Get Your Head Straight: The Wonderment of Art Basel is Here

This week some 50,000 plus people will show up for the sixth annual Art Basel event in Miami. If you’re not sure which hotels to frequent, parties to hit up or people to see, let us guide you towards your scene.

For the next-generation art amassers and John Currins of the world, hole-up downtown at the Four Seasons Hotel. You will be in good art collecting company with the likes of Jerry Speyer, Asher Edelman, Michael Lynne, Eli Broad, Beth Rudin De Woody, Steve Cohen, and Peter Brant. Go to the New Art Dealers Alliance fair, which opens this Friday through the weekend. The NADA fair will have stellar exhibits from hot young galleries like New York’s Rivington Arms and Daniel Reich. The fair will host a mega-benefit for the New Museum on New York’s Bowery, which will include a performance by San Fran- rockers Deerhoof. Art collector’s should be seen at the after-party for the private screening of the Lou Reed film Berlin, directed by Julian Schnabel.

The actual artists will headquarter at the Raleigh Hotel which is party central. Don’t look shocked if you see epic names of the art world like Damien Hirst, David LaChapelle, Jack Pierson, Aaron Young, Kehinde Wiley, Terence Koh, and Doug Aitken partying impromtu throughout the hotel. Paper Magazine is hosting the party at Raleigh Oasis on Decemeber 4th and the next night, Deitch Projects will kick off at the Raleigh with a concert by CoCo Rosie. The same night D.J Spooky will perform during the Rubell Family Collection dinner which commences the SCOPE fair film and lecture series. SCOPE celebrates the as-yet-uncelebrated and provocative artists, the fair has discounted exhibition space for new galleries in its ‘Breeders’ section. On December 6th, the Raleigh will hold the book launch party for Bob Colacello’s OUT. Then on the 7th,Tamara Mellon will host a dinner at the Raleigh Ballroom to toast the limited edition handbags designed by Jimmy Choo and artist Richard Phillips.

If you’re more into star gazing then gazing at art then join celebrities at the Setai Hotel, up the street from the Raleigh. Rumored to be in Miami this week is Dennis Hopper, David Byrne, Steve Martin, Lou Reed, maybe Keanu Reeves and Russell Simmons. We bumped into Russell Simmons and girlfriend/ model Porschia Coleman last Wednesday at Nobu. Russell told us he loves the Setai and is staying in town for his December 8th soiree with Allison Weiss Brady at Intermix. The party benefits Simmons’ charity Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation. A tip to the paparazzi, be at the Sotheby’s dinner made by French chef Pierre Gagnaire which will honor contemporary Asian art.  Celebrities will also hide away in Lenny Kravitz’s underground, speakeasy the Florida Room in the Delano Hotel.

The Fashionistas will takeover the Ritz-Carlton. Fashion people like Donna Karan, Laudomia Pucci, Vivienne Tam, Kenzo, Calvin Klein, Nadia Swarovski, and Tamara Mellon should be seen at the Cartier crystal Dome. The Cartier Dôme features the brand’s most celebrated jewelry collection and rarest time pieces. Sip champagne and gawk at the gems from Wednesday to Sunday, 2-8pm and Thursday, 2-4pm. Spot fashion people frequenting Prime One Twelve, South of Fifth Street and Blade restaurant in the Fontainebleau Hotel.

Members of the suits like UBS’s Karl Schweizer; Citicorp’s Mary Hoeveler; execs of Campari, Cartier, and BMW will be working over the Mandarin Oriental Hotel on Biscayne. Look for these high profile people at the UBS banquet where there will be tons of free food and drinks ya’ll. You will be able to pick the suits out by the looks on their sad little facing saying, "can I afford this art and will I even be able to afford food next year?"

As for the locals, this is your domain so spread out and suck it in.  Over 200 galleries will be here personifying the biggest names in contemporary art.  The Art Positions section will features 20 art projects exhibited in shipping containers on the beach at Collins Park. Do not miss the Cartier Art Guest Lounge and Dome, designed by architecht Jean Nouvel. Definitely don’t miss the Visionaire SOUND lounge at the Raleigh Hotel Thursday night, it will be one of the biggest parties of the week. You will be able to listen to audio works done by David Byrne, Robert Wilson, Cat Power, Cindy Sherman, U2, and Courtney Love. If your head is spinning that sucks, but get it together because there is much more than this going on. Like we said it’s an epic week in Miami so we will say it again, get it together and get out there, explore the wonderment of Art Basel. Oh and drink up, liquor companies sponsor most events and it’s on the house.