Miami, I Dig You. Art Basel, I Dig You Too. // Art Basel 2015 Recap (PT. ONE)


Less than 48 hours since our return to Los Angeles after a whirlwind five-day booze-and-art-infested trip to Miami for Art Basel 2015 – and I’m fuckin’ beat. Beat, as in tired, as in still overwhelmed but so refreshingly happy to also be back in Los Angeles and ready to start doing more cool shit. This was SUSPEND’s first time covering Art Basel and it surely won’t be the last. I had either my Canon G12 or Nikon full-frame DSLR with me the whole time to capture what I could (without also snapping the incessant humans-taking-pictures-in-front-of-art in every frame, myself not excluded from this category on occasion).

Thursday Night: Pigalle, Pizza, and Popcorn

So we realized soon after touching down in Miami that we would be accompanied by heavy, heavy rain which put a bit of a damper on night-time festivities. After unpacking, we headed to a God Knows Where exclusive Pigalle mansion party (apparently hosted by Hostess...and Stussy) where we saw a quick glimpse of Virgil Abloh and Heron Preston. Outside of The PPP Mansion, we befriended a contributor of FEELINGS: Soft Art who had a floating copy of their publication being passed around inside. She was the one who tipped us off that the large twinkie-adorned “art piece” was, in fact, because Hostess was an official sponsor for the party. I told her I liked her all-beige ‘fit and she smiled and said, “I got this in the maternity section of a department store.” After a few too many fruity-tasting Hennessy drinks at the Pigalle party, we ran in the rain and took a Lyft to a nearby pizza spot called Lucali's (1930 Bay Rd, Miami Beach) that was not only phenomenal but also saved a probably hangover on my end the next morning.

After pizza, we headed to the #NATURELXGREENLABEL “In The Paint” event in Wynwood and got there super early. (Like crickets chirping early.) It worked in our favor since all the popcorn bags that were being given away to guests kept on rotating back to where we were seating. Austin Millz performed his live DJ set but the long day caught up to me and we retreated to YVE Hotel in Downtown Miami before catching Goldlink’s performance.

Friday: Running Into a Winklevoss and Then Buying a Ben Frost

We ran into one of the Winklevoss twins at The Skateroom at Delano South Beach. The pop-up installation at the famed Delano Hotel (an upscale hotel opened by Studio 54 co-founder, Ian Schrager as part of his Morgans Hotel Group in 1992), opened with a floor-to-ceiling wall consisting of 32 Campbell’s Soup Cans Warhol Skateboards, sold in a numbered edition of 100 at $10,000 (set). Further down the hotel lobby pop-up exhibit presented by the MoMa Collection, we stumbled upon the Colored Campbell’s Soup Cans Warhol Skateboards on display and picked up an individual deck ($200 each) in an edition of 4,000 each. The skateboards feature pop icon Colored Campbell’s Soup Cans, 1965 with Acrylic, spray paint and silkscreen on canvas based on the original artwork by Andy Warhol

We walked down Collins Ave. to Aqua Art Miami, established in 2005, which featured a diverse group of exhibiting galleries ranging from Los Angeles, New York, and Miami to Moscow (Everything is Art), Tokyo (Frantic Gallery), and Brussels | Paris (Huberty-Breyne Gallery). We stopped by Cass Contemporary (Tampa, Florida) to view Hueman’s color-infused art pieces as well as artwork by Andrea Wan.

Ben Frost, an Australian-based pop artist, had an entire room of featured work, “Just One Fix”, on display at the Vertical Gallery (Chicago) where we purchased one of his Valium, 2015 6-color screen print pieces, 24 x 24 in. in a limited edition of 50 prints. His acrylic pieces done on Chanel shopping bags (around $1,150 a piece) were all sold to collectors including his famed mini fry package acrylic pieces. One of the representatives for Vertical Gallery mentioned that Frost, who had spent some time living in Canada, had saved those fry packages (which are no longer in circulation) while living in Canada, as noticed with the small Canadian flag printed on the packaging.

I stumbled upon a three-panel series of sketches and illustrations by renowned fashion illustrator Richard Haines (based in New York) at the Huberty-Breyne Gallery (Brussels | Paris) room. I was first introduced to his work back in 2013 by our ISSUE 03 guest curator, Saint Rita Parlor eyewear owner Neil Bardon (who has an original portrait of himself by Haines in his collection). Haines began publishing his fashion illustrations in 2008 online and since then has done extensive collaborations with brands like Prada and Dries Van Noten. In 2012, Haines was enlisted by Miuccia Prada to collaborate on a collection of illustrations from the brand’s 2012 runway collection. Haines’ artwork was featured in a limited edition book and then released in a line of graphic t-shirts. 

After Aqua Art Miami, we headed to Ronnie Fieg’s “Homage” Sneaker Exhibition where he also celebrated the 25th anniversary of Asics Gel-Lyte III

For dinner, we attended the debut of ANALOGUE's line of compostable plates, hand-stamped with convo-inspiring art for their inaugural #GirlTalk series, hosted by Celeste Perez at Izzy’s Fish & Oyster (423 Washing Ave., Miami Beach) for the BEST (worthy of all caps) Lobster Rolls for happy hour from 5-7PM and also inhaled a quick round of a dozen oysters (chef’s selection) including truly delectable Island Creek Oysters.

During dinner we linked up with singer-songwriter Jarell Perry where we headed back to newfound friend Angat's room at the Royal Palm to watch him meticulously de-tag his Adidas x Palace knitted polo. We then headed to Wynwood's Coyo Taco for the extremely dark-lit Soulection event with The Whooligan. Jarell and Leslie took part in each placing a snake around their neck and afterwards we turned around and saw a humongous Retna street wall piece and then went back for some much-needed slumber. 

All Text and Photography by Diane Abapo

Follow Diane on Instagram at @dianeabapo


Diane Abapo Founder and Editor-in-Chief at SUSPEND Magazine.