What was once a sunny enclave of art scouting has become overheated with New York’s fashion set — and their penchant for parties. So is Art Basel Miami Beach now just the discerning New Yorker’s spring break? We break down the arts, the parties and where to recharge.
This story first appeared in the November 30, 2016 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
• As if Art Basel wasn’t immersive enough, Audemars Piguet is commissioning a large scale installation by Chinese artist Sun Xun at the Miami Beach Oceanfront. Enter the bamboo structure after dark to experience the full effect of the exhibit’s 3-D animations, sounds, scroll paintings, and about any other media you could wish for.
• This one’s got a nice ring to it: Bulgari is throwing a party to show off its B.Zero1 Design Legend Ring by late architect Zaha Hadid. There to get the party started — and help raise money for Raising Malawi — will be the original “Material Girl” herself, Madonna.
• For all those protesting that Art Basel Miami really is all about the art, there’s the one-two punch of Miami Beach nightclub Rockwell pairing with New York’s notorious 1Oak for a clubbier-than-thou three-night pop-up. Because nothing says fine art like grinding the night away to P. Diddy.
• Real estate developer Alan Faena and billionaire industrialist Len Blavatnik are unveiling Faena Forum, a new cultural venue designed by Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas. The building will play host to a range of parties and personalities during its Basel opening week.
• Artsy and SoundCloud are partnering to spice up the way you consume art. Supported by Gucci, Collective Reality is an immersive, sensory art experience that will take place on Miami Beach in a geodesic dome on Nov. 30 from 8 to 11 p.m. The exhibition will feature a collaboration between new media artist Rachel Rossin and R&B singer Abra.
• New Yorkers love few warm-weather things more than a rooftop bar. For a pre-party drink, Watr at the 1 Hotel in South Beach serves up a variety of cocktails, paired to poke, sushi and salads.
• Because it wouldn’t be Miami without disco balls, MM6 Maison Margiela’s pop-up shop in collaboration with California-based artist Aaron De La Cruz will feature chain-link fences, large disco balls and Baroque-inspired velvet wallpaper. Equal parts art and party, if you ask us.
• If the sudden reality of sunshine in December has you yearning to be outside, ditch the art scene for a kayak or canoe break; South Beach Kayak offers guided sunset kayak and paddleboard tours.
• Fashion meets radio at the WNL Radio exhibit, curated by Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Osborne at The Confidante. The Public School boys are invading the airwaves via a weekend of radio-as-art programming titled WNL Radio, which stands for “We Need Leaders.”
• Is your Airbnb less luxe than you’d hoped for? Spruce up your space with a selection of Louis Vuitton foldable travel accessories. The latest addition to its Objets Nomades collection is a stool by Tokujin Yoshioka and hanging fur cocoon by the Campana Brothers. The collection will be unveiled under the Design Miami tent and at the Louis Vuitton Miami Design District boutique.
• Fendi wants to make you happy. The Roman Maison has paired with architect Cristina Celestino to design furnishings for their “traveling VIP Room,” dubbed The Happy Room. The Art Deco-meets-the-Fifties collection will be unveiled under the Design Miami tent.
• You break it, you buy it: Loewe Foundation’s Miami Design District store will house 40 vessels by British potter John Ward and wallpaper designed by Irish artist William McKeown as part of its “Chance Encounters II” exhibition.
• Down in Miami for the actual fairs? Stop by Rirkrit and Tomas Vu’s participatory “Do We Dream Under the Same Sky” installation under the Untitled tent, where you can rent a surfboard — inspired by Pussy Riot — and take it out into the water. Just make sure you return it, so you can rinse off in the exhibit’s shower. Life truly is a beach sometimes.
• Just as big art names and brands flock to Art Basel, so do the real estate heavy hitters. Miami-based development firm Lionheart Capital will make their presence known through #RitzRainbow, a nighttime rainbow light beam installation that will be visible in the sky across Miami Beach.
• The Webster is a hot spot for designer-artist collaborations, and the boutique is hosting a variety of launches during the fair: Lanvin and Cédric Rivrain, Ellery and Ben Barretto, Bamford Watch Department and Enoc Perez. Looking for more of a literary moment? Jonathan Anderson is hosting a book signing for Loewe “Past Present Future” on Nov. 30, and Matt Black will also celebrate his latest book, “Reflections,” on Dec. 2 from 3 to 5 p.m.