Saturday was the last day of my in-store appearances at Benetton and my artist pal, Jessica van Brackle came by and we did two paper pieces together but that was the extent of my day. I had hit a wall and needed a night off. The next day, I was anxious to see Design Miami, which is adjacent to the convention center but, to use the descriptive we’ve been employing all week, “it was a sh*t-show” – not the show itself but the access. The parking and traffic were crazy so I went up the beach to run through NADA fair. The theme I pick up there was abstract, conceptual minimal and very “art-school” hipster – that probably sounds like a put-down but it’s just a category of work, to me. I liked Perter Schyuff and Mark Flood’s pieces. The best booth display was The Hole Gallery’s fantastic crated space where the art was stacked in their plywood crates creating the floors wall and even the desk. The work there like Holton Rower’s poured paintings and Kasper Sonne’s burned “Zero Emotional Contents” stood out. (I know Holton through his wife, my old friend photographer Maria Robledo and FYI, he is Alexander Calder’s grandson) As I was running out of the fair, I ran into Scott Drevnig, who is the new art fundraising mastermind behind Philip Johnson’s Glass House. I told him I was headed to SoHo House to meet Michael Pollack for a few hours of beach time. Scott had joined us for a day in the sun a couple of years ago, where Russell Simmons (such a nice man) chatted with us in the lounge chair adjacent, so Scott jokingly said, “Say hi to Russell.” (Photos above; Mark Flood, NADA Fair at the Deuville, David Deutsch, (I forget) Peter Schyuff, Holton Rower, The Hole’s booth, Kasper Sonne)
When we arrived at the Beach House, in separate cars, it was yet another “sh*t show” at the valet and in the tent on the beach. Apparently, EVERYONE else had the same idea to go to the beach as well, which you couldn’t even SEE for all of the people. We set up at the pool instead with, guess who, sitting right behind us on the grass – Russell Simmons! While were having a bite to eat, Steven Tyler strolled by with an entourage of a nearly a dozen in tow, including daughter Liv. The paps had staked out the boardwalk and they were doing their best with telephoto to get shots of people coming and going, like Lenny Kravitz with Roberto Cavali and Kelly Bensimon who has THE most rock-solid tanned abs you’ve ever seen. (Photos: Pacific Coast News, Steven Tyler with daughter Liv, Russell Simmons, Lenny Kravitz sans Roberto Cavali and Kelly Bensimon, she of the insane abs)
My good pals Min Sanchez and her husband (artist and Swampspace proprietor) Oliver Sanchez were having an informal early dinner for the Scharf family and friends at their place up the beach in Surfside. I’ve know these guys for 30 years and Min and Oli are as sweet, charming and funny as they come. The Scharfs, Kenny with daughter Malia and Zena, with her husband Alex and their 18 month old, Jet were all headed to Kenny and Tereza’s place in Brazil for 6 weeks that night. Kenny had been in Miami prepping for a week before, and doing 3-4 events during the week, including installing his Tony Goldman Memorial garden among other things. He’s just in love with Jet and spends more time in LA now that Jet is there. Kenny showed his customized Cadillac down at an artist’s car show and one of Jet’s first words was apparently, Cadillac. His week started out at Oli’s Swampspace doing “car bombz” which is his term for customizing cars with his signature flying heads. At this point, he’s done about 65 or so and plans to do a book. I want him to do my ’99 green Beetle and he said next time he does Brooklyn, where the Beetle now lives, he said he would. We had a nice meal, chatted and then got all those guys into theirs cars and on their way and out the door. (Kenny Scharf doing “car bombz at Swampace, Jet, Malia & Zena Scharf, Michael & Kenny, Oliver Sanchez, Zena, Jet, daddy Alex and Min, Malia on one of Kenny’s carpets at Min & Oli’s)
After saying our goodbyes, Michael and I drove to the nearby beach at sat in the sand recounting the week and sipping Patron. His flight got cancelled due to the nasty weather on the East Coast and we couldn’t believe our lunch to be sitting on the beach, looking at the stars with our toes in the sand. Another Art Basel finalé. As I was saying earlier to a friend, when you hear about an a massive event like this, there is no one perspective of “what it’s like”, just like life, it is what you MAKE IT so, it’s best to B.Y.O.P. – Bring Your Own Party, always.