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Dear Daily! Live From Art Basel Miami Beach

Added by Lisa Anastos on December 11 2012, at 4:11 pm
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  • Dear Daily,

    Art Basel Miami Beach is still hotter than the Miami temps! In its 11th year, the “Miami Madness” of incredible art and endless parties was aptly dubbed “art on adrenalin" by artist Stephanie Hirsh. It kicked off even earlier this year on Monday with the VIP vernissage of the newest art fair, UNTITLED, located inside a tent on the beach with an ultra-long queue to get in. But, it's really Wednesday of Art Basel Miami Beach that's the art world’s Black Friday. Instead of doorbuster sales from Target + Neiman Marcus collabs, there were million dollar artworks from Jeff Koon sculptures at Gagosian’s booth to Damien Hirst’s paintings at White Cube’s.

    This year, the toughest ticket in town was the “First Choice VIP” card – which gave the art world’s super A-list the earliest access to the Art Basel fair at 11 a.m. Mega-collectors Eli Broad and Peter Brant, New Museum’s Lisa Phillips and Lauren Cornell, Ballroom Marfa’s Fairfax Dorn, and LACMA’s Michael Govanwith Katherine Ross were among the lucky holders of these coveted purple cards. “Art Wednesday” purchases included John Baldessari’s "Prima Facie (Second State): Puzzled" (2005) for $350,000 and Fernand Leger’s "Les Deux Femmes A L’Oiseau" (1942) for $1.6 million. 

    As the fever pitch of the opening day sales continued, the entertainment world also descended on the Miami Beach Convention Center looking for an acquisition. Owen Wilson strolled the fair with dealer Tony Shafrazi,Will Farrell walked his wife, Viveca Paulin, a LACMA board member, and Sean “Diddy” Combs headed toPaul Kasmin’s booth to close his purchase of a sculpture by  Ivan NavarroCSI Miami’s David Caruso was seen with L.A. artist Cole Sternberg, who explained that his art installation in Miami, "You’ll Miss Your Riding Lesson Tomorrow," was “stolen from Franz Kafka’s Amerika with the wealthy symbolized as the horse riding community within a partying culture." 

    Once the sun started to set, the champs bottles popped and the party hopping began. Chanel commanded over the Soho House on Wednesday night with a private dinner, art auction, and a late-night beachside barbeque with co-hosted by Dasha Zhukova, Wendi Murdoch, Carter Cleveland, Peter Thiel and Larry Gagosian. The auction benefited Henry Street Settlement and the Dash Snow Initiative and offered artworks by Dan ColenRyan McGinley, and Jimmy Choo collaborator, Rob Pruitt. The Chanel crowd included Lauren Santo DomingoPeter and Harry BrantKarlie Kloss, and Demi Moore, who was coming from Alex Rodriquez’s house party.

    The Bass Museum of Art, Miami’s art treasure chest, opened its doors to a private preview of their new exhibition, “The Endless Renaissance: 6 Solo Artist Projects,” which was hosted by its board president, George Lindemann, and executive director and chief curator, Silvia Karman Cubina. One of the artists in the exhibition, Barry X Ball, known for his use of unconventional material, shared with me that a part of his new work, "Sleeping Hermaphrodite," used “a nontraditional model from a 7th Avenue sex shop in the Village.”  

    Jeffrey Deitch once again took over The Raleigh, the art world’s watering hole in Miami, for his annual soiree. Deitch partnered with LA MOCA (where he serves as its director) and Vanity Fair to import Swedish singer-songwriter Lykke Li for the night. The glamorous crowd included L.A. collector Maria BellVanity Fair’s Anjali Lewis and Terrence Charles, and artists Kehinde Wiley and Drew Heitzler, who divulged that his upcoming exhibition at Marlborough Chelsea is inspired by the “Venice Beach culture of surfing and weird California histories.”

    On Thursday, as a quick escape from the art frenzy, I stopped at Diane Von Furstenberg’s very chic lunch (a rare experience in the madness) on the beach at Soho House, where she was celebrating her recent collaboration with Evian and exhibiting her photographs. Basking in the sun and nibbling on decadent treats were Alexander and Ali Von FurstenbergWaris AhluwaliaDori CoopermanRussel SimmonsGenevieve Jones, Hammish Bowles, and Andre Balazs with Chelsea HandlerW Magazine and Chopard were also at Soho House with an exclusive viewing of the “Marilyn Forever” exhibition of Marilyn Monroe photographs.

