Art Basel’s Party Hat was Securely Fastened this Year

Compared to last year when the country was in the early throes of the recession, Art Basel tamed its typical partying ways for a more subtle approach to the annual event. This year, however, the party’s were back in full swing with art collectors, dealers, celebrities, and guests jumping through social event hoops left and right.

For those of us who experienced it, Art Basel was truly back to its usual self this year with the galleries and fairs buzzing and the social events hopping. After last year’s tamer version of the annual and highly anticipated festival, art collectors, dealers, celebrities, and art enthusiasts were all ready to knock last year’s subdued weekend out of the park.

Everyone from art dealer Larry Gagosian to cyclist Lance Armstrong threw high-profile dinner gatherings and parties. On Wednesday evening, Russell Simmons held a party at the Mondrian South Beach Hotel with guests like Scott Stapp, head singer of rock band Creed where Simmons, who collects works by artists like Jean-Michel Basquiat and Barbara Krueger, raised money for his charity, Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation.  Rapper Dr. Dre and Sylvester Stallone are other big-name party-throwers who lit up South Beach after a long and dark year. Ocean Drive Magazine publisher, Jason Binn, said, “I can’t even eat dinner while I’m here, there are too many events. This event feels different from last, with more exclusive and VIP-studded parties.”

This year hotels were fully booked out for the event and more dinners and parties were scheduled than many people could have anticipated. Self-proclaimed “Baselites” noted that there were many small, intimate dinners and cocktail parties that seemed more prevalent this year as well. Heiress and designer Nadja Swarovski hosted a private dinner and after-party at the new W South Beach Hotel, along with collector (and Haute Living cover feature) Aby Rosen who threw his own events in the hotel throughout the weekend.

With all of the buzz finally beginning to settle in Miami’s sandy beaches, this year’s Art Basel will certainly be remember as the Art Basel that brought the party back to Miami.

Via: Wall Street Journal