Thursday, December 14, 2006

Basel Mania

There was a mass exodus last week from Chelsea to South Beach for the annual Art Basel conference in Miami, Florida. Artists, dealers, collectors and hangers-on flocked south to buy, see and be seen at the largest art shows in the world. Bred in the fashion industry, I had difficulty transitioning from fashionista to art connoisseur ogling more outfits than oeuvres d’art.

The men's uniform ranged from candy-colored khakis to psychadelic printed 3-piece suits. The girls were far more muted, clad in charcoal grays and blacks with ubiquitous blunt bangs and torn Converse. Skinny jeans were a must for both sexes, as was the snotty indifference only someone from the art world has perfected.

Basel is a never ending buffet of delicacies from Picasso to Basquiat, but one cannot gorge with price tags starting at $5M. Much easier on the portefeuille was the Scope fair in the design district. The Rubell Family Collection (of Studio 54 fame) also located in the trendy design district housed controversial works including genius Barbara Kruger and a less controversial outdoor space that would be perfect for private soirees.

Final Word: Personal Art Discoveries? Julian Opie and Kyung Jeon. Best party? Jalouse @ Mynt. Worst Party? NADA Rave @ Sagamore. Best dinner? Tapas @ Social. Best drinks? Setai lobby. Best Club? Fridays at Mokai with DJ Berrie, of course.

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