10 Things We Learned At Miami Art Week
From Monday night's Vernissage of the debut Untitled. art fair to Sunday night's Soul Clap album launch party at the Electric Pickle, we ran ourselves ragged all week long in the name of contemporary art and the parties they inspired. It's going to take a little while to recoup and allow the cumulative effect of everything we saw and did to fully sink in. Here, we sort out the week that was with ten things we learned at the wonderful and wild 2012 Miami Art Week.
1. VIP previews were the way to see the art fairs. Champagne reception inside the Art Collectors Lounge at Art Basel Miami Beach? Rubbing shoulders with the big wigs buying art at Art Basel First Choice? Brunch in an idyllic, sun-drenched garden at The Ice Palace Studios for Pulse followed by a preview of the fair? Yes, yes, and yes. We loved having access to the first look of everything. We pondered Design Miami's Snarkitecture installation, snaked through Scope, and toured Art Miami and its cutting edge debut sister fair Context before the weekend was even on the horizon, leaving us all the more time to pack in that party calendar.
2. Pharrell Williams was the official celebrity of Miami Art Week. Sure, there were Jay-Z and Beyonce sightings at Le Baron. Will Ferrel, Martha Stewart, and Donna Karan were out roaming the fairs. And Demi Moore, Lenny Kravitz, and Naomi Campbell held court at Soho Beach House. But no one seemed to embrace Miami Art Week and feel so accessible and exciting as Pharrell Williams. We first spotted him at Art Basel's Wednesday night Vernissage sporting a fly camel trench while walking the booths. At his Design Miami Design Talk Friday on his book Pharrell: Places & Spaces I've Been, he lauded Miami for being one of the best cities in the world to an adoring room that included both Kanye West and fashion photographer Terry Richardson. If that wasn't enough, he was also spotted chowing down at everyone's favorite burger joint Shake Shack on Lincoln Road Friday night and he even tweeted a picture of him and a fan at his book signing at Bal Harbour's new Moncler store with the caption "So Ambitious #FIU."
3. Parties, parties, & more parties. And then a few more parties. Whether it was a celebrity splashed soiree at Soho Beach House or the Webster, the opening of major luxury retailers in the Design District, or some of our regular party spots transformed into impossible-to-get-in pop-up clubs, Miami did not lack for a party this week.The Lords South Beach, which was transformed into The Black Lords thanks to artist Desi Santiago, threw some of the most buzzed about bashes of the week. Other ephemeral hot spots included David Lynch's Silencio at the Delano's FDR, Bow vs Le PomPon at the Victor Hotel, and, of course, Miami Art Week fixture Le Baron, where this year you had to not only figure out how to get in, but also where it was located night after night.
4. Local artists and galleries represented. While we swoon at the opportunity to view the masters of contemporary art and emerging talents from all over the world in our own backyard during Miami Art Week, we also take pride in seeing Miami's artists and galleries step onto the international stage. Amongst the most impressive local showings were Spinello Gallery's Art Positions solo exhibition by Agustina Woodgate and Snitzer Gallery's group exhibit, both at Art Basel. The Dorsch Gallery's artist Kyle Trowbridge's site specific installation at PULSE served as a supertitle to the fair: Site Of Temporarily Invested Interest, and their booth inside was one of the most captivating amongst many. Also at Pulse, commissioned by local non-profit Cannonball, was Jillian Mayer's Megamega Upload installation.
5. We loved the public art from South Beach to Wynwood to Midtown. You didn't have to go inside the fairs to experience a labyrinth of art and happenings. All you had to do was take a stroll through South Beach, Wynwood, or Midtown. Art Basel's Art Public transformed Collins Park in front of the Bass Museum into an outdoor exhibition space with large-scale sculpture, video, installation, and live performances. Some of the most captivating pieces included Jaume Plensa's "Poets in Miami" featuring two glowing forms balanced on stilts overhead, Gary Simmons' "I wish it could be morning all day long" billboard, and Alice Aycock's "Sculpture C", a pair of white aluminum topsy-turvy vortexes in a seeming twirl. Nearby on the oceanfront was Los Carpinteros collective's "Güiro" presented by Absolut Art Bureau. The asymmetric geometrical form constructed of wood served as a chic bar and meeting grounds in the evenings. The New World Center's SoundScape Park was once again put to good use with Art Basel's Art Video Nights program.
