MIAMI – After a pandemic hiatus, the official Art Basel show is back in Miami with all its eccentric glory, a dizzying list of celebrity attendees and dozens of spin-off shows that are already generating a buzz, including a phenom child painter and a $4 million Banksy sale.
Ten-year-old contemporary artist Andres Valencia’s gallery has already nearly sold out at Art Miami. The San Diego-based artist simply saw a cubist painting in his living room two years ago and declared, ‘I can do that'.
Actress Sophia Vergara bought one of his pieces this week and Channing Tatum, Jordan Belfort, and artist Shepard Fairey stopped by his booth at the Art Miami fair to check out his work, according to a spokesperson for Chase Contemporary.
Proceeds from Valencia's works are going to the Perry J. Cohen Foundation, which supports the arts, and environmental and wildlife education and preservation.
Maddox Gallery is also showing at Art Miami, selling Banksy’s Charlie Brown for $4 million dollars on Tuesday. A spokeswoman for the gallery said this is the first year they've had a profound collection of Banksy canvases including many original works.
Basel's annual prestigious December art fair draws collectors, socialites and celebrities from around the world. But fashion has also played a prominent role in recent years with Christian Dior hosting its first ever U.S. show in 2019 as a sort of unofficial kick-off to Miami's art week.
Louis Vuitton did the same on Tuesday night, with its first ever U.S. fashion show. But the sudden death of its 41-year-old legendary designer Virgil Abloh turned the show into a somber yet whimsical celebration of life attended by Rihanna, Kim Kardashian West and her daughter North, Ye, the rapper formerly known as Kanye West, model Bella Hadid, Joe Jonas, Maluma and Pharrell. Kid Cudi and Erykah Badu performed at an after-party. Ivanka Trump and hubby Jared Kushner were also in the crowd.
And Chanel collaborated with artist Es Devlin for a monumental sculptural installation to celebrate its iconic fragrance. The fashion house is taking over Jungle Plaza to create a multi-sensory experience using hundreds of plants and trees. The installation is open to the public, but several big name celebs are expected to attend Friday's VIP dinner with a top-secret performance.
Gucci is hosting a party Thursday night to celebrate Mickalene Thomas’ Monograph.
Alicia Keys, Lizzo and Cardi B are also among those performing around town this week. The rapper is launching a new line of Vodka infused whipped cream on Saturday. After-party performances at various clubs this weekend include Migos, Meek Mill, Diplo and Marshmello.
While Miami's art week is a draw for serious collectors, it is also full of the absurd, including diamond and gold chicken wings. Yep, Miami's DJ Khaled dropped “bling wings” topped with 24-karat gold dust and edible diamonds to promote his restaurant Another Wing.
There's also an 18 carat gold bagel avocado toast on sale for $2.9 million at Galerie Rother at Art Miami.
Celebrity sightings included Martha Stewart in a gold coat and walking cane at Komodo restaurant and the Denver Nuggets and Venus Williams popped bottles all night at Pharrell and David Grutman's restaurant Swan.
Hailey Bieber, Olivia Rodrigo, Brooklyn Beckham, Nicola Peltz were spotted loading up on cocktails and caviar at Papi Steak and singer Camila Cabello was spotted in the trendy art district of Wynwood on Monday for an unveiling at Wynwood Walls to celebrate 14 new artists with murals and sculptures.