The Cool Kid’s Guide to Art Basel Miami Parties

As if you need any reminding, Art Basel Miami Beach is going down this week. Just like last time, I’ve rounded up the best of the best parties, installations and events to hit at the annual artsy extravaganza, but instead of serving a mere eight must-stops I’m throwing you a generous roster of 14 noteworthy calendar items. Be forewarned that some of these events are invite-only, but that shouldn’t stop you from attempting to crash the party. Now, the list!

Wednesday, Dec 5:
·Le Baron will be hosting secret late-night parties all over Miami through December 9. You can track the parties down by 6pm nightly with the "Where is Le Baron?" iPhone app or by tuning into the dedicated website.
·Valentino and Interview host the launch of the “Pop Pois” capsule collection, which will be sold exclusively at The Webster and Valentino Boutiques nationwide. Drinks by Belvedere. The Webster, 1220 Collins Ave. 6-8:30pm.
·From December 6 through 8, Havaianas is teaming up with Art Basel to host a series of space-inspired soccer games. Designed by the French art duo Kolkoz, the beach will be transformed to replicate the lunar landing site of Apollo 11. Miami Collins Park between 21st and 22nd street on the beach. 11am-6pm daily.
·Carter Cleveland, Art.sy CEO Wendi Murdoch, Pay-Pal co-founder Peter Thiel and Russian socialite Dasha Zhukova host a Chanel beachside BBQ that will be attended by the likes of Drew Barrymore and Owen Wilson. Soho Beach House, 4385 Collins Ave. Invite only (obvs).

Thursday, Dec 6:
·Cult-favorite brand Clover Canyon is hosting a sartorial bash with artist Alexandra Grant. Scoop at the Shore Club Hotel, 1901 Collins Ave.
·Diane von Furstenberg and evian are hosting an intimate luncheon at Soho Beach House Miami to celebrate the launch of the 2013 limited edition bottle that Diane designed. Soho Beach House, 4385 Collins Ave.

Friday, Dec 7:
·amFar Inspiration Party presented by MAC Viva Glam with silent art auction presented by Two x Two For Aids and Art. Chloe Sevigny expected to attend. Soho Beach House. Invite only.
·Visionaire and Net-a-Porter party to launch their "Free Store" at Hyde Beach at the SLS South Beach. Invite only.
·Maison Kitsune pop-up boutique wih cocktails and special performances by Kitsune guest deejays. Alchemist’s boutique,1111 Lincoln Road. 9pm-12am.

Saturday, Dec 8:
·An art discussion with LACMA director Michael Govan and MET director Thomas P. Campbell called "Rethinking the Encyclopedic Museum". Miami Beach Convention Center, 10 am.
·Stylecaster party with performance by ArtBattles and music by The Misshapes. The Gale South Beach, 1690 Collins Ave. 
·Roberto Cavalli, Rico Love and Saks Fifth Avenue host a fancy-pants cocktail reception at the Cabanas at the SLS Hotel South Beach. Invite only.
·LCD Soundsystem book launch party celebrating a book from photographer Ruvan Wijesooriya documenting seven years on tour with LCD Soundsystem. Featuring DJ sets by LCD Soundsystem’s Eric Duncan and Nancy Whang. Hotel Victor, 1144 Ocean Drive. 9pm-2am.

Sunday, Dec 9:
·Monocle Order + Black Banditz host "Sunset Sessions" with music by Rick Rude and special guests. Learn more about the duo’s parties throughout the week here. King and Groves Tides Hotel, 1220 Ocean Dr. 12-6pm.

Art Basel Miami Will Feature The First Art Festival Dedicated to GIFs

It’s been a banner year for the quarter-century-old medium that is the Graphic Interchange Format. Thanks to Tumblr and other blogging and aggregation sites, the animated GIF is no longer merely the bouncing, bejeweled cartoon that accompanies a MIDI of “The Hampster Dance” [sic], but the visual storytelling medium du jour (Emojis remain a close second, although they’re definitely poised to overtake in 2013). Blogs like What Should We Call Me and its many regional and professional equivalents have dedicated countless hours to finding the perfect looped mini-animation from Arrested Development or SpongeBob SquarePants to capture the precise emotion of running into your crush at the gym or studying for the Bar Exam. Tumblr live-GIF’d a Presidential debate. Some band put out an animated GIF EP. Chances are you’ve had at least one heated conversation today over how to pronounce it (it’s with a soft “g,” like the peanut butter).

