Last year I skipped Art Basel Miami Beach for the first time in a decade, so it was fun to be back at Art Camp, however briefly. I was promoting my book Yes: Transform Your Life with Color By Number (are you sick of hearing about it as I am promoting it?) at Design Within Reach, in the Design District, which is sponsoring my mini book tour. Also the new artist’s platform TWYLA rented an amazing house right on the water for artists to hang out and escape the madness. So, with such pros in charge I could hang out with pals and do what I wanted most of the time.
Tuesday when I arrived, I chilled with DWR’s Kim Phillips and my old pal artist Sean Fader at the Twyla House along with Twyla’s CEO Matt Randall & curator Heidi Lee Komaromi. Wednesday, I weaseled my way into the VIP opening (thanks, Sean) of what is referred to as “the main fair” at the convention. The whole week is called ABMB for short, which is the primary fair’s name and what started this whole mess 15 years ago. First up was Maurizio Cattelan‘s installation for Foundation Beyerler which blew me away. So layered with the products he creates for Toilet Paper, kind of mind-blowing. I’ve been working on a massive installation like this for 5 years now. although mine won’t be the same at all, but it WAS inspiring and made me think I’d better step my game up. (See pics.) In between trying to figure out what I had seen and what I hadn’t, I ran into pal’s artist Marc Dennis and had a fun chat with John Cheim of Cheim & Read. Some people who wander around are only interested in taking pics of themselves with or in front of art, which I always find SO odd.
If you want to get a glass of champagne to sip while you take in billions worth of art, you can have a plastic flute of Ruinart. Yes, RUIN-ART is the official champagne of the fair and is just $22 a glass. Paging Intentional Irony! Mr. Irony, you have a telephone call. Meanwhile, I’m not complaining as Richard Gray Gallery‘s Ian Gray treated me and his pals to a whole bottle! Cheers!
I won’t bore you with a blow by blow of my three days, but my favorite experiences were installations and performances. No, I didn’t get to see Madonna at Faena (see below) but I did, thanks to PR Goddess Tara Solomon of Tara, Inc, catch an amazing performance of the alt cabaret/burlesque CharlieWood at Faena‘s beautiful little jewel box theater. The insane Christine opened the show and was followed by wordless dancers in fur, half naked, Chicken Lady who screamed about “her babies” before literally laying an egg right in front of me. Amazing show. My new young friend, photographer Aric Crafford came along and was thrilled to meet the Lady Bunny, who was among the privileged few along with my old pal, Maxim‘s Susan Kilkenny who had just landed at Jason Pomeranc‘s new hotel, Nautilus. Talk all week invariably turned to Trump at some point, and Bunny and I got into a 15-minute “discussion” about the election. We don’t see eye-to-eye but I respect Bunny’s passion, plus she’s crazy so, there’s always that to keep in mind.
Wednesday night I ended up at SoHo Beach House‘s tent and jockeyed for my place RIGHT IN FRONT to see Spencer Ludwig and OMG, was it was HOT!? I mean that the band was tight and Spencer is amazing (think, Prince meets Herb Alpert with a dash of MJ) and the weather was SO HOT and humid that it was nearly raining in that tent. But you can’t complain about it being hot if you’re in Miami, can you? On the way to L.A., Mr. Ludwig was on my flight, but I didn’t say hi. He had already “liked” my tweet,
“Remember the name, Spencer Ludwig!”
Back to art. I wrote about my pal Sean Fader’s performance “Yass! Gaga, SLAY!” with Queef Latina at Satellite Art Show, well, Queef was at Patricia Field’s Pop-up art show along with the rest of the House of Field for her fashion show and sale in Wynwood. Bunny DJ’d, the fab Jody Morlock and Scooter LaForge, Benjamin Noriega, Steven Wine, Kristina Kiss and more showed with tons of SICKENING looks that were getting snatched up, like the “Stinker” tee Tara scored. One-of-kind wearable art, kids! If you think $400 is a lot for a hand-painted jacket, you are WRONG. When you are done, press it under glass.
Oh, and then there is the art which I could go on and on about. But I’ll just post some images and if inspired you can Google those you are unfamiliar with. Art critic, Jerry Saltz PLEADED with Facebook followers not to blog and post about the parties they went to in Miami, that it had nothing to do with the “inner life of art”. I commented that I would seriously contemplate the meaning of “the inner life of art” while sipping a cocktail poolside. I never understand that attitude. After this donkey-dick sucking year we’ve had, SWEET BABY JESUS!, we ALL need to have some fun. But in the end, I still subscribe to the old adage,
“Fuck art! Let’s dance!”