As Leonardo DiCaprio appears to have proven at the 2018 edition of Art Basel Miami Beach this past week, the fair (and its myriad satellites) has something for everyone—and we’re not just talking about its extremely specific types of parties, pretty much all of which end up widely attended. As for the actual art on view, there’s no shortage of options for those who aren’t too hungover to look for it—including, for example, a 150-million-year-old, 28-foot-long skeleton of a dinosaur mom along with her baby (and a $2.5-million price tag) of the sort that a 44-year-old Academy Award-winning actor who’s deeply passionate about environmentalism, his 21-year-old girlfriend, and dinosaur remains might find extremely appealing.
Indeed, there were no less than 268 galleries at Miami Art Week’s main fair there to ensure the needs of every single celebrity, influencer, model, art world figure, and any other potential buyer was catered to by the time its VIP preview rolled around on Wednesday. Twenty-one-year-old Luka Sabbat went above and beyond in doing so, making his artist debut by essentially giving away free money, while the Haas Brothers, Misha Kahn, and Raúl de Nieves (in partnership with Bulgari) all played make-believe with installations that essentially turned the fair into a playground. (Thanks to one Serena Williams, there was even karaoke.)
Artists like Derrick Adams made sure that the fun continued outdoors. And Theaster Gates brought Milan to Miami by shifting his exhibition of photos from the archives of Jet and Ebony magazines, currently on view at the Fondazione Prada, to the house’s pop-up club in Miami Beach, whose three-night run attracted guests like Kanye West.
Naturally, the local museums couldn’t resist the opportunity to also shine, which the Pérez Art Museum literally did by opening an extremely neon-filled (and therefore extremely Instagrammable) exhibition of José Carlos Martinat. Meanwhile, whereas Paolo Pivi’s giant multicolor polar bears at the Bass were a crowdpleaser for toddlers and children alike, Judy Chicago, aka the 79-year-old godmother of vagina art, kept things at bit more PG-13 at the Institute of Contemporary Art, with a genitalia-filled survey to complement a new show of photos at Nina Johnson gallery documenting a series from Chicago’s twenties, when she was using multicolored fireworks as ammunition to protest the then male-dominated field of land art.
As usual, though, the real stars of the show were the upstart fairs, whose growing strength in numbers—this year, more than a dozen—has led many to rechristen Art Basel Miami as Miami Art Week. In case you didn’t make it to each and every one of them, take in the rest of the highlights via Instagram, here.
A Brief History of Celebrities Getting Silly at Art Basel Miami
Before she moved to Mykonos, Lindsay Lohan was appreciating the art in Miami in 2013.
Pamela Anderson immersed herself in the art at Art Basel Miami in 2008.
Cardi B turned up at a Moschino party with Jeremy Scott at Art Basel Miami in December 2017.
Drake rolled around in a golf cart after his performance during Art Basel in 2017.
Iggy Pop naturally performed shirtless at an Art Basel Miami party with The Stooges in 2007.
Solange, who was spinning at an Art Basel Miami party in 2011, ran into her friend Janelle Monáe behind the DJ booth.
Adrian Grenier took to the beach to answer what could only be some important work emails under an umbrella at Art Basel Miami in 2013.
Diddy did not let an injured arm stop him from showing up to Art Basel Miami in 2011.
Lenny Kravitz opted for a pair of silver boots to wear while traipsing the beach at Art Basel Miami, instead of going barefoot, in 2013.
The first Paris Hilton Art Basel Miami appearance took place in 2006, just four years after the inaugural Miami Beach show.
Venus Williams assessed the art—while wearing a pair of fur-trimmed boots in the tropical locale—during Art Basel Miami in 2010.
Rosario Dawson and Young Paris partied together in the evening at Art Basel Miami in 2016.
Muhammad Ali gave Will Smith some bunny ears at Art Basel Miami in 2013, just two years after Smith portrayed the iconic boxer in Ali.
Before she became a Cool Mom, Slick Woods partied at Art Basel Miami in 2017 with Jeremy Scott.
Of course Beyoncé and Jay-Z have made a pilgrimage or two to Art Basel Miami. This one took place in 2008.
Pharrell performed at an Art Basel Miami party in 2010.
Faye Dunaway was very excited to pose in front of some Fernando Botero paintings at Art Basel Miami in 2008.
Before landing at the helm of Louis Vuitton, Virgil Abloh performed a DJ set at Art Basel Miami in 2014.