Art Basel FOMO: When Non-Arty People Attend Art Fairs

Photo: Billy Farrell/BFAnyc.com

Every once and awhile an event will happen that will engulf your Instagram feed whether you like it or not. Basically the two weeks of Coachella and the days of Art Basel Miami take the cake on the obnoxious photo posts that create a major fear of missing out for those not involved. That little Facebook status saying “Miami” has a much more powerful effect if it’s between the 3rd and 7th of December.

Welcome to America, where every event, regardless of the subject matter, is turned into a fanfare of celebrities and brand powerhouses. Case in point, the fabulous array of people in attendance at the Basel events in Miami. In honor of making you even more green-eyed over Art Basel and its eccentric famous attendees, we’ve collected our favorite party pupils.

1. Michelle Williams at the Louis Vuitton’s Playing With Shapes Dinner Billy-Farrell-2Photo: Billy Farrell/BFAnyc.com

2. Kate Hudson at the Louis Vuitton’s Playing With Shapes Dinner LOUIS VUITTON Dinner PLAYING WITH SHAPES / Pierre Paulin, 1972Photo: Billy Farrell/BFAnyc.com

3. Derek Blasberg and Kate Hudson at the Louis Vuitton’s Playing With Shapes Dinner LOUIS VUITTON Dinner PLAYING WITH SHAPES / Pierre Paulin, 1972Photo: Billy Farrell/BFAnyc.com

4. Bella Hadid at the Louis Vuitton’s Playing With Shapes Dinner LOUIS VUITTON Dinner PLAYING WITH SHAPES / Pierre Paulin, 1972Photo: Billy Farrell/BFAnyc.com

5. Miranda Kerr at the Louis Vuitton’s Playing With Shapes Dinner LOUIS VUITTON Dinner PLAYING WITH SHAPES / Pierre Paulin, 1972Photo: Billy Farrell/BFAnyc.com

6. Chelsea Leyland at the W Magazine and Miami Beach Edition Hotel Party THE MIAMI BEACH EDITION HOTEL launches with a celebration for W MAGAZINEPhoto: Joe Schildhorn/BFAnyc.com

7. Toni Garrn and Douglas Booth at the W Magazine and Miami Beach Edition Hotel PartyJoe-SchildhornPhoto: Joe Schildhorn/BFAnyc.com

8. Tommy Hilfiger at Celebration of Marc Quinns Collab with Dee Ocleppo Celebration of MARC QUINNS collaboration with DEE OCLEPPO, benefitting AUTISM SPEAKS, at the home of Dee and Tommy HilfigerPhoto: David X Prutting/BFAnyc.com

9. Karolina Kurkova at Celebration of Marc Quinns Collab with Dee Ocleppo Celebration of MARC QUINNS collaboration with DEE OCLEPPO, benefitting AUTISM SPEAKS, at the home of Dee and Tommy HilfigerPhoto: David X Prutting/BFAnyc.com

10. Leigh Lezark at Morgans Hotel Group The Teepee Project Opening Party MORGANS HOTEL GROUP presents The Teepee Project Opening Party featuring The MisshapesPhoto: Madison McGaw/BFAnyc.com

The Webster’s New Men’s Shop is a Necessary Pitstop at Basel

Heading to Art Basel? Of course you are. It’s not just the art, and the parties… but the shopping’s good, too. The men might have been wanting before, but with the opening of The Webster’s new men’s shop at Bal Harbour, well, they’re in for a treat. With Basel around the corner, it’s perfect timing.

After all, contemporary art is a natural match for the goods at The Webster, like Peter Pilotto’s intricate prints and Edie Parker’s glittery lucite clutches. And now, men can have equally fantastic picks at the newly opened men’s branch.

The store will carry the same mix of established, well-known designers and emerging talents in a sleek space. The men’s store will have contemporary, masculine vibes with wood and bronze accents and custom light sculptures.

