By JULIA CHAPLIN at Fashion & Style – TheNewYorkTimes
ART BASEL MIAMI BEACH, that bacchanal disguised as the Western Hemisphere’s most prestigious art fair, takes place Dec. 2 to 5. Once again, there will be a dizzying whirl of glamorous dinners, hush-hush viewings and after-hour soirees — a Herculean scavenger hunt crammed into four days. To help, here are 10 must-do spots to schmooze, party, dine and, oh, see art.
White walls are so Chelsea. Kick off your shoes, lather on the sun block and go native on “The Island,” an islet in Biscayne Bay that is being turned into an off-the-grid art spectacle. Fifteen artists including Terence Koh, Hanna Liden and Luis Gispert are doing site-specific projects in the foliage, sandbars and water.
A motorboat will whisk guests from the Mondrian hotel. “We wanted to create this feeling of being stranded on a deserted island that’s in unique contrast to the fanciness and luxuriousness of the fair,” said Shamim Momin, the curator at the Los Angeles Nomadic Division (or LAND), which organized the show with Ohwow, an arts collective.
Flagler Memorial Island; nomadicdivision.org. On view Dec. 3 from 4 to 8:30 p.m., followed by party on the Mondrian’s dock; invitation only.
2. FOOD ARTS
Who says art and food don’t mix? Certainly not Jennifer Rubell, a culinary conceptualist who treats food like an art history mash-up: a pinch of performance art here, a dash of Abstract Expressionism there. Consider her padded cell at the recent Performa gala, built from cotton-candy bricks.
For Art Basel, Ms. Rubell is hosting a breakfast at the Rubell Family Collection titled “Just Right,” engineered to wow finicky creatives. To score their meal, guests must squeeze through a jagged hole in the courtyard wall and wander through an overgrown field to an empty house. There, they will find a buffet installation: thousands of bowls and pedestals of porridge, brown sugar, raisins and milk. It’ll be the hottest brunch spot in town.
Rubell Family Collection, 95 Northwest 29th Street; rfc.museum. Dec. 1 to 5; 9 a.m. to noon.
3. NO PARKING
The European architects have arrived, lending a dash of glassy precision to this Art Deco town. Exhibit A is a sleek garage on Lincoln Road designed by the Swiss firm Herzog & de Meuron. On Level 5, you’ll find Alchemist, a concept boutique in a 1,800-square-foot glass box with raw concrete floors. It’s the antithesis of the Versace mansion.
Like a gallery, Alchemist showcases just a few designers at a time — Rodarte, Rick Owens and, for the art fair, the jewelry artists Paris Kain and Lydia Courteille. On Dec. 1, the level will be cleared of cars for a fashionista party with video installations by Josephine Meckseper and music by Johnny the Boy.
Alchemist, 1111 Lincoln Road; shopalchemist.com; Party on Dec. 1, 9 p.m. to midnight; invitation only.
4. NORTH BEACH
The action inches upward to North Beach, as the New Dealers Art Alliance (NADA) fair returns to the Deauville Beach Resort, a schmaltzy Brat Pack-era hotel at 67th Street.
Though the area is still lined with dusty souvenir shops, faded behemoths and retiree condos, the younger art fair brings a scrappy vibe. Last year, dewy revelers, many of them shacking up three to four to a room, held an old-school hotel rager. This year NADA will be a host of a hi-lo opening party with its tony next door neighbor, Canyon Ranch.
Nada Art Fair at Deauville Beach Resort, 6701 Collins Avenue; newartdealers.org. Opening party on Dec. 2, 8 to 10 p.m.; invitation only
“Multimedia.” “Monumental Artist.” Those terms are hopelessly five years ago. This year’s buzz term is “Intervention Art” — covering works that repurpose existing art, audience or space, to give it a different context. Examples include Banksy, the British graffiti artist, who stencils over murals to change their meaning. Or Dara Freidman’s “Musical,” in which 60 New Yorkers sang randomly at New York street corners and coffee shops.
“Intervention art is about understanding context and site, not just putting a Koons ‘Balloon Dog’ in the middle of Park Avenue,” said Ms. Momin of Land, among the art groups toying with this form.
