Monday, December 7, 2009

Art Basel Wrap Up

Yes, I'm exhausted from a week of art exhibitions, art openings, art parties and other various art related events for Art Basel Miami Beach. On Friday night I had planned on a light schedule of art events with only two parties planned. First I stopped by Barney's CO-OP for Red Carter's fashion party with artist Carlos Betancourt, whose art was used for the fabric design of a new bikini. I photographed Red Carter with his new bikini and sipped a non-alcoholic lemonade and left. Next stop was Anastasia the Great's art party at PROOF Ocean Drive. There Anastasia was holding court and being photographed in front of her art. I photographed the art diva but the crowd was small so I left looking for further adventures. Although I had hoped to have a light evening I still was ready for more so I stopped by the Wolfsonian Museum for their annual Art Basel Party. There was a sophisticated art crowd wandering through the museum but the fun part of the evening was the wacky off-beat performance by Youtube star rapper Leslie Hall. I was told Todd Oldham was to be the DJ but I didn't see him but I did see several guys who definitely were Todd Oldham groupies. On Saturday I started the day at 11am with the annual Art Basel Brunch at the Sagamore Hotel. There were many art stars milling about the pool and even some walking art (like a bald couple known as Eva & Adele who both sported matching pink dresses and purses). After Brunch we ventured downtown to Design Miami which was a beautiful and eclectic showcase of design including unusual items like an overpriced grandfather clock that came with a grandfather but didn't tell time and light fixtures that transformed into fans. Design Miami had a lovely VIP lounge that served beveages so I was able to have an afternoon cappucino before being entertained by the works of many talented designers. Audi, one of the major sponsors of Art Basel, had a display in the showroom and gave away big silver bags (not that I need another bag but they were big, silver and free). Luckily we made it to photo Miami before the torrential rain began. We were able to stroll through the space that once sold television and such to view interesting and even shocking photography. Outside we had no choice but to confront the heavy rain but the rain won. With only time to change, shower and download my morning photos, I was off to see the Audi pop-up gallery which was amazing but yet disturbing as well since Audi spent nearly ten million dollars on the Art Basel project and the beautiful temporary building (which we were told was coming down the next day). There they were also giving away nice bags but this time there was a catalogue for the show and the Rubell collection inside. Next stop was the World Erotic Art Museum for museum owner/curator Naomi Wilzig's 75th Birthday celebration. This wasn't an Art Basel event but it definitely was an art themed party with nude models (male & female) airbrushed as works of art and food for days. After stuffing my face with delicious food and taking lots of photos, we made our exit so we could celebrate another diva, Elaine Lancaster. Elaine was being featured at the Miami Art Space with an exhibition titled iMuse which was a collection of art with Elaine Lancaster as the subject. There were also exhibitions by many other artists in the space and performances. Of course Elaine attracts quite an interesting specturm of guests and they were all there to pay homage to the diva including artist/designer Christopher Ciccone (author of Life With My Sister Madonna), artist Aaron Powell, and photographer Joey Mugica. My group left and I stayed so I could go to the David LaChapelle party at The Raleigh Hotel with Elaine. There was a beautiful mob scene surrounding the famous pool of the Raleigh. Models, stylists, performers, and assorted beauties wandered about the New Year's Eve themed party that had large ice sculptures everywhere and giant David LaChappelle photos. There we ran into writer George Wayne of Vanity Fair who wanted to go out after the LaChapelle party ended so we took him to SCORE where we had more champagne. My night ended just before the bar closed at 5 am so I crashed in my bed with art inspired dreams. Since Sunday was the last day of Art Basel, I took the opportunity to take a last stroll among the Picassos, the Miros, the Matisses, the Warhols and all the other wonderful art before Art Basel leaves town once again. It was a great week of art and it will take me another week to document all the photos. PHOTOS: Nude dance at World Erotic Art Museum, Elaine Lancaster & George Wayne, Queen of Erotica Naomi with her King JC Harris.

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