And as the Internet still determines its best practices for using this sometimes amusing but overhyped medium, the art world is catching on, too. Tumblr and Paddle8 are joining forces for Moving the Still, an art exhibition celebrating a quarter-century of animated GIFs. Fans of the medium can submit their GIFs (and explore some already posted by a host of artists) on the Moving the Still website through November 7th, after which they will be at the mercy of an illustrious selection committee. And whom do you recruit to judge the artists participating in a GIF showcase? Among them, (former) R.E.M. frontman Michael Stipe, the Rodarte Sisters, author James Frey and artist Ryan Trecartin. Winners will be announced November 26th and have the opportunity to showcase their animations during Art Basel Miami Beach in December.

Here’s hoping that BlackBook senior editor Tyler Coates submits an interpretation of his standby GIF of choice to the festival. 

The Drug of Choice at Art Basel Was a Gal Named Molly

For good reason, Miami is known as a cocaine town. The skyline is built from the stuff. But the girl on everyone mind and in everyone’s cerebral cortex this year was Molly, and she made this one of the most touchy feely, affectionate Basel editions thus far. According to insider Basel sources, everywhere one went, the quest was on to link up with Molly, otherwise known as MDMA, or Ecstasy, or the drug that shut down nightlife as we know it in New York City.

We were at the Delano, discussing this fact with Jen Gatien (daughter of Peter, and producer of a great doc about her eye-patched pops called Limelight, that screened at Art Basel this year, and which happens to chronicle the rise of ecstasy and subsequent demise of the NY night), while watching two pretty young Basel girls in town from LA, fondling each other under the Molly spell.

Also in on the conversation was a striking med student studying to be a neurosurgeon, in town from Washington DC. Both girls had never tried the stuff, and were talking about pills this and pills that, when someone pointed out that the preferred medium for Molly these days–certainly among the Basel set–is the pure powder form. Then, we also remembered that Jen also produced the wonderful Holy Rollers, which stars Jesse Eisenberg as a hasidic jew who flips E in New York City. Yet she seemed blissfully unaware of the physical properties of the drug itself–commendable for someone who grew up in what the federal government alleged was "a drug supermarket." (The crack aisle must have been entertaining). 

So in conclusion: Molly put the E in Art Basel this year, and really seemed to take the edge off the otherwise uptight, elite art world that descends on Miami for their annual Spring Break. 

On the Street at Art Basel Miami: Leopard Louboutins & Pink Murses

Art Basel Miami has come and gone. Fast, furious, profoundly fun—from downtown to the beach, it seemed never-ending, a crazy Veuve Clicquot, Belvedere, and Marlboro-fueled fantasyland. Open bars, beautiful people, fantastic music, and miles and miles of art. You get it. As expected, the normally less-than-remarkable Miami style scene was significantly amped up this past week, and here are some of my favorite shots. Starting with these Christian Louboutin leopard booties under a Valentino dress at the Alchemist’s garage party. I love leopards. I love Valentino. I love designer garages.

image This young man wears a camel blazer from The Row. I am jealous of this blazer. Shot at kitschy beach bar Kill Your Idol.

image I think this guy’s name was Sam. Ferragamo flats, Chloé sunglasses, and a blindingly pink Hermès Birkin bag.

image Fashionable elephant tattoos look pretty with blonde hair and sunlight. Found at Scope Art Fair. image Amanda at the MoMA PS1/Interview Party, poolside at the Delano. Scarlet lips and a handcuff necklace.

image Daniela & Miami Beach. Wears Chanel blazer, Sam Edelman heels.

image Delfina Delettrez Fendi Collar, shot at Tomas Maier. Delfina’s jewelry is in a league of its own. Highly conceptual little works of art, I’d buy her work just to look at.

image Christian Louboutin studded kicks. More envy. Sigh.

