Another late start (these posts don’t write themselves, you know!) so we had a late lunch/ early dinner at the café at Miami Project which is relatively new to the scene and I think a pretty fair fair – no, better than fair, a GOOD fair. Eric Firestone Gallery’s booth was right up front and I knew to check out my pal Charles Lutz’s new Vuitton Brillo boxes there. GOD, I want one of these. Charles produced a huge cardboard Brillo box series for New York’s Armory show last year, and I have my signed one, t/y v/m but these are covetable. They had lots of Tseng Kwong Chi photos of Basquiat in his studio back in the day, along with Keith Haring. (I miss Kwong and Keith – Jean Michel I didn’t know as well.) In the back room, much to my shock and amazement, was a large print of Keith drawing on glass wearing a Bad Boy t-shirt that I designed for my sordid private party of the same name at Danceteria, back in the day (where two certain World of Wonder founders used to to DJ every month – Ahem!) but I’d never seen this picture. Helene Necroto, Firestone’s gallery director, was instrumental in introducing me to a former dealer, so I was happy to see her and chat. Great booth. I really love Wayne White’s work (My own work has been flatteringly compared to his, but he is MUCH better painter.) He had 5 new pieces at Western Project that were again, covetable. A text-based theme at Miami Project was emerging. My friend, Michael Pollack (yes, him again, he knows EVERYONE) introduced me to New Orlean’s Dan Tague’s folded dollar bill photos that work on a few levels for me. Outside, between Art Miami and Context Art Fair’s tents were 6-7 paintings by Herr Nilsson of Disney characters doing bad things, my favorite being Pooh. After a fast dinner, it was off to the a nightclub Adoré at Boulan… on the way we ran into Kenny Scharf who was headed to a party for The HoleGallery. Once we arrived at Boulan, though we couldn’t find the the club. Apparently, it hasn’t even opened yet. (Maybe it’s just me but if you invite someone to a party, there should actually BE a party.) Der. What a waste of time, so then we headed to – WHERE, boys and girls? Yes, Twist where the Art Basel crowd was out in full-force. There, I ran into one of my favorite artists that I know only slightly, Nick Cave. Click hereif you want to know about his work. He’s a really one of one of the nicest guys. Photographer Jeremy Kost showed too up with my next door neighbor, Chelsea gallerist Andrea Rosen I chatted with old pal Ricky Clifton who revealed that he just got a HUGE commission to design a mega-dealer’s Manhattan mansion. (Can’t say who, but I’m happy for Ricky. Cha-Ching!) We also got a visit with Wowlebrity and Drag U Mama, The Lady Bunny, in a wig that could have been a blonde rat’s nest for two reasons; because it was THAT teased and THAT big. There was a LOT more nonsense going on, but what happens in the back room of Twist… you know.
Let’s just say, my mornings are shot (when do you think I write this stuff? 3AM? Well, that’s exactly what time it is now…) I was back at Benetton from 12-3PM in my mini-studio area making a collage or two and perplexing shoppers. Then it was time for the Art Basel vernissage at the convention center. The earlier you go in the day, the more important you are. My pal Michael Pollack went in at 11AM with some MAJOR collectors, who were bummed to find out the small Henry Moore sculpture ($900,000) was already sold. Drat. Carlos and I went in with the unwashed masses from 6-9. If you are an art fair newbie, let’s say this is the cream of the crop. More blue-chip art than you can see in 10 museum shows and 100 gallery visits. 250+ galleries with 10 or more works… you do the math. There’s no shortage of the usual suspects like Warhol, Koons and Basquiat but the real gems to me were a tiny Lucien Freud (8 x 14″) and another small Matisse about the same size. To much to see in one visit, for sure. We’ll see if I make it back. Some of my faves are here, all are women and heads – don’t read anything into that, please. We stayed until the end and grabbed a bite at a new sushi place across from the Setai, which was just adequate. We checked out the Bass Museum’s sculpture garden with works installed for Art Basel, the highlight of which is the fountain, “Appearing Rooms” by Jeppe Hein you can go into, a cross between the rain room and the dancing waters at The Bellagio in Vegas, but better. Then it was time for Interview and Oh! Wow!’s party on the roof of the new Boulan where we met up with Michael and his boyfriend Zach. Great new rooftop and a nice crowd – good tequila flowed. And then an after-party at The Shore Club in The Red Room for a last spin. Who knows what tomorrow will bring?
