Survey 10 visitors to the non-stop bacchanal that is Art Basel Miami Beach and you’re bound to get 10 different impressions. As big-ticket collectors, dealers, artists, brands and assorted others converged on the 2014 edition last week, there were so many fairs, performances, exhibitions and parties on tap that one could easily have seen art from dawn til dusk, slept til dusk and partied til dawn, or done a little of both. The art world is, in fact, many worlds under one umbrella and if you want to experience them all simultaneously, Miami is your kind of town. Each year there a few new outliers: during her outdoor concert at the Raleigh Hotel on Wednesday night, for example, Miley Cyrus self-identified as an artist.
Party central for the week was Ian Schrager’s newest hotel, the Miami Beach Edition, whose LED-lit indoor skating rink, bowling alley and basement nightclub drew throngs nightly. There were the usual celebrity sightings (Leonardo DiCaprio, P. Diddy, Swizz Beatz, Linda Evangelista) and some unlikely ones (Paris Hilton and Housewife Bethenny Frankel). One wannabe kept popping up all over town wearing a thong swimsuit and a lampshade on her head. Instagram founder Kevin Systrom also powered through the fair grounds, taking in content and getting likes everywhere he went. And performance artist Ryan McNamara got everyone talking about his game-changing ME3M 4 Miami, a story ballet about the Internet performed nightly in Miami’s former Playboy Club, where the fabulously seedy ambience was itself worth the journey up Collins Avenue. Of course, there was also plenty of contemporary art and design to revel in. Here, a highly random sampling of our favorite things.