I Went to Art Basel, and All I Got Were These Lousy Photos
For one magical week every December, the stupidest and shittiest rich people imaginable descend on Florida to get good deals on wildly expensive art pieces. They call this Art Basel Miami Beach.
For one magical week every December, the stupidest and shittiest rich people imaginable descend on Florida to get good deals on wildly expensive art pieces. They call this Art Basel Miami Beach. I went down to Basel too, but I didn't buy anything. I just had a very nice time and took a lot of photos.
I stayed at this island called Star Island. It is full of mansions where famous people live. Puff Daddy has a vacation home there, and Shaq used to own a house there too. It's also apparently haunted, but what island isn't full of ghosts these days?
I arrived on Wednesday and went straight from the airport to Gramps, where I did the opening DJ set before Odd Future. Gramps is the only good bar in Miami, as far as I can tell. This photo is during the portion of my set where I hold a twerking contest.
On Thursday, I went to SCOPE with a bunch of Mishka people. SCOPE was the first of the satellite art fairs to pop up around Art Basel like a bunch of fun barnacles latching on to a big whale made of money. It's located on the beach—literally on the beach, as you can see.
Swizz Beatz was hanging out because he'd curated a booth of photos of boom boxes. Swizz Beatz is a very friendly but low-key man. A few years back I gave Swizz a portrait I did of him. He claims he still has it but I am not convinced.
Each fair tends to have one unifying trend that becomes apparent once you've explored about a third of the art. The theme of SCOPE this year was shiny circles. Shiny circles were very in. Here's one that I saw.
Here's another shiny circle from SCOPE.
This shiny circle was inside a rectangle.
This is the best thing I saw. Dan Hort Projects was showing off a lot of original art by cartoonists, animators, and fantasy artists. It was nice to see some of the art that broke people made before it got repurposed and turned into pop art by millionaires.
This original Frank Frazetta painting blew my mind. According to the gallerist, Frazetta would make colorful, abstract backgrounds and then just paint the characters in.
This is a distorted Yi Hwan-Kwon sculpture from Gana Art in Seoul. All these statues are very realistic but are distorted so that they look like optical illusions when viewed from most angles.
This is a giant, hyper-realistic sculpture of Dali's head by Kuzu, a Japanese makeup and special effects guy turned fine artist. It is very convincing, except that it is four times the size of a human head. A lot of the sculptures at SCOPE had some novelty aspect to them.
This is a cute little miniature bodega by Drew Leshko. He made some other miniatures too. They didn't blow my mind, but who doesn't love miniatures and dollhouses? Fuck you if you don't love a good dollhouse.
Prince Rama were also hanging out at SCOPE. I like their music a lot.
When I left the SCOPE art fair, I saw this building that looked like a boat. The palm trees were all getting blown around by the wind. Even the grimiest places in Miami are sort of pretty and scary and feel prehistoric.
I went to an event at the Soho Beach House to try to interview Russell Simmons.
That didn't get to happen because Simmons was mainly only talking to women. I can't really blame him—I wouldn't want to hang out with me either. He runs a great charity that provides art education to kids, though.
South Beach, basically.
Miguel performed to a bunch of awful and disinterested rich folks at the charity event. I got the sense that most people at the party were incapable of feeling joy or being interested in things.