HBA miami webster men

mens webster shoes

mens webster lounge

webster flamingo

The Webster Men’s is located at 9700 Collins Ave, Second Floor, Bal Harbour, Florida.

Almost Everything You Need To Know About Art Basel In One Single Image

Ah, the celebration for Jeff Koons and Dom Pérignon at the Wall – perhaps no other event so perfectly summed up the parties of Art Basel in Miami more than this one. Jam-packed and star-smattered, it was sort of a grown up’s version of the world’s most hyperbolic Sweet 16 Party.

In the photograph above we see Zoe Kravitz, left, daughter of Lenny, who later stood in the DJ booth singing, karaoke-style, over his own 1993 hit, “Are You Gonna Go My Way?” Tucked in the background is gallerist and artist Tony Shafrazi; next to him is DJ Ruckus. To Ruckus’s right, with arm raised, is Aerosmith vocalist Steven Tyler (who also gave some self-karaoke assistance to 1989’s “Love In An Elevator.”) Mr. Tyler is flanked by luxury magazine magnate Jason Binn.

And there you have it.

Photo: David X Prutting and Keith Tiner, BFA

React to Film and LACMA Screen 3 Iconic Artists for an Evening Sponsored by Gemfields and BlackBook at Art Basel

Earlier this month at Miami’s Art Basel, React to Film, LACMA (Los Angeles County Museum), Gemfields, and BlackBook presented a series of three short films from some of the art world’s most iconic personalities. Directors Henry Joost & Ariel Schulman, Lace Acord, and Lucy Walker screened their short features on the work of John Baldessari, Ed Ruscha, and David Hockney at an intimate event at South Beach’s Delano Hotel. Previously, we wrote about the party, giving you a look at the three fantastic films shown—and now you can take a peak at the minds that brought the event together.

With a mission to inspire people to become interested and connected  in social issues, Reach to Film works to bring issue-based filmmaking to in the foreground and spark civic engagement, and found a common affinity in partnering with LACMA, who have always worked to highlight the best of cinema and the great artists behind it. Here we see React to Film President Coralie Paul, Chairman Dennis Paul, and Gemfields’ Director of Marketing & Communications Randi Molofsky discussing the night’s events and the importance of bringing the artists work to life. Take a look.

Fast Cars, Booze, & Good Music This Weekend at Re:Mix Lab’s Four-Day Party

I wasn’t going to write this week. I’m moving, and with the packing and a couple of DJ gigs I’m doing, it was too much, but here I am with my fifth article in so many days. When I don’t write I miss talking to you, and some of you say you miss me too.

I’m moving just a couple blocks from where I am now, into a better space for the same rent. I dwell in Williamsburg which is, to me, a little slice of heaven on earth. The Williamsburg/Greenpoint renaissance at first captured my imagination, and then my body, just like my second wife. New places to eat, drink, or play pop up faster than you can say "Bushwick.” A Manhattan snob friend was shocked that I wasn’t returning to Little Italy faster than you can no longer say Ray’s Pizza said to me, " Yo, I’ve been to that Williamsburg main drag two times, whatta ya call it, Bedford …didn’t see what all the fuss was about, yo Stevie, ya gots to come back to your peeps.” I told him that would be like judging Manhattan by the strip
of Broadway between Houston and Canal.  Bburg is built for me and mine. The delis, the restaurants, the boutiques, the furniture stores are geared to people with tastes like me. Most of the places in Manhattan these days cater to the old bridge-and-tunnel crowd which came in to occupy all those tall dormitories built in the last decade or so. So be it. Bburg certainly is becoming yuppified, and the baby carriages are becoming more common, but for now it’s my happy home.