Fashion Feed: Lagerfeld Makes ‘Mythology’ NSFW, Fashion’s Night Out is Back

● The 2011 Pirelli calendar snapped by Karl Lagerfeld is too hot for history (NSFW). [WWD] ● Is designer Bruce Oldfield the one for Kate Middleton? [The Cut] ● What not to do at Art Basel (for one, don’t call it “Art Bay-zil”). [Miami New Times]

● September 8 is the date for next year’s Fashion’s Night Out. [Vogue] ● Makeup secrets and more from the artists behind Darren Aronofsky’s film Black Swan. [Racked]

Art Basel Countdown: Gifting the Street Snob

We all know at least one guy who owns a fitted cap in every colorway imaginable, always has the coolest limited-release kicks, and knows more about underground streetwear than the average person knows about, well, anything. He goes to Art Basel every year, either to participate in an exhibit or support his range of artist friends. And now that the holidays are fast-approaching and this guy is on your gift list, what can you possibly give him that he A) doesn’t already have, or B) doesn’t think is totally played out? Here’s a roundup of items that just might impress.

1. Rebel 8Candlestick Varsity Jacket. Every street snob should have a good wool varsity jacket in their lineup. This version from the up-and-coming streetwear label is a great contender. $190.

2. New Era x AdaptThe Crispy Fitted. The embroidered 3D Adapt logo across the front and bright orange underbill are nice touches to this limited-release cap. $38.

3. Super by RetroSuperFutureLeather Flat Tops. Super is a cool Italian brand known for their handmade sunglasses in exclusive shapes and styles. These all-leather ones are a unique find and a definite crowd-pleaser. $310.

4. David SzebenyiBeard Bros iPhone 4 Case. The wooden casing and simple illustration is like taking a little piece of art with you wherever you go. $89.

5. VansCalifornia Era 45 in Tortoise Shell/Total Eclipse. A more adaptable version of the boat shoe, this style could be dressed up or down and the color combination goes with everything. $75.

Art Basel Countdown: The Curtis Kulig Takeover

For all that Curtis Kulig has accomplished, the guy is totally laid back. His iconic “Love Me” tag can be seen all over Tokyo, Los Angeles, and New York, even making a cameo during the opening credits of Saturday Night Live. While other street artists choose the road of anonymity, Kulig welcomes the opportunity to get both his name and face out there—especially if it means collaborating with the artists and brands he respects. In addition to working on his photography and collaborative pieces with other well-known artists, he’s been able to parlay his street art fame into a presence in the fashion world, most recently linking with Nike Sportswear on a series of limited-edition tees and hoodies for Fashion’s Night Out. And although this time around Kulig is going to Art Basel just for fun (and likely to support his many artist friends), I’m sure this rising artist will be one of the main attractions come next year.

Hi, Curtis. Can you tell me when you were first introduced to the art world? Hi, Natalie. I started with art at a young age watching my dad silkscreen and my uncle Anthony paint oil portraits. My uncle’s an insane painter that I still look up to. I guess ever since then, art has never really stopped being a part of my life.

When and why did you start writing “Love Me”? “Love Me” stems from an obvious feeling. It started in a sketchbook and ended up everywhere and on just about everything I created.

How did the Nike Sportswear collaboration for Fashion’s Night Out come about? Director and photographer Kai Regan hit me up to do the project. Nike has always supported me and my work, so I went for it. They’re a progressive company and I’m grateful for their support. Hopefully I’ll work with them on some more projects.

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Recently you were tapped to contribute work to Bill’s Bar & Burger as part of their local art initiative. What was that like? It all started when Matthew Abromick asked me to do this restaurant on 51st Street in Rockefeller Center. I went and checked it out and the place was really big and impressive, even in its raw state at the time. You could tell that it was going to look great once completed. The installation space I had to work with was huge and I was into all the other artists working on the project, like Barry McGee, Sage Vaughn, and so on. A lot of late nights were spent there and a bunch of people rolled through. Check out the video below.

