Miami Beach, Florida is hosting the 11th edition of Art Basel from December 6-9, 2012, arguably the United State's biggest art event with over 260 leading galleries from North America, Europe, Latin America, Asia, and Africa in attendance. The event features work by over 2,000 artists from the 20th and 21st century, which means that the world is being introduced to thousands of groundbreaking artists (new and established), with opportunities to cough up large amounts of cash to display select pieces in their own homes. Not only does Art Basel attract artists, art enthusiasts and collectors, it brings in tons of famous faces (those who may or may not be art fans and artists themselves) who party publicly and help bring the event even more attention.
With so many exciting artists on display at Art Basel it would be pretty tough to tell you about all of them, so instead I'll just point out a few of my favorite exhibits so far. SCAI The Bathhouse is a really neat Japanese gallery and their booth at Art Basel is a great representation of what they offer, especially Kohei Nawa's red deer sculpture, PixCell-Red Deer (2012) that is made of plastic balls. He has an entire Pixel series, which is full of works where the crystal-like balls cover taxidermy animals and average everyday items, the spheres magnifying and reflecting light to distort the object beneath. It's obvious that someone saw the piece's worth since they snatched it up already for $450,000.
From Hauser & Wirth, Guillermo Kuitca's large-scale paintings are on display, showcasing his talent for thoughtful pieces that gently create mood and idea. His Untitled, 2010, acrylic and watercolor pencil on canvas, and Untitled, 2010, oil on canvas, are definitely two standout pieces that reflect his vision. Also worth mention for any fans of street artist Space Invader is the Jonathan LeVine Gallery, which is showcasing a great collection of Invader pieces.
With any high-profile event comes celebrity appearances and their questionable behavior. Topping the gossip list has got to be Demi Moore, who at some point in her career has decided to emulate the tragic Lindsay Lohan as much as possible. According to gossip sites, Moore showed up to an exclusive Chanel party with a stray cat that she found wandering by the SoHo Beach House's pool. Take a random animal you find on the street to a high profile dinner? Sounds about right. While she may have cuddled with the street-wise kitty during dinner, she apparently ditched it in favor of the after-party where she chugged Red Bull, danced provocatively with friends, and hung out with Lenny Kravitz (not her boy toy Vito Schnabel who recently denied dating her).
In less exciting celeb news, P. Diddy (or Sean Combs or Puff Daddy depending on your generation) apparently snatched up an Ivan Návarro sculpture (the artist also impressed with an installation that manipulates perceptions of depth and scale) from a VIP preview show of the exhibition, and may also find himself the owner of a Basquiat original. Other celebrities have been spotted, including the likes of Will Ferrell, Owen Wilson, Dita Von Teese, Chelsea Handler, Diane von Furstenberg, Kanye West, Martha Stewart, and Danny Huston.
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