An Artist’s Romp at Art Basel Miami

A travelogue

7_158.jpg

To begin, the whole point of Miami Basel is that it is nearly impossible to remember if you did it correctly. I know this not just because I don’t remember, but because in trying to piece things together I have asked a few fellow revelers and each has served to remind me that, well, I know a lot of drug addicts and alcoholics.

The opening of Art Basel was awful. There was no open bar. Instead there were lots of people, bad people who were old. I left, which took forever. I revisited the karaoke bar in the Shelborne hotel, which had been taken over by French DJs who looked hot from far away, but turned out to be short. This bar too was overcrowded, but in a much more pleasant way, by people whom, yes I despise, but who are, at least, young and good looking. Later in the week this particular party became naughtier. Two nights later I saw the breasts of two prominent fashion designers (I won’t name names). There was dancing and a good mix of the high and low, interpret that as you will.

The Yvonne Force dinner at the Raleigh was extremely fun. Yvonne looked fabulous in a white fur stole and sequins. Afterwards Sofia Coppola and Andre Balazs had an “exclusive” party upstairs. There was a hand stamp involved, but luckily this is an art fair, and I found myself attached to a resourceful painter who quickly found one of his patrons exiting the affair. Borrowing her hand (and a shot of vodka) we managed to transfer the approval mark all the way to the top. Upstairs a wicked mix of celebrities and dance floors were available. A particular highlight was being cornered by Jay Joplin, who ripped the sleeve clear off my blouse in an attempt to get his point across. I then was caught in a terrible battle with my morals; is it good for me to continue to be defiled by this man, you know, good professionally? This is a battle that I have seen lost by the best of types during art week — the very best.

I went to private dinners and collectors’ homes but really I spent the majority of my time in Miami at a dive called the Deuce Bar. Deuce Bar to start the night, Deuce Bar to end it. Deuce Bar you are across the street from the smoothie place. Deuce Bar you are the location of a ferocious face slapping, the shattering of bottles and the scarring of handsome young men’s eyebrows. Where the bartenders are washed up prostitutes who only respond to drinks ordered by a baritone, and finally, Deuce Bar, where we are reminded that, though in Miami we are treated like little princes and are spending the bulk of our time in repose in 80 degree weather basking in the reflection of Yves Klein blue pools, we can still spend hours in a dirty dive, just like home, yes just like home. Pathetic.

Lauren Hutton had a very fun drinks party at the Delano Hotel, where coincidentally, I spent all my days recovering. In Miami if you want in to a hotel that you aren’t staying at, all you need to do is dress slutty, look bitchy, and they’ll let you in anywhere. They’ll even offer to give you a full body Evian spritz. I love Miami.

A party at Nikki Beach was filled with locals, who, P.S., no one ever sees for the whole art week so it is quite cute when they turn up. There were free airbrush tattoos and make-out tee pees. Gavin Brown had a dance party. It took maybe a million years for other people to bring me my drinks from the bar, but the jams were extreme and I did shake my laffy taffy.

Lessons:

  1. My first year at Basel I was told by a total fag, “Guuurl! Every time I come to Miami, I hook (insert snap) it (snapping again) up (final closing snap).” Point taken my good man. My best friend hadn’t gotten laid in months, got off the plane, and I do not exaggerate when I say, within four hours she was getting down in a better hotel room than she had checked into.

  2. Miami is not for boyfriends. (See above.) Year after year I have seen people making the silly mistake of bringing their significant other. Don’t be stupid.

  3. Do not bring someone you did in Miami home — this will only lead to heartache and embarrassment.

  4. Miami is not for eating. Do not expect to be fed but there are many open bars, don’t waste them.

  5. No, it’s not weird that all the parties are in hotels. It is very awesome.

  6. Swimming at night is the best. It’s a great way to meet new friends. Works off your hangover like nothing else. People you’d never expect are out there, and they aren’t wearing their clothes.

  7. Foreigners are fun! They call New York a melting pot, but what brings people together better than scum tans and lycra?

  8. Really famous people are completely great to see and talk about, not so much to talk to.

  9. People are liars. Don’t believe anything you hear down there, everyone is wheeling and dealing. Check for tan lines on ring fingers.

  10. I overheard a certain artist peering into her purse and exclaiming, “All I want is a cigarette, and all I have are lollipops and cocaine.” Just saying.

  11. If you do something really embarrassing or wrong, people at home will find out about it.

  12. And the art? Come on now.