Art & Design

ART BASEL 2014: FKA twigs, Miley, MAMA, MoMA and More

Art & Design

ART BASEL 2014: FKA twigs, Miley, MAMA, MoMA and More


BULLETT is in Miami sitting in traffic seven hours a day. 

With the glut of new hotel openings in mid-Miami Beach, Basel week is now simply not navigable by auto. At least not without frustration. It takes up to an hour to make it from Foutainebleau-land down to Delano-ville. Meaning everyone sees less, despite there being more to see this year than ever. But we did hear that main fair sales have been robust–an associate at Gavin Brown’s Enterprise said they had sold everything by day one. We’ll visit the fairs tomorrow. Tonight is the MoMA PS1’s 1am rager–billed as the latest reception ever!!! For now, here’s a photo diary of last night’s madness.

My first stop was at NADA, which is often the best fair because it shows young artists from new galleries. It also is housed at the Deauville Hotel in an area that looks like Michael Mann Miami.


I saw this interesting, ugly-pretty piece at London gallery The Sunday Painter NADA set-up. Poland-based artist Piotr Lakomy lined the booth with yellow, foil-like material. The entire piece was for sale–as individiual items, ranging from the low thousands to about 20k.


NADA used to be downtown and had a DIY vibe. Now it has a Beats by Dre (by Apple) booth and a merch stand selling $30 t-shirts. Those girls look really excited.


The hotel hosting NADA’s backyard and bar had been taken over by a triple-threat New York/Montauk pop-up: Surf Lodge, Paul’s Baby Grand and the Tommy Saleh/Travis Bass duo. They decided a half-pipe with a band playing on it was the best stage for a pool party concert. The average age of these folks is about 46, and the choice seemed strange, more like something a bunch of middle school kids would do. Maybe it was ironic–but one doubts. The crew is also hosting “boot camps” in the morning to burn off the coke bloat.


Los Angeles’ MAMA Gallery took another pool–at the amazing Ritz Carlton–and staged a more age-appropriate event. Performance artist Ryan Heffington led a dance and video piece scored by Banks. Rain delayed the start time, but the crowd’s general attitude and vibe was excellent, making yet another case that LA has overtaken NY as the place for emerging American artists. Heffington’s piece ended eerily in the pool.


All the pool parties were ending around 11pm when I hit the FKA twigs concert at YoungArts Miami across the bay downtown. The event was excellently produced by Esther Park (ex-Arsht Center) and David Sinopolli (Bardot Miami). People really like twigs–everyone I knew was trying to get into the after-party, where she was to perform at a mansion. But to me her sound was all ambient tension with no melody: budget avant music meets Mazzy Star or the Lorde episode of South Park.


Yet she was admittedly emotive, hypnotic and beautiful. No wonder Robert Pattinson was backstage looking horny.


Nowadays, every type of youth culture needs in on Basel. These used to be subcultures but it doesn’t seem like those exist anymore. Nordic-core band Iceage played with NYHC group Trash Talk at a Basel-branded show in Wynwood. Most of Odd Future came, saw, moshed. We drove by.


Miley Cyrus had performed the night before. She was at the 1OAK/Up&Down pop-up last night. I didn’t get a pic, but the night before a spy snapped the police shutting down the door of her event. Cyrus puffed weed onstage, as she cried about her dead dog.


BULLETT held a small party for most of the night at Astor Social Club. I did not take any pictures because, well, I chose not to violate the privacy of our guests.

At 3am, I went to Miami’s highest grossing nightclub, LIV, to see Richie Hawtin, my favorite techno DJ. My Eurotrash-meter was reading 7.9. There were only a few Basel-ites. Amazing, considering Richie’s the best minimalist technician ever from Canada.