Swizz Beatz had an important message for the crowd at the Surf Lodge’s pop-up at the W South Beach in Miami on Thursday night.
The musician and producer was tapped by ArtNews to guest-edit its “Deciders” issue, which got an Art Basel welcome during a poolside dinner and after party.
“What we did in this issue was we opened it all the way up to decision makers and deciders and everybody in this room,” said a purple-suited Swizz during dinner. The “room” in this case was proverbial, with guests including Olivia Culpo, Rosario Dawso, and art adviser Lisa Schiff. “It’s about to be 2020. Sky’s not the limit, it’s just the view. Everyone in this room can change anything that we don’t like by understanding the power we have as an entire community. And I’m just happy to be a small piece of it.”
After dinner Swizz took the stage alongside DJ Cassidy for the late-night after party. Schiff got a birthday shout-out from Cassidy onstage; her environmental initiative, One All Every, had also been a highlight of the event. The eco-friendly sunglasses, a collaboration with artist Ugo Rondinone, served as a dinner table centerpiece.
Schiff started the company after learning more about the environmental landscape through her work coordinating artist auctions for an environmental foundation. “We were raising money like every nonprofit board I sit on through art auctions. I just watched and I thought this is so interesting, nobody actually really cares. And/or they’re too afraid to think about it, because the 1 percent and 1 percent adjacent — which is all of us, sadly — are responsible. And if you start to unpack your life, you will have a psychotic break if you really get into the weeds. So most people prefer to not get into the weeds and pretend that it’s all OK,” said Schiff. “I just realized how many people I interacted with on the foundation level when we were doing the big stuff, and they don’t even know why they’re [there], they don’t know what the foundation does; they’re just [there] to party.”
The “See a Clean Future” sunglasses are completely biodegradable, made with cotton fiber resin, glass and stainless steel; they’re available in four colored lenses, each corresponding to a different environmentalist. The idea is to inspire change without intimidating people.
“The first time we started with the glasses we were mission-driven, and then we changed it and now we’re sexy-driven,” she said. “Then you get home and you’re like, ‘oh wow, I didn’t realize all my other glasses were plastic.’ Maybe you think about it, maybe you don’t. But you give people a sense of agency, they have some ability to make change.”