Headlines from Art Basel Miami: Luxury Brands, Celebrities Dropping Major Bucks & Big Parties
As one of the biggest art events of the year, Art Basel Miami Beach dominated the news last week, from celebrities rolling in to make million-dollar purchases to parties thrown by big name sponsors like Bulgari. Now in its 13th year, the festival that began in Switzerland is bigger than ever, seeing some 75,000 guests and showing art from around 250 galleries. Not just a venue for art though, luxury brands flock to Miami Beach to showcase new collections ranging from home décor to fashion. Even car marquees are getting in on the action. Art Basel's effect on brands makes sense considering how much money people are dropping on art there, like Jeff Koons' $9 million Baroque egg last year. In fact, according to Time Magazine, Art Basel has a $500 million impact on the city and last year's event saw an estimated $100 million in sales.
With so much going on, trying to pin-point the coolest things that happened last week can be pretty tough, so we waded through the headlines to find some of the best events, sales, and openings, from a Mercedes-Benz art car to Marina Abramović's art pieces.
A very special $200,000 RENNtech Mercedes-Benz Super was revealed at a private event in Fisher Island Club, which marked the partnership between the luxury auto marquee and digital artist Laurence Gartel. Called the "Father of Digital Art," Gartel has been commissioned by a wide range of celebrities, from Sid Vicious to Britney Spears, and has been exhibited in a number of famed museums, making him a great artistic partnership. The displayed car was wrapped in an abstract collage of vibrant images that were inspired by the tropical beauty of Miami.
Harper's Bazaar hosted several different events at its pop-up shop at the SoHo Beach House, like a breakfast thrown by Henri Bendel, a dinner for artist Rachel Feinstein that was sponsored by VINCE, and a beauty day with Givenchy, Natura Bissé and Dior.
Moroso was at Art Basel to show off some of its iconic products and pieces made through partnerships it has made with some pretty big names in art, design, and architecture—most notably, artist Marina Abramović and her Marina Abramović Institute (MAI). The project starred a collection of limited edition objects that are linked to Abramović and her past performances, like the Counting the Rice table that gives a physical shape to one of her workshops where someone must count and separate grains of rice and lentils for at least six hours while sitting.
Known for its on-trend décor, W Hotel group held its own pop-art exhibit to celebrate the 1980s at its South Beach property, with art by Warhol, Basquiat, and Hirst being featured.
The New York Times threw an international luxury conference at the Mandarin Oriental where designer Diane von Furstenberg and chief executives of watchmaker Audemars Piguet and Neiman Marcus Group were among the speakers. The three day-event completely sold out at $4,250 a ticket.
According to Art Net, Argentinian developer Alan Faena and billionaire Len Blavatnik hosted a dinner to celebrate the opening of their upcoming luxury hotel Faena Miami Beach. Not just any soiree, this one was co-hosted by director Baz Luhrmann and his wife, Oscar-winning costume designer Catherine Martin—they are both creative consultants on the hotel. The event was obviously pretty star-studded, with names like Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire, Bruce Weber, Tommy and Dee Hilfiger, Dylan Lauren, Andre Balazs, Linda Evangelista, and Alexander Gilkes on the guest list.