The day started with my friend Juan Carlos Molina arriving early. The morning disappeared with email, phone calls and recovery from the night before. After a late lunch got to Art Miami‘s VIP Preview. Mark Dean’s Dean Project had an impressive booth that I am thrilled to be some small part off (full-discosure, I was dropping off my work AS the event unfolded – long story) So, I ran through the fair fast (I’ll come back and do a good look) and we were now early for the Visioniare party at the National Young Arts Foundationheadquarters which is in the old Bacardi building compound. We met up with my pals Min Sanchez and her artist husband, Swampspace instigator Oliver Sanchez who invited us are involved with Young Arts. The 5-minute 3D screening of “Portrait of Marina Abramovic” by Matthu Placek, was limited to about 30 people and was shown inside the iconic stained glass tower was very short. Good. We were sitting on tree stumps – but honestly, the setting and minimalist nature of it made it really indelible to me. Loved it. As Oliver said jokingly afterward; “I am forever changed.” We hung out a bit and had a couple of Bacardi cocktails and then headed over to the M Building in Wynwood where The Savannah College of Art and Design was presenting ‘CURVA,’ a solo exhibition of recent works by Wendy White. The 12,000 square foot event space is amazing and was restored by architect Chad Oppenheim. Great exhibit. Meanwhile, we were supposed to be meeting Michael Pollack and his boyfriend Zach for a party at SoHo House but because dinner was not planned we missed the White Cube poolside after party for Tracy Emin with more fabulousness. Oh, you can’t do EVERYTHING. So, we had a late dinner (11!) and then stopped off for a nightcap at, where else? Twist.
Oh, my aching head. If I sound like someone complaining about something being too fabulous, I apologize but I have to let you know, there is nothing quite like Art Basel Miami’s deluge of events and parties. Onslaught is a good word. Like eating too much cake, and being happy while you’re feeling kinda queasy. I spent Sunday and Monday getting ready for my Benetton party #withyou. Can I tell you that those Italians are SO nice! Everyone was very gracious and kind, installing my work and generally just doing their jobs like professionals. Made my part easier – the stress I felt was more self imposed. It all came off well, my friends showed up, the cocktails and food by Art Conductor were great. I did drawing live, as did the guests and I even did a fews drawings directly on the models (who were SO cute but honestly, I have shoes that are older. Babies.) Look at their new collection it’s very chic and affordable, btw, they gave me a great new jacket to wear (shameless product placement – I don’t care. It’s NICE.) At the same time, a few blocks away on the beach, Marina Abramović (below, with Val Kilmer) was doing a benefit for her foundation and the Elton John AIDS Foundation at Untitled art fair on the beach. Guests got limited-edition prints that will be available for sale at the Untitled Art Fair this week. Proceeds from the print will benefit both organizations. After that was all done my good pal and former Art Basel mate, Michael Pollack and I went to SoHo House for a late dinner. By chance we met Toronto gallerist Georgia Sherman and her cute assistant Christopher, who are exhibiting at Untitled art fair as well and had we all had a fun dinner upstairs in the indoor/ outdoor lounge. On one side of us was the world’s richest artist, Damien Hirst holding court and on the other side, one of the world’s most beautiful women, Cindy Crawford with husband Randy Gerber, in a room otherwise filled assorted stylish hipsters from around the art world. My friend, artist Kenneth Pietrobono, Struth Magers gallery director Andreas Gegner & David Vincent (l to r, above at my party) showed up too. Afterward, we went to the all-night gay bar Twist, where all roads lead after hours. (More on that venue later) It was a nice way to cap off a fun day. Now, if I can just get 6 hours sleep – in a row – I’ll get some brain cells back. (All photos: World Red Eye)
Yes, every year, the art parties, fairs and events start earlier in Miami – in fact, the art crowd crashed into the last day of the gay crowd (I know there’s a LOT of cross-over) with The White Party finishing up while the Art Party was gearing up. Sunday is the on-ramp for the multitude of events and art fairs in Miami Beach, which is generally referred to as Art Basel Miami Beach. The “main fair” of Art Basel started 11 years ago here (the original fair is still in June in Basel, Switzerland) It is part art, part trade show, part corporate cross-over, part Hollywood and ALL-consuming. I’ve been coming for the past 9 years and this year I am collaborating with Benetton for an interactive exhibit/party called #withyou which opens tonight. (I’ll post pics tomorrow) I’ll also be filling you in on what’s going on where all week. There are so many parties that if Lady Gaga was nude giving out $100 bills, she might get SOME attention. (She’s rumored to be at the Untitled Elton John Foundation benefit with Marina Abramovic tonight. We’ll see.) Kanye is here with Kim, along with as 50,000 other art folks you wouldn’t know… it’s just too much to keep up with. No matter where you are or what you’re doing, there are 10 things you are missing. (If you need an exhaustive list of events, check out Paper magazine’s 7 Part preface here for all things ABMB)… so stay tuned. Or not. Maybe you don’t care. Right, now I’m exhausted just thinking about it all, so I’m kinda #withyou.