What kinds of projects do you have coming down the pipeline? I’m doing some fashion things in Japan, working on some tees with Deadline, a collaboration with Ricky Powell, a sculpture, some group shows, a book with OHWOW, jewelry, Baron Von Fancy lighters, and more. I’m just working on a bunch of different things with friends and family. It’s great to stay busy and keep work circulating.

More than ever before, the fashion industry is working with street artists to gain a raw, creative edge. If you had a chance to work with any fashion designer, who would it be? Definitely Dries Van Noten.

Photo of Curtis Kulig by David Perez.

One-Stop Shopping Over Art Basel Miami

Black Friday and Cyber Monday got you down? Me too. Black Friday and Cyber Monday are actually the most annoying things ever. But a light shines at the end of the proverbial retail tunnel. This week Art Basel Miami rolls back around, and what better or more fabulous of a locale in which to do your holiday shopping? If you are like me and would prefer to get all of your spending done quickly and efficiently, look no further than Tomas Maier in Miami’s budding Design District. The store is stocked with Maier’s eponymous label (think: the most luxurious cashmere and classically sexy swimwear), handpicked selections from Bottega Veneta (of which Maier is creative director), and a bevy of other rare offerings. Yet for Art Basel Miami, a limited installment of even more unique goodness will be available in-store.

First up, Delfina Delettrez (pictured above). This gifted Fendi-clan offspring, based in Rome, designs conceptual and surrealistic jewelry (jaws, bony hands, a Michael Jackson-esque figurine brooch). Delettrez will show select pieces from her newest collections starting December 1. Perfect, actually, for the girl who has everything (because she probably doesn’t have anything like this just yet).

Next, maybe for grandma and grandpa or mom, pick up a porcelain figurine or two from Nymphenburg. This 260-year old German brand has become renowned for their startlingly lifelike animal sculptures. Very expensive, but so worth it.

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Finally, scope out Lisa Eisner in the upstairs gallery. Eisner is a California-based photographer whose work focuses on “explorations of the American West.” Graphic, intense, and memorable—these would look great at the beach house.

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Tomas Maier is located at 170 N.E. 40th Street, Miami, FL; 305-576-8383.

Art Basel Countdown: Six Great Art + Fashion Collaborations

Season nine of Art Basel Miami Beach kicks off December 2, which means you’ll be jumping on a plane to check out the country’s greatest art show any day now. While you’re busy planning which exhibits and parties to hit, we’ll be here counting down to the big event with some art-inspired features. To get things started, here’s a roundup of awesome art-meets-fashion items available at Opening Ceremony.

1. MismoAnOther & Colette x Peter Pilotto Mismo Shopper. AnOther Magazine and Paris boutique Colette’s collaborative project with womenswear designer Peter Pilotto takes this classic bag to the next level, thanks to Pilotto’s signature 3D print. $315.

2. VilacKeith Haring Chair. The renowned French toy company was provided with a number of New York artist Keith Haring’s iconic pieces, which produced a brilliant children’s chair that’s guaranteed to become a collector’s item. $155.

3. Mandy CoonGinny Leather Bunny Bag. The New York model-turned-DJ-turned-designer’s leather bunny-shaped bag is cute, a little creepy, and a fun conversation piece. $435.

4. Marina Abramović The Artist is Present. Known as the “grandmother of performance art,” this must-have retrospective traces the prolific career of Marina Abramović, whose work spans over four decades of installations, solo performances, and work with longtime collaborator Ulay. $50.

5. Art Production FundElizabeth Peyton Towel. Elizabeth Peyton’s towel version of her Sid Vicious charcoal drawing was produced as part of Art Production Fund and WOW (Works on Whatever)’s Artist Towel Series, which debuted at Art Basel Miami in 2008. $95.

6. Aurel Schmidt for OCP Tee. 2010 Whitney Biennial artist (and Art Basel fixture) Aurel Schmidt’s exclusive letter tees for Opening Ceremony are based off of the Ace Hotel shop sign she created, which spells out the hotel’s name in beer, blood, and other junk. $60.