Dear Daily! Live From Art Basel Miami Beach

Added by Lisa Anastos on December 7 2011, at 6:51 pm
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  • Dear Daily,

    Art Basel Miami Beach was the wildest hurricane of 2011 from the whirlwind of art to the windstorm of parties!  The 10th Anniversary of the grandest art celebration in the Unites States was even hotter than the Miami Heat. When the doors first opened for the VIP preview, the buying frenzy began, and with the stock market up by 400 points, the collectors were inspired. A Damien Hirst sculpture sold for over $2 million and Paul McCarthy’s “White Snow Dwarf (Bashful)” sold for $950,000. With his entourage that now includes an art advisor, Sean “Diddy” Combs was quick to acquire a Tracey Emim sculpture for $75,000.  

    A glamorous mix of art, fashion and entertainment bold-faced names were amongst the first wave of VIPs given access to the Convention Center, the Miami home of Art Basel, and the variety of other venues—from hotels to tents—for the satellite fairs. LA mega-collector Eli Broad was smitten with the L&M Arts booth that was filled with over 150 drawings by Andy Warhol. Mexico’s biggest contemporary collector Eugenio Lopez checked out works by Carol Bove while nearby, Naomi Campbell walked the Fair as a catwalk. Michael Douglas andCatherine Zeta Jones engaged in an animated discussion with Cornell DeWitt, the charming director of the Pulse fair, who was excited to share that “works were selling and attendance was up 25 percent.” 

    As the fever pitch of the sales grew, the parties set the fire to the “Miami Madness.” W, Lehmann Maupin andJohn Hardy kicked off the week with a gorgeous sunset cocktail party on the rooftop garden of the Frank Gehry-designed home of the New World Symphony to celebrate artist Teresita Fernandez’s appointment to the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts and, as gallerist David Maupin shared, “being chosen to be the first John Hardy Artist Resident.” Toasting Teresita’s accomplishments were art and fashion world luminaries, such as W’s Stefano Tonchi and Nina Lawrence, New Museum’s Lisa Phillips, Brooklyn Museum’s Paul Johnson, and artistsJoseph LaPiana and Mickaline Thomas

    Dior opened the doors to its new pop-up boutique for Art Basel in the Miami Design District to showcase its brilliant collaboration with German artist Anselm Reyle. Prior to becoming a fashion icon, Christian Dior was a gallerist, which illuminates the artistic vision behind this new collection. In describing his work with Dior, Reyne explained, “Most of my work builds on an object that already exists which I then transform.” To honor Anselm Reyle, Dior plus Delphine ArnaultAlmine Rech and Larry Gagosian hosted a very decadent dinner with not only endless shavings of white truffles being served and a fabulous crowd that included Katherine Ross, Pharrell Williams, Craig Robbins, and China Chow, but the best gift bag of Art Basel: an Anselm Reyle for Dior clutch.  

    Given my passion for the Anselm Reyle collaboration, artist Josephine Meckseper and I also hosted a champagne lunch at the Dior pop-up boutique to benefit the Bass Museum, one of the treasures of Miami art scene. With the Dior nail bar providing artsy manicures and the Anselm Reyle bags proving to be the ultimate art accessory, a number of friends, including Dalia Oberlander, Stephanie LaCava, Tom Dunn, Eugene Sadovoy, Sandra Hamburg, Allison Gorsuch, Wendy Stark and Amy Phelan, enjoyed the afternoon festivities—especially the Dior Nail gift bag. Bass director Silvia Karman Cubina also revealed an incredible coincidence...“I have an Amselm Reyle on a wall in my office.”

    Interview’s Peter Brant and Sotheby’s Tobias Meyer transformed the Herzog de Meurron garage tower for Ferrari’s chairman Luca di Montezemolo and the debut of Marco Brambilla’s new video, RPM, which given the wind gusts that night, left one feeling enveloped in the 3-D Formula 1 racetrack scenes. With the assortment of Ferraris on view, it was no surprise that the men were out in full force and many of the art boys from Damien Hirst to Val Kilmer were seen checking out the new 458 Spider. As 24th Letter co-founder Lawrence Kaplanproclaimed, "Tonight is a Ferrari driver’s heaven.”

    ARTINFO and Art + Auction celebrated their Power 100 List at the Shore Club, where the Malick Williams Gallery turned the poolside into an open air gallery. ARThood’s and Malick Williams’ Zev Eisenberg explained that “the artwork created by Brooklyn artist Kate Pane complimented the Miami vibe with painted panels evoking a carnival and makeshift teepees ideal for romantic interludes.”

