Art Basel Miami Gazette: Diddy at the Fair, Gmurzynska’s Hot-Ticket Dinner
Gossip, news, and celebrity sightings from ABMB week.
The Art Basel Miami Gazette rounds up small news, gossip, and sightings from Art Basel in Miami Beach 2016.
Let the Race Begin
Arnold Lehman, senior advisor to Ed Dolman at Phillips, waves hello during the preview of Art Basel in Miami Beach.
Diddy’s Crude Oil Challenge
“I’m just getting here,” rapper and music mogul Sean “Diddy” Combs told artnet News shortly after 5:00 p.m. at the fair. He was browsing at Mexico City’s Galería OMR gallery making the rounds with advisor Mariá Brito (also known to advise Gwyneth Paltrow). “I haven’t really formed any opinions. If I bump into you in a hour or two, I would be able to tell you how I feel.”
Gallery owner Christobal Riestra told us that he had expressed interest in two works: Black Star-Spangled Banner by Rubén Ortiz-Torres, a striking 2013 work priced at $40,000 of a glittery black American flag; and ¥€$ by Julieta Aranda, which was going for $12,000, the latter of which was painted directly on the booth in crude oil. “He said, ‘So let me get this straight,” Riestra said, quoting Diddy. “’If I buy this, then I have to paint it somewhere?”
The work essentially comes as a set of instructions for how to paint it in crude oil yourself. Maybe, in Diddy’s case, he can find someone to do it for him.
At Galerie Gmurzynska Dinner, Lampshade Kisses and Chandelier Dreams
Women in lamp-shade hats, women wearing chandeliers for bras, contortionists. These were some of the first things guests saw when entering the dinner thrown by Galerie Gmurzynska, the hot-ticket at just about every Basel fair. Earlier that day, the gallery staged a knock-out presentation at the fair featuring Russian avant-garde work in homage to the 100-year anniversary of the 1917 Russian Revolution curated by Norman Rosenthal. The women in lampshades? “That was all Isabelle’s idea,” said the gallery’s long-time CEO Matthias Rastorfer about Isabelle Bscher, the glamorous granddaughter of the gallery’s founder Antonina Gmurzynksa.
The dinner was in a private suite at the Faena hotel (not easy to find with seemingly 50 parties happening simultaneously at the hotel and the distraction of Alan Faena in his white suit, hat, and scarf by the bar). Claude Ruiz-Picasso (who designed the Gmurzynska booth this year) and Diana Widmaier Picasso—hot off the heels of her own sensationally curated show, “Desire”—were in attendance as a woman in an LED-light-cape danced for the crowd.
Of Artful Attire and Dad Jokes
At a dinner party thrown by New York dealer David Nolan, both Contemporary Arts Museum Houston director Bill Arning and Warhol Foundation President Joel Wachs wore very artistic shirts: Wachs’s a collage of art-historical masterpieces, Arning’s hand-painted by Scooter LaForge. Wachs revealed an endearing taste for jokes from when he was a kid. Did you hear about the girl who ate bullets? Her hair grew out in bangs. Did you hear about the constipated mathematician? He worked it out with a pencil. And the Indian who drank a hundred cups of tea? They found him drowned in his teepee. (Get it? Tea pee!) “The thing is,” Wachs added ruefully, “I can’t remember what I did yesterday, but I can remember these jokes from when I was five years old.”
Artists Jessie Edelman and Austin Lee decided to have an impromptu drawing competition in the lobby of the Nautilus. They took the sheets right out of the leather drinks menu and went to work on a portrait of our own Henri Neuendorf.
Beach Party at the Nautilus
For all that Miami Beach is well, on the beach, it can be surprisingly difficult to spend any time in the sand during Miami Art Week. That wasn’t the case at the Nautilus hotel’s beachside tent, which hosted “ARTXTRA: The Perrier Art Experience,” a classy soiree from Interview magazine and Perrier.
Guests enjoyed complimentary vodka cocktails and passed hors d’oeuvres while listening to DJ sets by Wild Belle and NAR. There was a 3-D photo booth inside the tent, while the party spilled out onto the sand, where plenty of comfy couches had been set up.
The occasion for the event was ostensibly to help select a design for Perrier’s new limited edition bottle as part of the brand’s new annual arts initiative, ARTXTRA. In the center of the tent, a rotating cube featured the work of the three finalists, Hayal Pozanti, Hottea, and Saya Woolfalk.
A Day in the Sun
Artists (and couple) John Giorno and Ugo Rondinone and the Bass Museum of Art’s Silvia Karman Cubiñá bask in the sun in Collins Park, where Rondinone’s sculpture Miami Mountain is having its big moment with the Basel crowds (and schoolchildren in green in the background). “We are all feeling very proud,” says Karman Cubiñá.
Nelly Furtado’s Garden Moment
We saw singer Nelly Furtado perform her new song, “Phoenix,” on a micro-stage in the garden between two pools at the Edition hotel to celebrate the launch of Alex Katz’s new line for H&M. The crowd? Hipper than thou.
A painting fell off the wall at Gagosian Gallery, and the frame was shattered. But it was summarily taken care of, leaving nary a trace.
Beyoncé and Jay Z are making a penthouse suite at the Loews Miami Beach their home for the week, according to a fan-employee at the hotel.
“The problem with Miami is everything’s fake,” said a guest at the bar at the Faena hotel. “The decor is fake; the music’s fake; the food’s fake—it’s like proto-Cuban.”
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