December 11 2013

George Wayne Went to Miami

Miami-Art Basel

Standard Culture dispatched the infamous man-about-town to Art Basel where he ran into more than a few colorful canvases.

Left: Piotr Uklanski at The Bass Museum Right: Tom Friedman's untitled pisser

The festivities began at The Bass Museum Thursday at a celebration for the Polish artist Piotr Uklanski, who said his art is an allusion to English as a second language. "The work I'm showing here is a metaphor for my trying to break into Anglo-America,” he told me. His abstract-modernist pieces embrace a painstaking array of mediums, from tie-dye to paper. But all the artsy-fartsy peeps were talking about last week was the just-opened Jorge Pérez Museum, housed in Herzog & de Meuron's latest stunning space!

For me, the highlight of Art Basel 2013 was the presentation of outdoor and site-specific installations on the grounds of the Bass Museum, featuring standout work from Tom Friedman, particularly the stainless steel sculpture of a man pissing. Just marvelous.

Left: Scott Reeder's "Real Fake" Right: Various Real Housewives of Miami

Also not to be missed was a massive work by Wisconsin-born artist Scott Reeder made of fiberglass and paint and spelling out the words “Real Fake.” The evening ended at a penthouse on 1500 Ocean Drive where the legendary basketball player Scotty Pippen hosted an event with Omega to celebrate his new line of watches. “I have never been to the moon but Omega watches have been," he quipped as he stood tall above the glamorous crowd, which included some of those ubiquitous housewives of Miami.

Thursday night the traffic was beyond Thunderdome. Stopped by The Standard for a juice replenish. What I love most about The Standard is watching the uninhibited guests roam the property in their hooded bathrobes. I’ve never been to a hotel where so many guests roam the property in nothing but terry cloth. I felt like I was in some super-exclusive harem! I absolutely loved it.

Next, it was off to an after-party hosted by Aby Rosen. Getting into this event was like trying to get into Fort Knox, so thank you, Mr. Lenny Kravitz, for getting GW past the gorgons. Inside was an incredible party. I asked Alex Rodriguez if he had bought any art yet, and he said he was eyeing two pieces. I then suggested he stop by NADA on Collins Ave. I recommended a piece by the artist Garry Kennedy—a huge contemporary work of Western film stills colored with a red patina that would be perfect for his library, if Puffy doesn’t get it first.

Garry Neill Kennedy's Photoworks at NADA

A-Rod promised he’d take a look, but didn't stay long for the dancing. Aby Rosen stood on the banquette and swayed to the music all night long. Bob Colacello never left his side. When Jason Binn grabbed the mic to deliver a shout out to his “best friend" Steven Tyler, and the Dom kept flowing like water, I thought for a minute it was 2004.

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