Last night I missed the opening reception for the Re:Mix Lab. It was the kick-off of four days of fun, fun, fun till her daddy takes the Hyundai away. Hyundai has their cars on display and invites people to check them out while providing talent and a great party. Fast cars and booze are combined without danger since the cars can’t be driven . Yesterday I was DJing at Hotel Chantelle but am told there were live performances by Blonds, Skaters, and Opossum, as well as "Action Bronson, RL Grime, Sound Remedy, Hyperbits, Huge Euge, Nick Thayer, Sazon Booya, along with product demos from emerging technology companies such as Songza, Mixify,Beamz, Scratch Academy.” The events continue at Chelsea Market, 410 W.16th Street.

Here’s the programming for today through Sunday.

Friday, September 28
12:00PM – 6:00PM: The Future of Music Is Now (open house format)
                  – Vehicle displays, exhibits in collaboration, interactive art display, social media photo sharing, technology start-up village
8:00 PM: Music & Technology Keynote and panel discussion
   10:00 PM: Live performances
                  – RL Grime & Action Bronson: Solo performances, plus live on-stage collaboration to create a song for Hyundai Remix Lab. Recorded and remixed moments later by Sound Remedy to demonstrate how songs evolve into remixes.

Saturday, September 29
12:00PM – 6:00PM: Scratch Academy hosted by DJ Dasmatic (open house format)
                  – Vehicle displays, exhibits in collaboration, interactive art display, social media photo sharing, DJ mixing sessions, Learn to DJ demos
7:00PM: Closed to reset venue
9:00PM – 2:00AM: Live Performances (presented by ELEKTRO Magazine)
                   – Hyperbits: Electronic dance music duo based out of NYC, known for energetically fusing together big room progressive house, electro and trance
                   – Huge Euge: Resident mashup DJ at Pacha NYC
                   – Sazon Booya
                   – Nick Thayer

Sunday, September 30
12:00PM – 5:00PM: Scratch Academy, vehicle displays

I caught up with Zev Norotsky, president of H360 Group who told me all about it.

I caught the last five minutes of this last year and didn’t understand much of what was going on. The idea is to mix music with fast cars to build a consumer base.
At its core, the Re:Mix Lab represents the fusion of music and technology. The cars themselves are the focal point and give a reference for the entire event. The exhibit is the perfect backdrop to showcase these amazing one-of-a-kind vehicles and celebrate the spirit of collaboration, which is ubiquitous in today’s pop cultural lexicon. The car and gallery experience creates an amazing environment to bring together all these influences and create an amazing dialogue with consumers.

This is happening in a number of locations with different musical pairings. Tell me about the event.
Re:Mix Lab is a four-month, seven-city tour with events in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami (during Art Basel), Vegas, Austin, and Seattle. Each event features different musical programming curated for that specific market, with the goal to include all genres. Using New York as a guide, tonight is indie, tomorrow has more of a hip-hop/DJ mixing flavor, and Saturday is electronica.  In some markets we pair artists from different genres together who, in addition to doing their own sets, create original music live on stage, staying true to the notion of a remix.

Is there a bucket list-type mentality pitch with some of the patrons who are young and possibly unable to afford but are (excuse the pun) upwardly mobile?
If anything, the reason Hyundai has been so successful is that they are affordable and represent the best value proposition for young adults. A Veloster Base starts at $17,000 est.

Is this a think-outside-of-the-car show/tv commercial box marketing?
The marketing is steeped in our understanding that our core consumer lives at the intersection of all these cultural influences. By creating the Re:Mix Lab, Hyundai has embraced their ideologies and given them an amazing experience with high-badge value (read: bragging rights) that fuses live events with social media and beyond.

Why That Recent NYT Nightlife Article Makes No Sense

I’ll be at BOW, 199 Bowery at Spring, tonight and maybe even tomorrow to check out the latest and sure-to-be greatest offering from bon vivant Travis Bass. The 199 Bowery space is an EMM Group foray to the wonderful world of downtown. There is an attitude out there that nightlife needs to deliver uniformity or even predictability for success. EMM group seems to be taking a different approach and should be commended for their effort. A recent NY Times article " A Night Life Veteran Bets On Social Media," is not worth the paper that I didn’t read it on.