6. HOTEL WATCH
South Beach protocol requires that you park yourself — cocktail in hand — at the latest “it” hotel. In the 1990s it was Delano, then the Raleigh. Now it’s the Soho Beach House.
The British members-only club has set up an exuberant tropical outpost, away from the masses, at a 1940s Art Deco dowager. The interiors by the Swedish designer Martin Brudnizki are unlike anything Miami has seen in recent memory — part “Mad Men,” part Dickie Greenleaf and part naughty British uncle.
During the fair, expect a steady stream of taxis and chauffeur-driven Audis. The London gallery White Cube is having a party for several hundred at the Tiki Bar, and the influential Los Angeles gallery Blum & Poe has reserved the penthouse for a private dinner.
Soho Beach House, 4385 Collins Avenue; sohobeachhouse.com.
7. CREATIVE CAPITALS
We know about Berlin, Glasgow and Mexico City as art capitals. But Detroit? That’s right, according to Creative Time, which teamed up with Art Basel Miami Beach to create Oceanfront Nights, a kind of arty Epcot Center that showcases the Big Four art cities.
Each night, musicians, filmmakers and artists from a different city will take over the beachside pavilion. Highlights include a D.J. set with the Broken Hearts Club from Berlin, a musical set by the Glasgow artist Martin Creed and videos by the Mexico City artists Tania Pérez Cordoba and Abraham Cruzvillegas. And from Detroit? A dance performance by Biba Bell and Jmy Leary called “Oneness: Making It With Love.”
Oceanfront at Collins Park, between 21st and 22nd Streets, artbaselmiamibeach.com/oceanfront. Dec. 1 to 4, 6 p.m. to midnight; open to the public.
8. ART COUPLE
To become an Art Basel insider, seek out the young Miami couple Jim Drain and Naomi Fisher, creative ambassadors to Miami’s Basel-influenced art scene.
Ms. Fisher is among the first crop of homegrown art stars (a group that also includes Hernan Bas, Bhakti Baxter and Daniel Arsham). Mr. Drain, a Rhode Island School of Design graduate, moved here to be with Ms. Fisher. The two met at — where else? — an Art Basel party and now helm Bas Fisher Invitational.
The couple shouldn’t be hard to find. Besides making the party rounds, Ms. Fisher will have works at the Rubell Collection, Art Basel, NADA and on the Island. Mr. Drain will be at the de La Cruz Collection Contemporary Art Space and Locust Projects.
9. PARTY INSTALLATION
Folks used to complain that Art Basel Miami Beach wasn’t as serious as the original in Switzerland. Now they flaunt it. In fact, two exhibitions are elevating partying to an art form.
Assume Vivid Astro Focus, the art collective known for its mind-bending happenings, is creating five “acid flashbacks” murals in a warehouse in Wynwood — in collaboration with Suzanne Geiss and founders of the Hole gallery, all Deitch alumni.
And FriendsWithYou, an arty think-tank in Miami, is building a “Rainbow City” in the Design District, consisting of tree-size inflatable sculptures that recall a rave-ish Candy Land. Pharrell Williams performs on Dec. 2.
Assume Vivid Astro Focus at Goldman Projects, 222 Northwest 26th Street; party, Dec. 2, 6 p.m. to midnight. FriendsWithYou at 140 Northeast 39th Street; friendswithyou.com; party, Dec. 2 from 8 p.m.
10. AFTER AFTER PARTY
Le Baron is a nightclub in Paris, but it’s more like a transient Studio 54. André Saraiva hopscotches the globe, throwing pop-up parties at the Cannes Film festival, various fashion weeks and Art Basel (Miami and Switzerland). Wherever Mr. Saraiva goes, an international posse of the skinny and glamorous (see Purple, Another and Vice magazines) seem to appear out of thin air, ready to give it their all into the wee hours.
This week Mr. Saraiva and his Le Baron entourage will take over the Florida Room at the Delano Hotel. And to keep the pretentiousness at a dull roar, a live pianist will be on hand for drunken sing-alongs.
Le Baron at the Delano Hotel, 1685 Collins Avenue; Nov. 30 to Dec. 5, from 11 p.m., guest list only. Or look convincingly art-world cool.