Art Basel, Miami – 2017
VIVISXN attends the swankiest, sexiest art soiree of the year. Welcome to Art Basel, Miami 2017 — Part I!
It is the world’s glammest and gutsiest contemporary art bazaar featuring works from established master blasters, semi-famous rogues, underground up-starts and everything in-between. Art Basel, Miami kicked-off today (for the press, at least) with an avalanche of artistic energy, outlandish synergy and a record number of show-boaters and party-throwers. Whewwww.
With the sun beaming bright overhead and sparkles twinkling all around, the fair’s opening crackled with countless cool events, colorful attendees and fantastical orphic oddness — with much more on the way.
Backed by Swiss-giant UBS and already in its sixteenth year, the four-day extravaganza pulsates with ridiculous retinal-blasting pizzazz, drawing over 300 galleries from 31 countries, showing works by more than 3,000+ artists and subjecting South Beach to what Kazimir Malevich would call the ‘collision of the world of meat and the world of iron.’
The show’s headhonchos boast that they can expect to pull-in over 70,000 collectors, curators, celebs, moneymen, mysteriosos, VIPs and tag-alongs of every stripe and shape between now and Sunday — more than ever before and adding some astral atmospherics to Miami’s otherwise mellow beach vibe.
At the main Design Miami venue on Convention Center Drive (the fair’s nucleus that nestles together hundreds of prominent exhibitors) things got cray as VIP attendees and press piled in to feast their eyes on some of Pop art’s larger than life personalities and coveted original works — Warhol, Basquiat, Koons, de Kooning, Haring, Pollack, Rothko, Ensor, Rauschenberg, Ruscha, Kline, Lichtenstein, Kiefer etc. — all fabulously festooned within the exhibit hall like a glitzy carnivalesque ballroom (the venue, by the way, was entirely revamped and re-designed by Tom Postma this time round). It was a visually discombobulating Gesamtkunstwerks mega-explosion! VIVISXN even got a sneak peak of a few of our favorite works from Brigitte Kowanz and Tala Madani (below), amongst others.
Front and center were the usual suspects and their respective reps: mesmeric sculptor Anish Kapoor (Galleria Continua), polka-dot doyennes Yayoi Kusama (Barbara Mathes Gallery), China’s most bumptious pariah Ai Wei Wei (艾未未 – Mizuma Art Gallery ), esoteric cosmonaut Richard Prince (Gagosian), English shock-jock Damien Hirst (White Cube), montage maestro Masamitsu Katsu (Fellini Gallery), pomo chameleon Cindy Sherman (Metro Pictures), gnarly-Künstler Sterling Ruby (Rubell Family Collection), underground misfit Ron English (Wynwood Walls), graphic guru Makoto Saito (Tomio Koyama Gallery), chaos-maker Maurizio Cattelan (Marian Goodman), and wily muralist Mr. Brainwash (Opera), etc.
Amidst frenzied fans, mucho hoopla and multiple audio-visual bonanzas (special sets by Björk, Oneohtrix Point Never, The Wu-Tang Clan and Jay-Z are on this week), things got off to a rollicking start — the global art cognescenti could be seen hurriedly gawking, peacocking and celeb-stalking in all quarters of the sun-kissed art-world Babylon.
Loitering around the scene were countless cult and music luminaries like Miley Cyrus, Major Lazer, A$AP Rocky, Paris Hilton, Jeremy Scott, Pharrell Williams, Ryan McGinley, Jeffrey Deitch, Francois Pinault, Don and Mera Rubell, Charles Saatchi, Barbara Gladstone, Larry Gagosian, Rick Ross, and, well, the list goes on.
The entirety of Miami Beach is swelling with smaller but equally slick satellite shows (NADA, Aqua, UNTITLED, Scope, PULSE, Frieze, Form, FRiDgE, Ink, Prizm, Red Dot, Spectrum, etc.), and merry-makers and madhatters (The Webster, Soho House, the Nautilus, the Delano, etc.) are hosting a torrent of swish villa parties, vernissages and pop-up launches with heavy-rollers and esteemed taste-makers like David Lynch, Frank Gehry, Jeffrey Deitch, Roma Cohen, etc., all of whom have been spotted out and about for the opening ceremonies. Anyway, peep out a few frontline art-world treasures and pleasures below. Welcome to Miami, ya’ll!
Images lifted from ART | BASEL, Miami Beach
VIVISXN MEDIA – Art + Fashion + Multimedia + Art Basel, Miami