Mr. Andy Russell, a former owner at the defunct Moomba – the most overrated club in history – is gathering groups of people to joints around town early in the evening. The creatures of the night will be just stirring or putting on their outfits while Mr. Russell’s crowd gathers at places bound to be chic after they leave. It rants about the acceptance of the same ol’ same ol’ attitude of bringing like-minded people together.

Clubs are wonderful when like-minded individuals mix with people who dress, behave, and generally think differently are thrown in. The "novel" idea of having parties early so that people can be in bed by midnight is not only nothing new, but reeks of old and tired. Jerry and Mimi Rubin did this networking thing decades ago before social media made networking so easy. They drew 5,000 suit-and-tie types that didn’t want to mingle with the hipsters and those "other" types. The OMG complaint about being in a real club which will even have a door policy later in the evening is sooooo lame. This is a way for clubs to get early revenue; it’s been around and forever and there is nothing wrong with it. Andy’s crowd has a right to gather, but why the Times Inc.?. It is a tried and true way for the older set to go out and meet and agree, and it sounds as boring as anything I’ve heard about in a while. Charity events serve this purpose and exist for a good cause. 

This Sunday, a good cause requires the presence of some of these suit-and-tie types and others who want to mingle. The children and supporters of New York Foundling are having a reception at the Palace Theatre, 1564 Broadway at 47th Street, where attendees will enjoy a matinee performance of the Broadway show Annie the Musical. Attendees will include:

"Staten Island-based Foundling families, many of whom have never seen a Broadway show, and who have been trying to rebuild their lives in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy. The Foundling purchased tickets for the children and their families with money donated from a campaign to support “real-life Annies” across New York City . The Foundling is hosting a pre-performance reception at the Palace Theatre featuring a special performance by students from The Foundling’s charter school in the South Bronxwho will serenade Annie composer Charles Strouse with their own rendition of “Tomorrow.” CNN “Starting Point” Anchor and Foundling volunteer Soledad O’Brien will emcee. (This short performance is scheduled to begin at 1:00pm.) Other guests include the original “Annie,” Andrea McArdle, Annie producer Arielle Tepper Madover, director James Lapine,  and Annie the Musical cast members.

Bill Rudin, vice chairman & CEO of Rudin Management Company, Inc. and Anthony Watson, chairman and CEO of EmblemHealth, Inc. will be honored for their strong and continuous support for The Foundling."

There are hundreds of events where good hearted people can meet and mingle with like-minded types.

A dinner for non-like-minded people will celebrate artist Kevin McHugh as he heads to Art Basel 2012 with all those Art-y Basel types. The dinner hosted by Patricia Fields, Wendy Williams and DJ Danny Tenaglia will be at THE OUT NYC, 510 W. 30th street, where thinking outside the box is encouraged. Kevin’s art is Pucci-inspired and will be previewed at the soiree. DJ Alex Perez’s sounds will dance around the conversation. 

Last on today’s list of things to do and, of course, not do will be Saturday’s “Wildchild” party at 107 Suffolk St., 11pm. Pal Ian El Dorado will DJ. My friend, Facebook and otherwise, Joy Rider will host and I can’t miss it. There, I will bask in rock and roll and hang with like-minded people that I like.

O, Miami Lineup Looks Pretty Enticing

Miami may be known more for its celebrations of fashion and big splashy expensive parties that are sort of about art, but in April, a number of excellent writers will be flocking to the Sunshine State for the biennial O, Miami Poetry Festival. The festival combines traditional readings with more interactive events and activities with the goal of getting all of the 2-million-plus residents of Miami-Dade County to encounter or experience a poem. Past participants have included the likes of former Poet Laureate Billy Collins, Kool Moe Dee, Tony Hoagland and James Franco because of course he’d be there, with banners, local businesses and more playing home to new verses.