    After lunch, I drove to the NADA art fair, where Lorenzo Martone and Von Furstenberg were checking out the works by Walt Cassidy at the Invisible Exports booth. PULSE Miami, the destination art fair for collectors searching for emerging artists, was next on my art hit-list, where the fair’s director, Cornell DeWitt, treated me to a private tour, which included a stop at Widmer + Theodoridis Contemporary’s booth to view the work of the Nadine Wottke, the 2012 PULSE prize winner.

    I took a quick detour from the 20-ish satellite art fairs to the Miami Design District’s for a peak of Dior Homme’s and Prada’s fabulous new boutiques,’s pop-up, and the latest collection of exquisite jewels designed by landscape artist Christophe Ponceau at Cartier. Dior Homme’s Kris Van AsscheBruce Weberand W’s Stefano Tonchi hosted a cocktail party and the world premiere of Can I Make The Music Fly, a film by Bruce Weber created exclusively for Dior Homme. Weber film fans included Calvin KleinSandy Brant andIngrid Sichy.

    The Bugatti sponsored dinner at the Rubell Family Collection unveiled artist Bernar Venet’s artistic interpretation of the supercar-maker’s Grand Sport and Rubell’s newest exhibition, “Alone Together.”  The Rubell Family Collection established by Miami art royalty, Donald and Mera Rubell, is one of the largest, privately owned contemporary art collection in the world and one of my favorites, especially since the only artwork on permanent display is "Untitled" by the late L.A. artist and cult figure, Jason Rhodes, who created the infamous "Black Pussy Soirees." As you can imagine, that title gets me in trouble when I innocently mention the performances in a non-art world setting.

    Vito SchnabelStavros Niarchos, and Alex Dellal’s annual party at the Wall is always on the late night agenda with Dom Perignon on tap. While DJ Nick Cohen was spinning, the nighttime antics were enjoyed by an eclectic crowd from Aby and Samantha Rosen (coming from their dinner at the Dutch) to Kanye West to Art Production Fund’s Yvonne Force VillarealCasey Freemont Crowe and Doreen Remen to Amy Sacco, whose pop-up No. 8 was nestled inside Gale South Beach Hotel.

    A wonderful addition to this year’s Art Basel Miami Beach was the charitable component. Aside from Chanel,Interview Magazine and MAC partnered with amfAR to host “The Inspiration Miami Beach Party” at Soho House with an art auction benefiting their AIDS research. As Solange Knowles spun her tunes, Interview’s Dan Ragone and MAC’s John Demsey were holding court with Dita Von TeeseJoseph AltuzarroLiz Goldwyn, and Kenneth Cole. Lacoste was also at Soho House celebrating their limited-edition t-shirt with the Campana Brothers supporting the Everglades Foundation.

    MoMA PS1 and Volkswagen hosted an actual Sandy benefit at the Delano Beach House with DJ sets byChromeo and Animal Collective. The ticket proceeds went to the Rockaway Waterfront Alliance. MoMA’s Klaus Biesenbach has been a fearless champion for Hurricane Sandy Relief and shared his incredible stories with his diverse guests from Creative Time board member William Sussman and Times Square Arts’ (and former Watermill Center director) Sherry Dobin to artists Jennifer Rubell, Ryan Trecartin, and the New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.

    Theme number deux for the weekend? Secret locales. The Paris-based nightclub, Le Baron, housed for many years at the Delano Hotel, roamed every night to a different location that was only disclosed after 6 p.m. through their new site, The 1111 Lincoln Street location of Moncler’s 60th Anniversary was only revealed to its guests, which included Remo RuffinoUma ThurmanKarolina Kurkova, Pharrell Williamsand artists Richard Phillips and Josephine Meckseper, by an email the night before. How exclusive

    Looking forward to next year!

    Lisa xoxo


    (originally reported in the Daily Front Row in December 2012)


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