Strolling through Wynwood, the walls were coated with a fresh layer of graffiti art and mural work, and in Midtown Peter Anton's "Sugar and Gomorrah" carnival ride treated fairgoers to the excess of sensational desserts and near-naked live models. Overhead, Morgans Hotel Group commissioned the Plane Text installation featuring 15 different word banners with phrases from artists like Ed Ruscha, Richard Prince, and Sol Lewitt, flown three at a time over Miami throughout the week.
6. Soul Clap has good taste. We wanted to mix it up and have a little fun this Miami Art Week, and so we tapped electro duo Soul Clap for some editorial guidance. They put a number of local artists and personalities on our radar, like artist Jessy Nite and her digital installation Under the Scope at Chalk Miami, vintage maven Valerie Duardo, sartorial provocateur Jacques Smith, photographer and Basel Castle collaborator Stian Roenning, and electro pioneer Arthur Baker. They also filled us in on their favorite spots on the beach, like Yardbird and Soho Beach House, and their art picks for the week.
7. Traffic was panic inducing. What's normally a 15-20 minute commute from Miami Beach to Midtown across the Julia Tuttle Causeway grinded to a near-hourlong journey, and we're not even talking about the parking situation. Traffic was in constant gridlock in the Midtown neighborhood where Art Miami, Context, Miami Project, Art Expo, Red Dot, Art Asia, Overture, and Scope art fairs were all erected within a six block radius. The crush reached an absolute crescendo on Tuesday's opening night for many of these fairs where it reportedly took some up to two hours to find parking.
8. Apotheke popped up. Perhaps the sleeper hit of Miami Art Week was the Wynwood pop-up of New York City mixologist Albert Trummer's Apotheke inside the newly constructed creative space recrEation by designer Pablo Ricatti. In partnership with Mandarine Napoleon, the apothecary-themed bar featured mixologists in lab coats serving up strange potions purported to have medicinal and healing properties. A strictly in-the-know crowd enjoyed free punches infused with pineapple or watermelon and mysterious "elixirs" served in medicine bottles. It all felt very mad scientist with Trummer presiding over the bar explaining his concept to partygoers growing more foggy headed with every sip. Cocktail connoisseurs can look forward to the permanent installment of Apotheke in Wynwood in the new year.
9. The Broken Shaker is back and it's here to stay. The beloved pop-up bar The Broken Shaker reopened its doors during Miami Art Week inside its now-permanent home at the super-hip, newly remodeled Indian Creek Hotel, now dubbed The Freehand Miami. Its opening celebration featured free food and a brand new cocktail list while patrons mingled in the new-fangled outdoor garden and pool area. Mixologists Elad Zvi and Gabriel Orta could be found amongst the crowd that included other notable mixologists like Isaac Grillo of Haven. To top it all off, DJ duo Hooked on Dolls performed a surprise midnight set fresh off their VH1 SCOPE Party opener for Metric earlier in the week.
10. Société Perrier was everywhere. Société Perrier tried to be all things to all people during Miami Art Week. Whether you were able to #SpotTheRolls or tag your pix to our #SPxMAW pop-up page, we managed to be ubiquitous at art fairs and parties all weeklong. From commissioning Desi Santiago's Black Lords installation, to the Perrier lounge at Apotheke, to giving away an original Yoskay Yamamato from Pulse, and not to mention countless party pass giveaways, we rocked Miami Art Week as hard as we knew how!