The lineup, too, is pretty excellent for a literary festival without being too overwhelming. Visiting poets include Richard Blanco, who you may remember from President Obama’s second inauguration, heavy-hitting Chicago writer Achy Obejas, funny Internet person Megan Amram and Sonic Youth frontman Thurston Moore. Chase Twitchell, Natalie Diaz, Jean Portante, Frank Baez, Eduardo C. Corral, Victor Rodrîguez Núñez, Tom Healy, Stacey Waite and DéLana R.A. Dameron round out the visitors’ lineup for now. The organizers will be hosting an informational session for people who want to be involved with the festival today—check out the website for details.

Here’s a video of Agustina Woodgate from the last O, Miami, taking us through her process of “poetry bombing,” sewing poems into the tags of clothing items and other unexpected places. Hey, if it gets more people reading and appreciating words, then it’s not a bad idea.

Our Man In Miami: Peter Anton Tickles Art Basel’s Sweet Spot

The only puzzling thing about seeing a vividly tricked-out thrill ride pop up in Midtown Miami for Art Week was: why it hadn’t happened long before now. As everyone knows, that mad dash folks erroneously refer to as Art Basel (which is actually the name of but one of many massive components) is the cultural equivalent of a thrill ride itself—albeit one where 100,000 of the world’s most illustrious creatives all hop on at the same time. It’s also a bit of a carnival; only in this case, the revelers all seem to have doctorates in decadence. And while there was no way in heaven or hell for even one of those top-shelf party people to catch every happening on their wish list, let alone all fit on a single thrill ride within a 5-day stint, a damn good gaggle did make a point of lining up for the attraction—and they all consequently sweetened the time of their wild lives as a result.

Yes, you guessed it: this heaping helping of praise is for Peter Anton’s Sugar & Gomorrah, the thrill ride which served as a sort of artful carny sideshow to the big tent Art Miami and its adjacent three-ring CONTEXT. If the block-long lines are any indication, Anton’s great creation also proved to be one of Miami Art Week’s most crowd-pleasingly popular sights. 

Presented by Palm Beach’s Arcature Fine Art (who’ve long handled Anton’s action) and green-lit into existence by Art Miami/CONTEXT Director Nick Korniloff, Sugar & Gomorrah combined confections and sex, and made of them one singularly sweetest sensation. Actually, it was a series of sensations, and each lasted but the proverbial blink of an eye. No surprise, considering the one-minute duration of the thrill. According to Anton, the rapid-fire frenzy of it all was highly intentional. “I wanted people to be reminded of how fast we live, and how quickly some of the best things in life can pass us by,” said Anton right after my minute-long ride-along. “I’m sure you saw the underdressed beauties and the oversized treats; but how many things didn’t you see? And how much of what you did see were you able to take in? Seems the faster we go, the less we’re able to appreciate. And there are a lot of things out there worth appreciating.”

By adding the notion of Gomorrah to the equation, Anton’s carnal candyland didn’t just suggest we stop and smell the roses, it seemed to recommend we gobble them up—thorns and all. How else to best sate our most sublime desires before the proverbial bell tolls for everyone? And while the sixty-second sexing of our collective sweet spot did in many aspects seem to evoke instant gratification, the creation is the result of one long hot summer. “We repurposed the classic 1960s Mouse Trap ride,” he explained. “Unfortunately there are only three left in existence, and of those only two are fully operational. So we spent all last summer chasing carnivals from town to town just to get a sense of what would and wouldn’t work. I can’t even tell you how much cotton candy such an endeavor entails.”

Speaking of treats, I wanted to ask Anton how many times he’d had to listen to Leslie Gore’s "Sunshine, Lollipops and Rainbows” and whether that or any other syrupy ditty helped to keep him going while he was creating Sugar & Gomorrah. Sadly, our chat had already exceeded its original one-minute limit. I did thought it prudent to know just how he pulled off placing such a great creation at such a prime location throughout the largest art show on earth. “That was all Nick,” said Anton. ”Arcature and I approached him with the idea and he said go for it. He didn’t ask see a drawing or a blueprint or anything. Nick’s only condition was that we make it absolutely spectacular.”

