Miami Beach, in front of the Bass Museum December, 2019

We’ve rounded up all the most talked about events from Art Basel Miami which ended Sunday, December 8th, 2019. Read on to get the full story behind the banana controversy, the opening of the new Rubell Familly Museum hosted by Vanity Fair, Dior’s menswear 2020 debut, Lourdes Leon’s performance for Desigual, the launch of Cipriani’s Socialista Miami, Peter Dundas’ celebration, #TOGETHERBAND launch party, The Box x Up & Down pop up, David LaChapelle’s Lavazza launch, Dom Perignon x Lenny Kravitz celebration and more.

Maurizio Cattelan’s $120,000 Banana

Famed sculpture artist Maurizio Cattelan stole the show this week at the Art Basel Miami art fair with a single banana held in place with a strip of duct-tape, which sold for $120,000 more than once before being eaten in the name of performance art on Saturday. The banana which was called Comedian (an edition of 3 presented with an entire wall at the fair by Perrotin gallery) drew a shocking amount of attention as visitors clamored to get selfies with the piece. Countless Instagram posts were made, tweets were sent, and even the New York Times wrote multiple articles about it. Perrotin gallery finally removed Comedian on Sunday after crowds became uncontrollable. There’s a lot to be said about the notorious banana, but ultimately, according to Perrotin, “it offered a complex reflection of ourselves.”

Rubell Museum Opening

An installation on view at The Rubell Museum

December 2nd marked the opening party for the newly relocated Rubell Museum in the warehouse district of Miami. With a collection of works including pieces by Jeff Koons, Keith Haring, and Anselm Keifer, the museum was bound to draw an impressive crowd. Vanity Fair editor in chief Radhika Jones shared the night with Mickalene Thomas and gallerist Jeffrey Deitch, making it the place to see and be seen. The museum opened in an area of Miami that has yet to be gentrified, making it an unusual space to showcase contemporary art. The new building takes up a whopping 100,000 square feet with forty galleries, an art research library, and a performance space. The inaugural exhibition showcases 300 pieces by 100 artists, which is now open to the public.

Maggio Cipriani Launches Socialista Miami

Guests at Maggio Cipriani’s party. Shot By Matteo Prandoni for BFA.

On December 3rd, entrepreneur Cipriani introduced a Miami edition of Socialista, the famed lounge concept he created in New York in 2016. Located in the heart of downtown Miami, the club brings the Cuban influence that is essential to Miami’s culture. The celebration brought together Cipriani’s close friends and family to enjoy live music, Cuban-inspired cocktails, and hand-rolled cigars. The guest-list signaled the type of clientele to come, with trendy artists, models and celebrities in attendance such as Travis Scott, Bella Hadid, Joan Smalls, Kourtney Kardashian and Nina Dobrev. The club is hyper-exclusive, offering a members and invite-only experience.

Dom Pérignon Hosts Celebration with Lenny Kravitz & Alan Faena

Lenny Kravitz and Alan Faena. Image courtesy of PRNet.

Music icon Lenny Kravitz, who is also the creative director for Dom Pérignon, threw a “Last Supper” party with Alan Faena to mark his collaboration with the luxe champagne brand on December 4th at Faena’s private residence. The party drew major celebrities, including Paris Hilton, Sean Penn, Peter Dundas, and Tommy Hilfiger. Guests got to enjoy Kravitz’s limited-edition champagne collection along with a surprise DJ set by Diplo.

Up & Down Cabana Beach Club X The Box

Performer at The Box X Up&Down party. Image courtesy of Laura Kimmels.

New York City nightlife giant The Box brought a pop-up party to Nautilus by Arlo on December 4th, and it was wild. There was interactive art, music by DJ DZA, and celebrity guests like Sean Penn and Jared Leto. Guests got to enjoy NSFW performances that The Box is known for while partying in a ritzy tent on the beach. The Party continued on Saturday, December 7th until late in the evening.

Gucci X Snapchat X Harmony Korine Party

Guests at the Gucci party. Photo by Tasos Katopodis for Getty images. Image courtesy of Ruinart.

Alessandro Michele, Gucci’s creative director, threw a star-studded party in collaboration with Snapchat on December 4th to celebrate the launch of a fancy pair of glasses with HD cameras, allowing users to create content that looks to be 3D. The party featured Harmony Korine’s short film “Duck Duck,” which was filmed entirely with the Spectacles 3 glasses. Punk legend Iggy Pop performed to celebrity guests like Jared Leto, Gucci Mane, Sienna Miller, and Chloë Sevigny.


