Art Basel Roundup: Volume I

Hebru Brantley;Warhol and Basquiat
by Hebru Brantley

We know you’re thinking about turkey, but Art Basel is already upon us. The 12th edition of the fair, and all the great satellites that have popped up around it has gone and backed right up to Thanksgiving this year. So don’t eat too much, you’ll be needing to squeeze into those party frocks sooner than you can say “pumpkin pie!”
Perhaps the biggest buzz of the week is the long-awaited Pérez Art Museum Miami opening. After endless fund-raising, excitement and hard-hat tours, VIPs are finally invited to a preview of exhibits on Tuesday, Dec. 3, before the museum opens to the Basel-going public the following day.

Ai Wei Wei Installation

Viewers will be checking out Ai Weiwei: According to What? Chinese artists and visionary Ai Weiwei’s exhibition will feature work of the last 20 years, including photography and the large-scale sculptures for which the artist is best known. Expect beautiful and provocative works of art that will evoke social, political and cultural positions on Ai’s native country China, as well as the world at large.

If you can score an invite to the private dinner in Mr. Perez’s honor on Wednesday night, cudos.  Everyone else will be honoring namesake donors honor Darlene and Jorge M. Pérez on Saturday night at the sold-out Pérez Art Museum Miami Gala. More than 700 of the art world’s VIPs are expected to attend the party which includes a reception in the gallery spaces followed by a seated dinner and dancing in the park followed by a private Marc Anthony performance.

Maserati North America is hosting the VIP Toast at PAMM and Maserati VIP Lounge experience for PAMM members and Art Basel VIPs. The museum’s opening party will be on Thursday, Dec. 5. The evening will debut a new project by Los Jaichackers, Night Shade/Solanaceae, a performance of music, video and sculpture. The event will also present The Ghibli, the revolutionary new $64,000 Maserati.

Keith Haring Untitled (car), 1986
Keith Haring Untitled (car) 1986 Buick Special

Speaking of cars, Ferrari is going to be a patron this year partnering with Adam Lindemann’s Venus Over Manhattan gallery, to create Piston Head: Artists Engage the Automobile at the 1111 Lincoln, which starts Tuesday. Look for “automotive sculptures” by Damien Hirst, Keith Haring and more. The exhibition will kick off with a super exclusive private viewing on Tuesday and will be open to the public on Wednesday.

On the fashion tip, BCBGMAXAZRIA Chief Creative Officer, Lubov Azria will be in town to host a runway show and discussion.  Flavio Briatore and Antonio Percassi of Billionaire Italian Couture are opening their east coast flagship store December 3 in the Buena Vista Post office. We’ll see if they make the deadline – the building is still in the midst of construction that is taking it from restaurant to store. And BAZAAR is hosting a pop-up shop at Soho House’s library open daily from 11am-6pm during the fair. They are promising items to bring curated items off the pages of the magazine into your hands, not unlike ELLE Spa.

Art Miami
Art Miami

Art Miami is celebrating it’s 24th edition (it started long before Basel or the other young satellites) and is an Art-Week must-hit. The fair, which is the leading contemporary fair, will commence on Dec. 3 with a blow-out VIP preview, and will be open to the public the following day. Get tickets here.

Michy’s Miami Beach pop up in the Miami Beach Botanical Gardens will seat an intimate 100 guests per night with a four-course menu at $135 per person. Guests can make reservations and pre-purchase tickets at

Haute Living Honors Swizz Beatz
Swizz Beatz with wife Alicia Keys

Of course, most of these events are invitation-only, but there are some parties that present another level of difficulty to score invites. Most of these you won’t read about til after they occur, but we’ll give you a taste. Architect Richard Meier is designing the Galerie Gmurzynska at Basel, and to celebrate, he’s holding a private dinner at newly opened restaurant Sea Salt, an upscale fish restaurant on the Miami River.

Jeff Koons will have a dinner at Braman Motors, there is the famous Aby Rosen dinner at the W on Thursday and Haute Living will host a plethora of private parties that include a dinner for IWC with very important guests like Karolina Kurkova and Micky Arison on Tuesday. They’ll be with Hublot on Star Island on Friday serving up Dom Perignon and a Hebru Brantly installation curated by Swizz Beatz.

Meanwhile, Haute Living’s watch-centric offshoot Haute Time will host another Dom-soaked party with Roger Dubuis and cover hunk Gerard Butler at the W South Beach with Russell Simmons, Serena Williams and a handful of top-secret VIPs.

Save some energy for the after hours. This is Miami, after all, and unlike Cinderella’s pimped out wheels and duds, Art Week doesn’t end at midnight.

Cy Wait’s Adoré nightclub is opening it’s doors on Thursday night for their grand opening  – and strictly VIP list celebration. Get the whole lowdown on Cy (aka Paris Hilton’s ex) and Adoré here.  Everyone is waiting with bated breath for this nightlife heavyweight to change the club game for the better.

Amy Sacco’s New York celebrity hotspot, No. 8, will take over Rec Room for a quintessential Basel party. Big names and familiar faces will be a given here. Mansion is pulling out all the stops for Basel with two big names in the biz. Mega DJ, label boss and super producer Mark Ronson is taking over on Friday night and world-renowned artist Boy George will hit the turntables on Saturday.

amfAR Milano 2012 After Party Presented By Fendi'O - Inside
Mark Ronson


Too much to handle? We know, but we’re far from finished. Next time, we’ll cover pop ups, satellite fairs and much, much more in Volume II. In the meantime, take a look at what Haute Art Ambassador Sarah Arison has to say about her Basel strategy here.