As anyone lucky enough to thrill through Sugar & Gomorrah will gladly tell you, Anton not only met Korniloff’s condition, he hit Miami Art Week’s sweetest spot, right between the heart and the mind.

Our Man in Miami: Banksy Was Everywhere at Art Basel—Or Was He?

“I tell people Banksy is just like Jesus… do you expect to see Him at Art Basel this year?”

That was New York and Southampton gallerist Stephan Keszler sharing the stock response he gave to the people who asked whether or not Britain’s most infamous street artist was lurking about town for that madness called Art Basel. Keszler wasn’t implying Banksy is as big or even bigger than Jesus, mind you (or even that he’s bigger than The Beatles); it was simply a quick way to point out the rather ridiculousness of the question. As all the world knows, Banksy has largely made his fame by not showing his face—ever. And to think the masked man would suddenly decide to unmask simply because his works were being exhibited, is about as absurd as thinking 12.21.12 will be the day the Christian deity decides to finally pull off the long-promised Second Coming—never mind that the minute either one of them does reveal themselves, it’s all over.

Keszler was the main force behind the extensive collection of Banksy on display at Art Miami and its adjacent CONTEXT art fair throughout the just-wrapped Miami Art Week. Consequently, he got questioned about Banksy a lot. But Keszler’s rapid-fire reply wasn’t only practical, it was also apropos. Most folks inquired about Banksy in the hushed and reverent tones generally reserved for saints or other such eminences. And even if the guerilla muralist hasn’t can’t quite be called a deity, it’s clear the cult of personality he’s cultivated is reaching proportions that are now near Biblical. 

Adding perceived insult to apparent blasphemy, is the fact that the first two murals Keszler acquired came directly from Bethlehem, after a couple Palestinian entrepreneurial types had some trouble unloading the walls they’d torn down. “They were trying to sell the walls on eBay," said Keszler. “Can you believe it? I told them, Banksy or no Banksy, you can’t sell three tons of cinderblock on eBay; that’s not even remotely possible. But I may be able to help get the murals off your hands.” Those murals—“Wet Dog” and “Stop and Search”— were indeed rescued by Keszler, and at considerable effort and expense. That’s likely why he initially put ‘em up for six-figure sale at Art Southampton, summer sister fair of Art Miami.

Done in cahoots with British gallerist Robin Barton and the London-based Bankrobber Gallery, with whom Keszler’s been selling Banksy prints since at least 2009, the showing (and the salvaging) proved to be more than a mite controversial. Both, because the artist’s official Pest Control refused to authenticate the works (though the outfit doesn’t authenticate any of Banksy’s street art), and because some believed the murals should’ve remained on the West Bank (despite each having sat scattered and unseen in a stonemason’s lot for years).

Freed from their price tags (though major museums have reportedly made inquiries about their acquisition) and shown in support of Keszler’s just-launched IPXLU, the murals joined five other rescued street artworks in an exhibition entitled “Banksy: Out of CONTEXT”. As at Southampton, the usual array of crybabies made their usual complaints. Yet for the vast majority of the 60,000 plus who attended Art Miami and CONTEXT throughout Art Week, the onslaught of Banksy proved to be overwhelmingly edifying. “We would never have seen these works anywhere but on the internet,” said one slickly-suited Jane, speaking on behalf of her tricked-out pals. “And I don’t care what people say. We’re standing face-to-face with some of the most iconic images of this decade—images that for all anyone knows may have been lost forever. What the hell is wrong with that?”

I don’t know, but I’m betting if Keszler did get a chance to confront Banksy, he couldn’t have said it better himself.