Art Basel in Miami Beach came and went like a sweet art-formed storm. Art, culture, design, and lifestyle worlds collided for an array of not-to-miss activations and events. Below, we’re highlighting a few of the best.
Best Art Project
On December 6 at the Faena Hotel Miami Beach’s waterfront, Studio Drift presented FRANCHISE FREEDOM. In partnership with BMW, represented by Pace Gallery, Studio Drift’s creators Lonneke Gordijin and Ralph Nauta illuminated 300 drones moving in the sky, mimicking the murmuring of a flock of birds.
Best Art Experience
Presented by American Express, stage designer Es Devlin presented an immersive installation entitled “Room 2022” at the Miami Beach EDITION. The site-specific installation, on view December 7–10, featured a vaulted elliptical mirror maze, soundscapes, and video over 7,000 square feet. “In ROOM 2022, I invite the ‘guests’ to participate in a collective exploration and reimagining of this familiar system,” said Devlin.
ICA Miami opened in the Miami Design District on December 1, under the direction of Ellen Salpeter, with inaugural exhibitions. “The Everywhere Studio” anchored the inaugural program with work by modern and contemporary artists, as well as commissions by emerging artists.
Best Instagrammable Museum Show
At The Bass, we caught two incredibly Instagrammable shows. Ugo Rondinone presented “good evening beautiful blue”—three rooms worth of color and fun, through installations of 45 clowns, looping blue video clips, and a wall built of colored windows. And Mika Rottenberg’s self-titled exhibition shows work from the past two years, focused on the mechanics of late-stage global capitalism in a humorous, poetic way.
Also new for the Design District was Prada’s new store, which beckoned an eventful happening well into the night on December 5. The opening welcomed special guests to an in-store cocktail hour, followed by the preview of artist Carsten Höller’s “The Prada Double Club Miami,” presented by Fondazione Prada. Through Wednesday night, the art installation will doubles as a nightclub. Joined by President of Fondazione Prada, Miuccia Prada, and Höller, guests in attendance enjoyed a special performance by Wyclef Jean.
Sarah Arison continued her role as Whitewaller Miami’s guest editor this year, as well as playing host as a speaker in our Lexus Art Series: Art & Innovation Talks in the Faena hotel’s screening room. “Supporting Emerging Artists in 2018”: Alternatives to Patronage was one of our most attended talks, discussing new avenues and communities for patronage in the art world. Arison also hosted a number of YoungArts events, as well as our event at The Webster on December 5 with MAOR and artist Olivia Steele.
In the backyard of Nautilus, a SIXTY Hotel, a pop-up tent played home to several of the art week’s parties. We held our Whitewaller x Vilebrequin party there, welcoming special guests to enjoy rosé and the swimwear company’s new Donald Sultan print. We also attended the Rémy Martin x Hypebeast party by Up&Down on December 7, which was full of fun opportunities in the photo booth, drinks in the sand, and dancing until late.
Best DJ Set
The Rémy Martin x Hypebeast party by Up&Down led us to this accolade—Virgil Abloh DJing that night. The creative designer was joined by Heron Preston, No Vacancy, and Baltra, with special guests like A$AP Rocky, Alexander Wang, Daniel Arsham, Public School designers Dao Yi Chow and Maxwell Osbourne, KITH‘s Ronnie Fieg, and more dancing into the night.
Best Pop-Up Shop
On December 6, a dinner hosted by ACLU at The Standard celebrated a pop-up called “SPEAK UP” at the hotel. Open to the public and available for purchase in the lobby were limited edition t-shirts, sweatshirts, tote bags, pins, and posters by prominent designers and artists supporting young immigrants at risk of deportation. Project participants included artists like Daniel Arsham, Mickalene Thomas, Simon Haas, and Shelter Serra, as well as guests Sita Abellan, Jeremy Kost, Rafael de Cardenas, Hannah Sider, Alice Longyu Gao, Brian Procell, and Michelle and Reese Blutstein.