Art display by Shinique Smith at #TOGETHERBAND party. Image courtesy of #TOGETHERBAND.

Global community #TOGETHERBAND threw a party on December 5th at the Miami Beach Botanical Garden to honor responsible consumption and production, one of the 17 UN Global Goals. Lead ambassador Rosario Dawson came together with former global marketing and communications executive for Bottega Veneta, Abrima Erwiah, and artist Shinique Smith to throw a zero-waste party to raise awareness for ethically made and sustainably sourced brands. Notable guests included Arthur Baker, Charlott Cordes, Lorena Rae, Oliver Wayman, and Mark Gilbert.

Desigual X Lourdes Leon: Miami Loves Different F/W 2020 Presentation

Performance at Desigual Carlota Guerrero show at Temple House. Image courtesy of Patrick Jones.

On December 6th, eclectic clothing brand Desigual presented it’s 2020 collection with an artistic performance curated by Carlota Guerrero at The Temple House. The night was broken up into chapters, including cocktail hour “Seduccion,” Guerrero’s presentation “Beso,” a DJ set by Black Madonna titled “Amor,” with a final DJ set at a secret location by Blond:ish called “Climax.” Madonna’s eldest child, Lourdes, put on a provocative performance in a nude thong and pasties for the guests fortunate enough to get an invite. The performance was meant to highlight love, multiculturalism and diversity as a way of celebrating Desigual’s iconic pieces for 2020.

Peter Dundas Art Basel Miami Party

Peter Dundas poses with Diplo. Image courtesy of Karla Otto New York. 

Famed designer Peter Dundas threw a party with entrepreneur Peter Rahal at Rahal’s private residence on December 5th in celebration of Dream Makers: Fashion Illustrated, an art exhibition curated by Peter Dundas and Artemis Baltoyanni showcasing important historical and contemporary fashion illustrations. Notable guests included Rosario Dawson, Teyana Taylor, Diplo, model Duckie Thot, Sofia Resing and Ricky Martin.

Dior Pre-Fall Menswear Show 2020

Image courtesy of Dior.

Dior artistic director Kim Jones collaborated with retired surfwear legend Shawn Stussy for the upcoming menswear collection, with made it’s debut at Miami Beach on December 3rd. Jones is known for fusing streetwear with high-fashion, and this collection was no exception. The show included vintage cars, bumping techno music, a fresh take on the iconic Air Jordan 1 sneaker, and pastel clothes with heavy florals and a re-imagined bee logo.

Lavazza x David LaChapelle at Gitano at Casa Faena

David LaChapelle poses with guests at Lavazza party. Image courtesy of Lavazza.

The Italian coffee company Lavazza celebrated its 2020 limited edition calendar photographed by David LaChapelle on December 5th. The calendar is a way of situating their product within the larger cultural context by focusing on social impact. LaChapelle is known for capturing the complexities of pop culture in his photos, making him a great fit for the brand as he could interpret their values. Guests of the party included artists, gallerists, influencers, actors, and models. After the party, the brand showcased their newest products at a pop-up at the Bazaar at Faena from December 6th-8th where images from the calendar were on view.

Kanye West Performs Opera “Mary” On Barge Floating in Biscayne Bay

Rapper Kanye West has made God the subject of his art this year, choosing to perform a “Sunday Service” with full choir and church band instead of a regular concert. On December 8th he ended his time at Art Basel with an opera, directed by Vanessa Beecroft, about the birth of Christ called “Mary.” This is West’s second opera, with Nebuchadnezzar about the book of Daniel debuting at Hollywood Bowl last week. West made his appearance on stage in head-to-toe silver, which confused audiences as he read Christian scripture. Both of West’s operas have been divisive, with “Mary” being criticized for sound-issues, issues with timing, narrative hiccups, and an overall sloppy vibe as fans speculated how long it took to put the whole thing together. It was publicly announced just three nights before the show, and sold out almost immediately as tickets went for as little as $20. West is set to release a new album, Jesus is Born, on Christmas day, but many are wondering whether the last-minute operas are a good way to go about hyping up crowds for the album drop.


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