Art Flies are usually wannabes, socialites manqué who circle museum shows and gallery parties, networking in garish garb with the hope of getting noticed by Patrick McMullan. At Basel, however, the term means something entirely different, referring instead to art connoisseurs who make their presence known without seeming at all desperate or deplorable. Herewith, a list of the 10 most-seen personalities on the Miami scene, from an Oscar winner to the members of a fictional family.
1. Susan Sarandon The Academy Award winner, ping-pong enthusiast, and recent V cover “girl” was all over Basel this year, from the W magazine dinner hosted by Daphne Guinness at Soho Beach House, to the Pringle of Scotland and Serpentine Gallery dinner hosted by Tilda Swinton at The Webster. Her party blitzkrieg ended, appropriately, at the Delano, where Sarandon hosted the Art of Ping-Pong bash along with her New York venue, SPiN Galactic, and the Museum of Contemporary Art. Pictures abound of her laughing with a faux-cop in spandex booty shorts and a matching sleeveless tank.
2. Brooke Geahan At the Standard Spa’s Playboy dinner and cocktail party on Saturday night, Geahan, the founder of the Accompanied Literary Society, worked the room in a red Marchesa pantsuit. Earlier that week, she was spotted throwing down at Assouline’s Art Game Book event, a screening of Marco Brambilla’s film, Evolution (also at the Standard), and the Interview, LVMH, and Fendi dinner at the Delano. It was hard to stay on topic while at the Playboy event, discussing with her the jam-packed week she’d had—we were surrounded by installations of naked models created by Terence Koh, Vanessa Beecroft, and Lola Schnabel, and the one word being thrown around most carelessly than “art” was “shrinkage.”
3. The Hilfigers In support of its new advertising blitz, Tommy Hilfiger sent its campaign family—“The Hilfigers”—to Miami in their all-American finery. They made appearances at the Standard Spa to celebrate 10 years of Bruce Weber’s All American book series (where the majority of guests looked like they’d been poached from Abercrombie catalogs), as well as the Paper magazine-hosted N.E.R.D performance, which was, yes, co-sponsored by Tommy Hilfiger.
4. Klaus Biesenbach Biesenbach is the current Director of MoMA PS1 and the Chief Curator at Large at MoMA, so it would do him a disservice to call him an art fly. Still, he buzzed through the fair like no one else. In addition to the Playboy party, Biesenbach touched down on the MoMA PS1 and Interview presentation at the Delano (where he cut a serious rug and drank directly from a bottle of Moet), the Interview, LVMH, and Fendi dinner, and the Maybach and MoCA-sponsored LCD Soundsystem performance at the Raleigh hotel (where civilized tippling quickly devolved into major Coyote Ugly-style table dancing).
5. Lorenzo Martone You couldn’t leave your hotel this year without running into Nycked swimwear designer and former (current?) Marc Jacobs arm candy, Lorenzo Martone. In addition to the Playboy, Bruce Weber, and Marco Brambilla parties, Martone was spotted at the Alchemist & Art Ruby Garage Party and the actual fair inside the Miami Convention Center. (He gets major art fly points for showing up in a tank top and warrior sandals.)
6. Lori Cheek I wasn’t previously familiar with Cheek, but I saw her everywhere—Bruce Weber, Assouline, and Andre Balazs-hosted unveiling of designer Marc Newson’s new Aquariva boat at the Standard Spa—and woke up one morning with a black business card in my pants that reminded me I’d been “Cheek’d.” I’m not exactly sure what that means, either, but it sounds fun.
7. Mia Moretti Of all the DJs on the Basel circuit—with, perhaps, the exception of the MisShapes, who were everywhere—Moretti was the most prolific. She provided the soundtrack to the Bruce Weber and Paper parties, and spun the Swarovski dinner—hell, I even saw her playing music at the Gansevoort’s Café Bustelo while en route to get my morning coffee.
8. Stefano Tonchi Since taking over W late last summer, Tonchi has made his presence very known to the worlds of film, fashion, and art. The editor stopped by the Swarovski dinner, the Marc Newson party, the main fair, the Vanity Fair-hosted dinner for Bruce Weber at MoCA, the Bruce Weber party at the Standard, and, yes, the W dinner—where, presumably, he finally found time to slow down and eat.
9. KAWS Brooklyn-based artist and designer Brian Donnelly, known professionally as KAWS, made cameos at every party, although in a subtle, baseball cap-wearing way so as to avoid getting shot on myriad step-and-repeats. Since he’s an actual artist, he can’t really be an art fly, but I saw him—not his works—everywhere, so he counts!
10. Aurel Schmidt The Purple-loved, New York-based, Waldo-bespectacled artist (whose name, from experience, is pronounced oh-rell, not oral) was never far from an open bar, as she made stops at the Interview, LVMH, and Fendi dinners, the Marco Brambilla screening, the Playboy party, and, naturally, Andre Saraiva’s Le Baron pop-up club at the Delano’s Florida Room, which is where most of Miami ended their nights, sweaty and bombed until well into the morning.