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On the way home, we ran into one of those things that only happens in context to art or madness. A guy in a tuxedo was pushing a shopping cart, full of his belongings and two video monitors screening his art, through the throngs of people clogging the sidewalk on Collins Avenue. Considering that it was hot as Hades and equally humid, he seemed more like a well-heeled homeless person than an artist; but of course, being that it was ABMB week, he was turned out to be the artist Steven Gagnon performing while promoting his show at a local gallery.
After a night of rest and a day of writing, we started our Thursday rounds at the Pulse Art Fair at the Ice Palace near downtown Miami. We cruised through the booths, admiring some digital sculptures by Airen Kang that looked like books at Bruce Wolkowitz Gallery, Massimo Vitali’s big color photos of bathers on beaches at the booths of Brancolini Grimaldi Arte Contmporanea and Galeria Senda; Terry Rodgers’ painting of half-naked party revelers and Wouter Deruytter’s black-and-white photos of New York billboards; and David Abir’s sound and light installation, which was produced as a special project by Michael Sellinger. Outside the main building, we enjoyed a light supper of local specialties and a few drinks while taking in the live — very entertaining — sounds of the Vivian Girls.
Having to stay somewhat on schedule, we jumped in the car and headed over to Miami Midtown for Graffiti Gone Global, which was held on two undeveloped floors of a commercial and residential building. We met a few of the graf artists in the show, including Shiro, a young Japanese woman who makes cute, pop paintings and spoke with the curators, James and Karla Murray about the international street art scene. It was so hot inside the space that we bounced to the next event, the STAGES exhibition in downtown Miami.
The STAGES show, which benefits the Lance Armstrong Foundation, was also held in a previously empty space, but this one was nicely chilled with portable air conditioner, courtesy of the show’s sponsor, Nike. We had seen the show in its first stage at Galerie Emmanuel Perrotin in Paris in July, but some artists had been added since then. KAWS, Rosson Crow, and Jules de Balincourt were present for the opening, as was Erik Parker, who had just been added to the Miami leg of the exhibition. Shepard Fairey was about to take his turn at spinning music when we bailed to get to our final destination of the night on time.
Going back to the W South Beach Hotel, where we had partied the previous night, we were ushered into Solea, the hotel’s posh indoor/outdoor restaurant, for a dinner hosted by mega-art-collectors Aby Rosen, Alberto Mugrabi, and Peter Brant. The guest list was a who’s who of art world players and celebs, including Larry Gagosian, Tony Shafrazi, Eil Broad, Don and Mera Rubell, Diana Picasso, Val Kilmer, Naomi Campbell, and on and on. A feast was served buffet style and guests roamed from table to table, talking up a storm. It was so much fun that it was nearly impossible to leave. However, leaving was made easier by the fact that the next stop was just next door at the dinner’s after-party, hosted by Vito Schnabel, at the W’s super-stylish bar/lounge, Wall. One more glass of champagne and we called it a night.