh, where there were approximately 300 events taking place at once, including the Vogue Lounge and the MOCA Los Angeles party with LCD Soundsystem, a buzzy scene in the front of the house drowned out any background noise as people scrambled for tables at the just opened Royal restaurant, starring star chef and recent Gossip Girl cameo, Chef John DeLucie, who, like a fine piece of filet, was inundated with peoples' business cards all night--people hoping that when the Basel dust settles, they'll be able to go straight to the source for that highly coveted reservation at The Royal or its NYC sibling The Lion. Begging as performance art at its finest, we love it.
Setting up next to us, a huge Last Supper-esque table for art dealer Tony Shafrazi and his illustrious guests--among them, Campbell, Stiller (who was overheard later at Skybar marveling at the fact that his hotel room had a private pool), and a Cameron-less Alex Rodriguez. Strange tablemates indeed, but then again, if everything during Art Basel Miami Beach was perfectly matched a la Garanimals, it would just be another day at the office.
Speaking of offices, former Raleigh owner Andre Balazs stopped by that very hotel he sold for $30 million in 2009, checking out the action like a teenager in a playground, spying on the child she gave up for adoption.
Later on, Campbell and Shafrazi made their way over to Wall at the W South Beach, where Paul Oakenfold was spinning the DeLeón Tequila Art Basel kickoff. Also spotted there, another random: Adrien Brody.
Tonight: another ubiquitous Baselite: Pharrell Williams and NERD at the Paper Mag/AOL/ Friends With You opening party for bounce house--er, inflatable installation, Rainbow City, and Sanrio's Small Gift Miami, featuring Art Basel's number one star, Hello Kitty, and her entourage of hangers on.
November 19, 2010
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.
December 03, 2009
When High School Musical star Corbin Bleu boarded the Oasis of the Seas for a Make-A-Wish fundraiser Monday, he knew he was in store for some serious fan flattery. And while being chased by paparazzi and fans may not be completely foreign to Bleu, how about a high-speed chase at sea by a bigtime fan in a wheelchair? After a meet and greet with three Make-A-Wish kids and their families at the Oasis's Seafood Shack, Bleu was spotted by a little boy confined to a wheelchair. But don't feel bad for Tony from Wichita, another Make-A-Wish kid flown in specifically to meet Bleu. He clearly makes his own wishes come true. According to our seaworthy spies, little Tony "hits the button on his electric wheelchair and takes off like a bat out of hell" after Bleu. When the chair came to a screeching halt in front of the High School Musical star, instead of calling security like some tools would, Bleu got down on the kid's level and started chatting. After catching this, all the other kids followed. Bleu spent most of his free time right there and later behind closed doors with all his fans and their families. Refreshingly real. Also pretty cool, we hear, was Dancing With the Stars' Karina Smirnoff, who also spent time with fans and Make-A-Wish kids, posing with them in various ballroom dance-y poses. And in other news, we think Sylvester Stallone actually moved his face to smile at Art Basel today.
December 02, 2009
And the winner of the Samuel Keller Award for Most Ubiquitous Art Basel Miami Beach Personality goes to....Naomi Campbell, who seems to have cloned herself, making appearances pertty much, well, everywhere, including a Miami Magazine/National Geographic Society photo show at Area 31 last night where she was, says our source, "especially tame," standing "on the sidelines, preferring to go unnoticed." Here she is, extremely noticed, at Nest on Lincoln Road with owner Sara Colombo and her hubby/developer Ugo, checking out an Italian sculpture and photo exhibit.
Photo: Brett Hufziger / vipevents.biz
November 30, 2009
November 29, 2009
We've seen art and we've seen spectacles in previous incarnations of Art Basel Miami Beach. The photo here says it all, taken at an ABMB event last year. No comment necessary. But this year, experts say, will be different. According to an article in the Financial Times, in fact, "We'll see much less of the fashionista crowd this year who don't purchase works or contribute in any meaningful way to the art world." Come to think of it, many people, not just arty types, would love to see less of those who don't contribute in any meaningful way to the world in general. Which pretty much means anyone with a reality show, a free plane ticket and hotel room from some watered down brand of vodka, or a rider demanding wrinkle reducing camera flashes. Which kinda sucks for us, because, well, we don't cover the art--we only cover the con and b.s. artists. So we kind of hope that maybe at least the White House party crashers will be down for the fair because, well, they put the 'con' in 'con artists' and that's quite artful, isn't it?
November 26, 2009
Barrymore and Avant Gallery founder/director Dmitry Prut
Drew Barrymore has been making the Miami rounds lately, stopping with the Mac Guy everywhere from Mr. Chow and Club 50 to Tobacco Road. But it's not all about food and drink. On Monday, Barrymore was at the Avant Gallery in the Design District to preview their Art Basel/Design Miami exhibit, "Pictures & Furniture" where she reportedly fell in love with Purvis Young's painting Free Cuba and Alejandro Vigilante's Email is My Art series--specifically the one pictured here because, as she said, she doesn't use email, do Facebook or any of that. Apparently her manager does it for her. Her manager, however, does not buy art for her and according to our snitch, Barrymore may have reserved the piece for possible purchase next week.