“Avedon: Women,” which spans six decades of Richard Avedon’s photography is the first solo exhibition of the master’s work in the LA since 1976. I don’t have to tell you about the brilliance of Avedon, you can just look at these 100 silver gelatin photographs. Ranging from oversized exhibition prints to more intimately scaled photographs that the master printed and editioned throughout his lifetime. It opens with a portrait of Cheryl Crane (first image), the daughter of actress Lana Turner, who Avedon photographed in 1963 after she was exonerated for the killing of her mother’s abusive boyfriend, to the image from 1957 of socialite Elsa Maxwell, lying in bed with her pet skunk. The exhibit runs through December 21 atGagosian Beverly Hills. (Photos; Richard Avedon, courtesy Gagosian Gallery)
Wowlebrity Linda Simpson, who began her multifaceted drag-queen career in the 80s (and is an old pal) has a new photo book, Pages, an homage to her captivating transgender pal, Page. Pages, an offshoot of The Drag Explosion, Linda’s archive of her many photos of NYC’s momentous drag scene, was shot by over the course of their friendship which began in 1990. The photos capture her mysterious beauty, sense of style, and provocative performances that made her a cult figure of New York’s gender-bending nightlife. The final photo is from 2001, the year before she died. The release party was this last Wednesday at the Cock in NYC. (I missed it.) I asked Linda for some pics from that night (bottom) and she said this in an email: “I actually was so occupied signing books that I didn’t get to mingle that much. But I could tell people were enjoying themselves, including being thoroughly entertained by the the go-go dancers and old videos and slides of Page. I was glad it was a joyous event. The photos in the book of Page are fierce, but she was also a very fun-loving and often goofy person. An upbeat party seemed like an appropriate way to celebrate her.” Pages is available from Peradam, is available for $20 at selected bookstores and at Peradam.info. (top photos; Linda Simpson)
Banksy, I’m assuming you know about at this point. Google, if not. As an anonymous street artist, his work is generally NFS. So, when this piece was spotted in LA, the gas station owner was approached to remove the piece when he was about to sell the building. The auction estimate, I’m sure, makes it worth the all of the trouble. Check out this video on the Julien's link that shows how it all went down. Banksy, Flower Girl, 2008, 9 x 8′, black and silver aerosol and exterior semi-gloss on brick façade at Julien’s Street Art Auction in Hollywood, estimate $150,000 – $300,000. (via Julien’s Auctions)
The first time Madonna introduced herself to Richard Corman, she served him bubble gum and an espresso on a silver tray. It was 1983 and they were meeting in her East Village apartment for a photo shoot. “There was nothing pretentious about it,” Corman said. “It was funny but it was her. It might have been planned but it was charming and it set the tone. From there on, everything was unexpected.” For the next several hours, they walked the streets of New York City as Madonna turned nursing homes, rooftops and building rubble into her own photo studio. Madge had yet to make her big break but even then it was clear to everyone that she was a star in the making, and crowds of neighborhood children would follow her wherever she went. More than 50 images from that day and others will be exhibited at an opening tonight at Milk Gallery in New York City. The exhibit coincides the release of Corman’s book, Madonna NYC83. “It was a time in the city where the energy was just crazy wonderful. It was this carnival of creativity going on, especially downtown, and you just felt it. At that time, I was leaving Avedon’s studio and going out on my own and I was photographing the Keith Harings and the Basquiats and the Madonnas and the punk scene. It was original, it was unique and it was on fire.” Madonna NYC83 runs through December 15. (Images; Richard Corman)
Can I say “I told you so”? Well, maybe not YOU, but I predicted that Warhol’s “Silver Car Crash (Double Disaster)” would sell for north of $100 million and it did. $105,000,000. Actually besting the $142 million for yesterday’s Bacon… THAT was a triptych, ($47+ million per panel) and the Warhol made $52+ million per panel. And not to take anything away from it but it was a one-color silkscreen. The connector for this triptych of auction sales is none other than Liz Taylor. This early portrait by Andy, Liz #1, went for $20+ million and THE most valuable diamond ever was sold at auction. This rare, flawless, 60 carat pink diamond sold for $83 million. Somewhere Andy is saying, “Liz, can you believe how much money people spend for stuff that they don’t really need? I guess art really IS what you can get away with.” “No offense, Andy, but that diamond is LOT nicer than your silver painting.”