What’s the T? does Art Basel Miami Beach
Time for the annual pilgrimage of sun seeking art enthusiasts and their accompanying art advisors, handlers and the like to the city of Miami Beach. The fairs are numerous, spilling over onto the sand and the mainland. This year, my eighth year watching my hometown transform into an art circus, I decided to let the wind blow me where it may. As long as you’re doing something it can’t be that bad. In this special edition of What’s the T? we’re serving recap realness and some Miami T for Chicago’s inquiring minds and wannabe snowbirds alike.
Woke up to the news that Miami B-listers Christian Slater and his girlfriend, Brittany Lopez, tied the knot on Monday. We heard that Slater courted Lopez at her former job at the Museum of Contemporary Art in North Miami. Basel Tov!
Why wait until the weekend to party? Even though the “big fair,” at the convention center doesn’t open until Wednesday, there are just not enough party hours in the day. By the time we saw Locust Project’s exhibition by Nicholas Hlobo in their main space and Frances Trombly in the project room it was time. So we begin. Tuesday night marked the opening of Design Miami, the sister fair to Art Basel in Miami as well as in Switzerland.
Always a classy, champagne’d out affair, this year was no different. It was a pleasure to see Chicago design galleries, Volume (showing Jonathan Munecke) and Casati Gallery (showing David Salkin). Trending this year at DM were lamps that look like floating jars, gigantic sand hills, e-cigs (which appeared to be trending everywhere, I think it’s New York’s fault). In attendance were a number of notables, including 2016 Olympic sailing hopeful, Sarah Newberry and artist, Emmett Moore; another celebrity here; Primary Projects’ Nick Cindric and Robins Collection Curator and Director of Cultural Programming for the Design District, Tiffany Chestler; Bleeding Palm’s Ronnie Riviera (who made a hilarious Basel Death Clock Site); and Locust Project’s Amanda Sanfilippo with artist, Justin Long. We even ran into our favorites, LVL3’s Vincent Uribe and Anna Mort, dressed impeccably as always.
It’s imperative at Basel to never to stop moving and as our party guru says, always leave the party before it gets old, so before too long we were off the island and en route to the Rubell Collection’s annual shindig at their museum caliber space in Wynwood. Unsurprisingly, the Rubell’s used the occasion (as they do every year) to feature their daughter, Jennifer Rubell’s, excessive food “installations.” One year it was a wall of old fashioned doughnuts, then there was the year with the honey falling out of the sky.
This year, Jennifer busted out none other than the tiny-pie seesaw. A monstrously long but narrow white table, completely covered in miniature egg custard pies, slowing moved up and down, while waiters brought around bite sized versions of every other desert option possible on silver platters. There was, of course, a copious amount of alcohol (if you’re paying for drinks during ABMB then something is wrong), Perrier (totes trending and in three flavors), macaroni and cheese in martini glasses (don’t ask me), and fried rice in takeout containers. The party was totally banging, but the tiny custard pies were awful. Among the many illustrious guests were Siebren Versteeg and his new gallerist, Miami’s Brook Dorsch; artists, Patricia Hernandez and Christina Farah.
On our way out we couldn’t resist stopping at the old Perrotin space down the street from the Rubells, The house/ gallery, now Galerie Eva Presenhuber, is simply gorg—classic design and a super sweet back yard, but the party was lame and we weren’t really feeling it.
Disappointed by the quality of the pie and weary of mixing vodka and sugary deserts, it was time for a cheeseburger interlude before moving onto the last stop of the night, Rat Bastard’s fifth annual Anti-Art Becomes Art Show at the only British pub in all of Little Haiti, Churchill’s. We finally got a chance to see Chris Corsano, the wunderkind solo percussionist hailing from Massachusetts.
In the list of things I wish I made it to but couldn’t was the TM Sister’s beachside performance at the Untitled fair on Monday and Tuesday night. Also not spotted was Kevin Arrow, though we kept seeing his Kenny Scarf paint-bombed Honda Element driving through Little Haiti.