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“Welcome to my home. Did you walk around?”

Alan Faena was welcoming guests at his private home on Miami Beach for a celebratory dinner, just a short drive from his collection of Faena properties, and the invitation to walk through his various living spaces was certainly enticing. The man of the hour was sitting on a throne in his living room, which was packed with friends — including Michèle Lamy — a giant golden Buddha sculpture, glowing candles and an extensive crystal collection. Walls painted “Faena Red” enveloped the entire space, adding to the sensual mood.

“It’s a big collection from the 1800s, and each one of them has a story,” he said of the various crystals surrounding him, the scent of Palo Santo wafting through the room. “Every base is different, and have been done by artists 200 years ago, so it’s an amazing collection. I’m very grateful, very happy.”

In addition to serving as a kickoff for Art Basel Miami Beach and its various art fairs, the developer was toasting his Faena Festival.

Art Basel is always about fairs and commercial, and a little bit of frustration, because, how many pieces can you buy? It’s great to go there, full of people, [but] you cannot buy a lot. It was a big dream for myself to create the opposite of that,” he said of starting the free cultural initiative, this year titled “This Is Not America.” “Everybody can walk on the sand on the beach — for me that’s what I really like to do. It’s not about go and buy, it’s about go and enjoy. It’s not about taking from you, it’s about offering you.”

Faena is also the cover feature of Elle Decor this month, who shared cohosting duties for the evening.

“The genesis of this whole thing started because Alan has parties at his house every Art Basel, but they’re really intimate parties and just for friends,” said editor in chief Whitney Robinson, who attended one such party last year. “I walked in and was like, ‘OK, we have our cover for next December.’ Everyone’s curious about Alan,” he added. “He’s this visionary tastemaker who has totally reinvigorated and reshaped Miami architecture and design in six years.”

More from Art Basel Miami Beach 2018:

Art Basel Miami Beach 2018: Fab 5 Freddy Pays Homage to His Heroes

Art Basel Miami Beach 2018: Bulgari Goes Big at the Faena

Art Basel Miami Beach 2018: Christian Louboutin Celebrates Ebony G. Patterson at PAMM

Art Basel Miami Beach 2018: Chloé Toasts Aaron Curry at the Bass Museum

Art Basel Miami Beach 2018: ICA Miami and Max Mara Celebrate Renowned Feminist Artist Judy Chicago

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