    To showcase its collaboration with Brazilian artist Beatriz Milhazes, Cartier set up a pop-up gallery in the Design District to exhibit her mobile sculpture of jewels, “Aquarium”. In the “glow of the sparkling exhibition,”Herve Chandes, the director of the Fondation Cartier, welcomed the very glamorous crowd of Tamara Mellon, Carlos Souza, Waris Ahluwalia, Aaron Young, Todd Eberle, Roberto Cavalli, Carlos Mota, Dayssi Olarte de Kanavos, Lyor Cohen, Adrien Brody and Naomi Campbell, to their elegant and delicious dinner co-hosted byW.

    Warhol Museum’s Eric Shiner and Interview’s Dan Ragone channeled the spirit of their institutions at their Standard soiree not only with a preview of Warhol’s rarely-seen movie San Diego Surf but also with a flash mob of dancing Warhols. Given the artistic core of these institutions, many artists, such as Nate Lowman, Deborah Kass and Jeremy Kost, were reveling in the energy of the night.

    With the endless Dom Perignon flowing, Vito SchnabelStavros Niarchos and Alex Dallal’s party at the Wall was dangerously fun. It was the definitive late night celebration and everyone was there from Aby andSamantha Rosen (post dinner at the W Hotel) to Andre Balazs to Bob Collacello to Lizzie and Jonathan Tischto Derek Blasberg to Lisa Perry to Doreen Remen and Yvonne Force Villareal. (Whew!) There was no coincidence that the morning after this party many Basel VIPs were wearing sunglasses and asking their hotel front desk managers for an Advil.

    Lanvin and its CEO, Thierry Andretta, toasted Art Basel at the Dutch’s new Miami location at the W Hotel withJeanne Greenberg Rohatyn, Derek Blasberg, Darrell Hartman, Bettina Prentice, and Casey Freemont. At the Soho Beach House, Louis Vuitton had a beach party for hosted by Carter Cleveland, Wendi Murdoch,and Dasha Zhukova while Vogue, Nordstrom and Missoni had a one night pop-up shop and fashion show at the waterfront home of Loren Ridinger and Jeffrey Kalinsky. Aeffe USA’s Michelle Stein with Naeemand Ranjana Khan hosted a twilight cocktail party at the Khan’s Miami apartment with breathtaking views of the nighttime lights that “resembled a beaded dress” as so eloquently described by Naeem.

    Poolside at the Standard Hotel, Richard Phillips showcased his new large-scale prints of his Most Wanted Series, which depicts 10 of the world’s most recognizable faces from Leonardo DiCaprio to Justin Timberlaketo Chase Crawford. Given that the set of Gossip Girl has a number of his prints and “Richard has become fast friends with the Gossip Girl cast,” according to Richard's fiancé Josephine, the producers should add his mesmerizing new print of “Nate Archibald” to their collection. The prints are being offered by Exhibition A in partnership with Details and the sales will benefit the Whitney Museum of American Art’s Youth Insights Program, so it was no wonder that Whitney director Adam WeinbergBill Powers and Cynthia Rowley were all dressed with smiles.

    Andy Valmorbida feted artist Raphael Mazzucco and executive editor Jimmy Lovine and P.Diddy and their new book, Culo by Mazzucco, with a dinner at Mr. Chow. Curator Tim Goossen noted it was “an exhibition of bums on the walls.” The old school crowd was definitely on hand, with DJ Nick Cohen spinning and Will Smithhumming his 1998 hit song “Miami.” Enjoying the music and the delicacies was an eclectic mix that includedAllison Sarofim, Adrian Brody, Timbaland, Robin Thicke, Anne Pasternak, Mr. Brainwash, Dori Cooperman, Ingrid Cesares, Russell Simmons, and Eva Chow, among the many who danced and “chowed” through the night.

    As I drove away from Miami and remembered my most favorite moments and mementos from Erwin Wurm’s incredible exhibition at the Bass Museum to the best mojitos at the newly renovated Shelbourne Hotel to the fabulous Amselm Reyle for Dior clutch, I said good-bye once again to the best art happening of the year. I'm already looking forward to next year!   

    Lisa xoxo


    (originally reported in the Daily Front Row in December 2011)


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