What is a week at Art Basel, the annual Miami fine art extravaganza where we are working with FIAT at their Exhibitalia space, without going to the Convention Center to behold all the prestigious works in one massive setting? How often do you get to stand in front of large genuine piece by Roy Lichtenstein, John Baldessari, Cindy Sherman, and Jenny Holzer? Just the energy of the gargantuan real works in person is a contact high. The fair is also somewhat of a social affair too, with people rubbing elbows, dressed impeccably, and lots of card swapping—not unlike your usual skate tradeshow schmoozing, except these booths have millions of dollars of real estate. We bumped into KAWS, who was in town promoting his new eponymous monograph with a book signing at The Standard Hotel tonight, Friday, from 7-9 pm. KAWS was hanging out with Pharrell's internal posse just soaking in the art vibes checking out the booths.
(Lawrence Weiner Piece at Art Basel's Convention Center)
At the Exhibitalia, there is an Italian Pavilion showing more than 40 artists and 200 artworks in a 15,000 square foot of outdoor and indoor exhibition space. The show is being curated by Maurizio Vanni director of Lu.C.C.A. Center of Contemporary Art. There's a few sweet FIAT cars tucked into the gallery surrounded by top Italian contemporary art. The cars themselves seem engineered by the mind of an artist, and incidentally will be painted by some throughout Exhibitalia's four days in Miami, including during Friday's FADER x FIAT party in the space.
(Trash or Art Installation?)
After a day of conceptual art, one can't resist remaining in that frame of simplisticly imaginative state of mind. Something as simple as an elegantly piled up trash bin seems to resemble an avant garde art installation to be sold for thousands of dollars. One second you see Ryan McGinness's impressive canvas work hanging in the chic halls of the Convention Center and the next you bump into him painting a new mural outside. From street to gallery to street. It's all one big art party this week.
(Ryan McGinness constructs his new work, The Blacklight Series)
(Bruce Weber at Andre Balazs The Standard Hotel)
The evening was a whirlwind beginning with Bruce Weber's elegant bayside event held at The Standard Hotel on Venetian Causeway with guests Andre Balazs, Calvin Klein, Cator Sparks, Kim Hastreiter, Roman Alonso, Lorenzo Martone, Katherine Keatiing, Johan Lindeberg, and Jefferson Hack. The North Miami Beach Senior High Marching Band came out midway to turn the event into New Orleans-style marching band jam.
(OHWOW Opening: Musician Aska, Aaron Bondaroff, Chase Cole)
The two Miami natives getting the most play right now are OHWOW and FRIENDSWITHYOU, both throwing individual events on their own. Al Moran, owner of OHWOW Gallery, works closely with partner-in-crime Aaron Bondaroff, and the two have become bona fide pied pipers of the best young talent around. If they can manage to nurture a new stable of artists similar to how Aaron Rose birthed the Beautiful Losers movement, this will be their epicenter. Could OHWOW be the new Alleged Gallery? Their event last night boasted works by Scott Campbell, Julia Chiang, Dan Colen, Phil Frost, Luis Gispert, KAWS, Robert Lazzarini, Nate Lowman, Barry McGee, Neck Face, José Parlá, Rey Parlá, and Aurel Schmidt, among others.
(N.E.R.D. Performing at PAPER Event for FRIENDSWITHYOU)
(Barry McGee Piece at OHWOW Opening)
(OHWOW Opening: Michael Karbelnikoff, Cheryl Dunn, Emma Reeves, Claire Darrow, Patrick Li)
The other local boys gaining lots of attention are FRIENDSWITHYOU who contructed a Candyland-slash-Alice-in-Wonderland fantasy in the middle of a field with N.E.R.D. performing at the Paper Mag-hosted bash. The name of the installation was Rainbow City and addressed the potency of interaction, ritual, and play. We bumped into one of the founders of FRIENDSWITHYOU who we learned was the son of Legendary Cuban jazz musician, Arturo Sandoval. By the looks of this family blood, excellence is Arturo Jr's future.
(FRIENDSWITHYOU Art Hanging)
(Friendswithyou Co-Founder, Arturo Sandoval lll)
The streets of Miami Beach ran wild with other events going on at Le Baron, Rokbar, The Delano Hotel, and Soho House until the wee hours of the night. As mother nature would have it, the sun eventually forced all the nightlifers to begrudgingly head to their hotels and get a little more rest before we all go out and do it again tomorrow at Basel.
Photos by: Marissa Kaiser, Chris Mosier, Sunny Shokrae, and Jauretsi