22 Amazing Things We Saw at Art Basel Miami

Laurel Pinson
22 Amazing Things We Saw at Art Basel Miami
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While Art Basel may now have a reputation as more of a people-watching and party-planning spectacle than an actual art fair, there was still plenty of exciting art to be seen and amazing spaces to check out during the week.
Whether you’ve got a taste for contemporary art, innovative design, hotel lobbies, or just plain ol’ fast cars, the fair held something for you. Often, spectacular objects seemed to appear out of nowhere, like the massive seashell chandelier at the SLS Hotel South Beach or the glassed-in view from the Soho Beach House oceanside tent at Diane von Furstenberg’s party with Evian. In terms of the art itself, we were particularly impressed by some of the design-focused pieces at Design/Miami, especially the epic Swarovski Crystal Palace, which featured a whopping one million crystals.
You don’t just have to take our word for it—see for yourself! Click through the gallery for a look at 22 amazing sights from South Beach to Miami’s Wynwood district.

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Diane von Furstenberg threw one of the best lunchtime parties of the entire week, featuring a crowd that included Paris and Nicky Hilton, as well as Chelsea Handler and Andre Balazs. But the real star was the view from the Soho Beach House beachside tent.

Photo: Laurel Pinson/The Vivant/Laurel Pinson/The Vivant

While insiders griped that the main fair at the Convention Center was less enticing this year than in years past, there were still a few showstoppers to be found. Case in point: Yayoi Kusama's "Narcissus Garden" (2004), which features 500 stainless steel balls.

Photo: Laurel Pinson/The Vivant/Laurel Pinson/The Vivant

Also on display at the fair: several of Chuck Close's spectacular woodburytype prints (an early photogenic process) of iconic celebrities like Kate Moss. 

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Another of Close's spectacular prints, featuring Brad Pitt.

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Chandelier or taxidermy? Either way, Petah Coyne's "Untitled #1375 (No Reason Except Love)" got quite a bit of attention at the main fair.

Photo: Laurel Pinson/The Vivant/Laurel Pinson/The Vivant

While the art is certainly the main draw during Art Basel, we found the view along Collins Avenue in South Beach (here, from the top of the new Gale Hotel) to be equally winning.

Photo: Laurel Pinson/The Vivant/Laurel Pinson/The Vivant

Not part of the official fair, but noteworthy nonetheless: the massive "rubber duckie" at the SLS Hotel South Beach (presented with yours truly to give you a sense of scale).

Photo: Laurel Pinson/The Vivant/Laurel Pinson/The Vivant

Also at the SLS Hotel: this jaw-dropping chandelier, which is composed almost entirely of little white seashells.

Photo: Laurel Pinson/The Vivant/Laurel Pinson/The Vivant

Everyone was buzzing about the Swarovski Crystal Palace at Design/Miami, and you can see why: The massive installation, designed by Asif Khan, features more than one million Swarovski crystals!

Photo: Laurel Pinson/The Vivant/Laurel Pinson/The Vivant

Also at Design/Miami: the double-take-worthy Audi R18 Ultra Racecar.

Photo: Laurel Pinson/The Vivant/Laurel Pinson/The Vivant

Lonneke Gordijn and Ralph Nauta's "Fragile Future 3.9 Chandelier" was one of the most breathtaking pieces at the Design/Miami fair.

Photo: Laurel Pinson/The Vivant/Laurel Pinson/The Vivant

The piece itself is an amazing combination of tech-y and magical, with an elaborate bronze structure and soft LED lights. 

Photo: Laurel Pinson/The Vivant/Laurel Pinson/The Vivant

Up close, the kicker: Each of the tiny lights is encased in a perfect dandelion seed pod. 

Photo: Laurel Pinson/The Vivant/Laurel Pinson/The Vivant

Jewelry designer Delfina Delettrez had a special booth at the fair, and these finger-shaped earrings were one of our favorite pieces at Design/Miami.

Photo: Laurel Pinson/The Vivant/Laurel Pinson/The Vivant

While much of the action around Art Basel takes place in and around South Beach, we took a trek to the Wynwood district and were blown away by some of the graffiti found on the buildings in the area.

Photo: Laurel Pinson/The Vivant/Laurel Pinson/The Vivant

Here, an artist puts the finishing touches on a massive mural featuring the Miami Heat team.

Photo: Laurel Pinson/The Vivant/Laurel Pinson/The Vivant

Also in Wynwood was a sneak peek at '50s and '6os photographer Bunny Yaeger's incredible pictures of iconic sex symbols like Bettie Page.

Photo: Laurel Pinson / The Vivant/Laurel Pinson / The Vivant

At the Rubell Family Collection, Bernar Benet offered up his "Homage to German Technology," otherwise known as a Bugatti Grand Sport "Venet."

Photo: Laurel Pinson/The Vivant/Laurel Pinson/The Vivant

At the Margulies Collection at the Warehouse, this installation—featuring a pile of shopping bags from various fashion labels—certainly resonated with us.

Photo: Laurel Pinson/The Vivant/Laurel Pinson/The Vivant

Also at the Margulies Collection: a dazzling light installation by Dan Flavin.

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Shoe brand Del Toro opened its first-ever boutique in Wynwood during Art Basel, putting loafers designed in collaboration with more than 30 artists on display. Our favorite: this cheeky white pair, created by artist Curtis Kulig. 

Photo: Laurel Pinson/The Vivant/Laurel Pinson/The Vivant

Last, but certainly not least, we couldn't help but include the truly righteous vintage car we spotted in and around Wynwood. Miami is quite the car town, but we thought this bad boy was far more exciting than any of the Ferraris and Maseratis we spotted during the week. 

Photo: Laurel Pinson/The Vivant/Laurel Pinson/The Vivant

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Street Style: Out and About at Miami’s Art Basel

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