Art is not the only sight to see while in Miami for Art Basel — even Yoko Ono is planning to enjoy herself at the fair. Here’s where to eat, drink, shop and dance during this year’s extravaganza, which kicks off Wednesday and runs through Sunday.
MAKE YOUR MARK
Visionaire, the terminally hip collector’s magazine, is celebrating its 50th issue with a bash at a bar — but not the kind that serves Champagne. This one will offer Magic Markers, not drinks, as the publication converts the front lot at the Raleigh hotel into a so-called “Coloring Bar.” Fans of the magazine — the 50th issue is a set of 10 nesting toys designed by 10 artists — can pick up their own set of three blank toys to color at the bar, which will be open from Tuesday to Sunday until 9 p.m. All the proceeds will go to the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation. The anniversary issue, which was made in a limited edition of 4,000 sets, showcases vaguely anthropomorphic figurines — like post-modern Russian dolls — decorated by the likes of Alex Katz, Robert Crumb, Tony Oursler, Kehinde Wiley and Chiho Aoshima. “It was done by our favorite artists,” explains Visionaire’s Cecilia Dean. “We’ve done it twice before, but we only worked with fashion designers.”
Rob Pruitt’s design for one of the toy series may be spotted around town on one of the three Mini Coopers painted with his panda imagery. “His work is superbright and colorful,” says Dean. “We thought it would be fun.”
It’s well known there are those who travel to Art Basel/Miami Beach and never see any art. While the serious collectors arrive and leave early after snapping up the best of what’s available at the booths, the rest of the world descends on South Beach for a long, sleepless weekend. And since the fair itself is a European import, it should come as no surprise the hottest parties hail from that continent, as well.
Colette, the avant-garde Paris shopping mecca, is staging its roving Dance Class (which hit New York during fashion week) at Mansion on Saturday night in conjunction with Deitch Projects. After an hour’s warm-up, and presumably a few inspiring drinks, dancer Olivier Casamayou will lead the willing in a “Justin Time” dance honoring the musical stylings of Justin Timberlake. Parisian nightlife king Le Baron is once again taking over a South Beach hot spot — this year it’s Rain — to host its nightly party starting Wednesday. DJs from its French headquarters will be spinning, and there also will be karaoke and live bands. Don’t worry about staying out too late — last year Art Basel director Sam Keller was still going strong on Le Baron’s dance floor well past 4 a.m. And if it’s a New York fix you’re looking for, The MisShapes will be doing their thing at Mansion on Friday night.
This story first appeared in the December 5, 2006 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
David Bouley is flying south for the winter. The charismatic and famously mercurial superchef is opening his first restaurant outside Manhattan this week — just in time for his New York fans to swoop in. They will find the aptly named David Bouley Evolution inside The Ritz-Carlton, South Beach, where Bouley is displaying his recent study of Japanese cuisine. There is a sushi bar and a kaiseke menu offered, as well as the sophisticated fare his customers have come to expect, like an appetizer of phyllo-crusted Florida shrimp, Cape Cod baby squid, scuba-dived sea scallop and sweet Maryland crabmeat in an ocean herbal broth, or a dinner of rack of Cooperstown lamb accompanied by homemade gnocchi with fresh sage, fava beans and zucchini-mint puree. The Art Deco-inspired decor — think South Beach by way of the Danube — was done by Paris-based Jacques Garcia, who decorated that city’s Hotel Costes, New York’s Spice Market and Miami’s Hotel Victor.
If reservations there are not available, never fear, there are other places to seek nourishment. One newbie is Karu & Y, the $25 million outpost in downtown Miami that prides itself on alta cocina (haute Latin American cuisine). It also includes the Y Ultralounge, which is perfect for drinks and tapas. And for beachside basics like sliders, grilled tuna salad and shrimp cocktail, washed down with a glass (or bottle) of rosé, head to André Balazs’ Standard Hotel on Belle Isle. Chef Mark Zeitouni has taken over from Eric Ripert and expanded the Lido restaurant with a full menu available outdoors all day long.
David Bouley Evolution, 1669 Collins Avenue; 305-604-6090; bouleyevolution.com. Karu & Y, 71 Northwest 14th Street; 305-403-7850. Lido at The Standard,
40 Island Avenue; 305-673-1717.
If there is one thing Miami natives worship almost as much as the sun, it’s shopping. That’s good news for Tamara Mellon, who’s opening a boutique in The Bal Harbour Shops this week — fittingly, when lots of her customers are in town shopping for art. “It’s a very interesting time to be here, with Art Basel going on,” says the stiletto queen, fresh off a plane from London, where her little daughter Araminta remained behind for school. A brunch on Tuesday and a dinner Wednesday at David Bouley Evolution are among the opening festivities for the lilac-hued boutique, which is the brand’s 19th stand-alone shop in the U.S. and part of a growth push to a total of 55 worldwide by the end of this year. “With the market here, it will be more sandals,” said Mellon, joking, “more than during fall/winter on Madison Avenue.” As for the little free time she has before jetting out on Thursday, Mellon, who says she collects art “a little,” is hoping to squeeze in a bit of browsing at the fair. “I don’t know Miami very well at all,” she says. “I will have to go and take a look.”
Not one to sit out a dance, 73-year-old Yoko Ono is joining in the Art Basel fray in Miami with her video piece, “Onochord.” The video, which will be played on a 24-hour loop in the Sagamore Hotel lobby, conveys a typically epigrammatic message performed by Ono. Using a key chain flashlight, she flashes out “I love you,” in an elementary Morse Code of her own invention (one flash for “I,” two for “love” and three for “you”). Like an electronic love-in, the “Onochord” — which was first performed at New York’s Museum of Modern Art — is meant to be echoed by the audience.
The piece, and her upcoming show on XM satellite radio, will be feted on Thursday evening at the Sagamore’s Social Miami restaurant.
On the eve of the art fair, the monosyllabic Ono illuminates a little — but only a little — about her work.
WWD: What inspired the “Onochord”? Do you see it as a political message, an emotional one or both?
Yoko Ono: Both.
WWD: Why are you screening it in Miami?
Y.O.: It’s nice to communicate love to each other with light.
WWD: The “Onochord” is, in a sense, a performance piece. Do you feel the best expression of the creative impulse is in performance?
Y.O.: All creative expressions are performances.
WWD: You have been both extolled and maligned by art critics. Do their opinions affect you at all?
Y.O.: Not really.
WWD: Is working on your art a daily practice?
WWD: What are you working on now?
Y.O.: Being me.
WWD: Like Bob Dylan, you are doing a project with XM radio. What attracted you to radio?
Y.O.: One more way to communicate.
WWD: What do you think of the contemporary art market?
Y.O.: I think it’s good that we are all creating and selling art, instead of creating and selling war machines.
WWD: What do you plan on doing during your stay in Miami?