Tag Archives: Vibes 305


Swizz Beatz and Jackie No Commission Dean Collection Art Basel 2015 IMG_0126

So Art Basel/Miami Art Week has come and gone.  If you missed out, well, you missed out. About the same time every year, the most wonderful time of the year, the Magic City comes alive with its yearly art festival. Artists, art dealers, art enthusiasts and celebrities from all over flood the city for Art Basel and satellite fairs in Miami Beach and Wynwood. I love Basel but unlike last year where I attended a different event every night for a week straight, this year I played it slightly low-key but I enjoyed it immensely nonetheless. Here's the round up of how my Art Week went.

Conception Art Fair

Beyonce Conception Art Fair Art Basel IMG_9832_1024

Wednesday was the press preview for the Conception Art Fair. Conception was billed as the only art fair founded, owned and run exclusively by women. I thought this would be a great fair to cover for my audience because I know we are all about girl power. With the event scheduled to begin at 6 o'clock, my colleague and I arrived with five minutes to spare. Unfortunately, when we arrived full-fledged construction was still underway on the venue (picture giant ladders, power tools and hammers).  There was no one up front to check in with the visitors and the place was essentially a holy mess. However, once you got past the fear of a large object potentially crashing down on your head, there were some really great pieces to take note of.

Conception Art Fair collage
Much of the art work featured images of strong women including the center image dipicting Frida Kahlo as Wonder Woman.

Vibes 305

Vibes Art Basel 2015 Toe Jam Gil Green IMG_0008v2

Each year this is the one party I vow to not miss.  You may not know Gil Green by name but if you're a fan of hip-hop music, you definitely know his work. The mega-successful filmmaker/video director has worked with many hip hop legends and today's brightest stars including Nicki Minaj, Usher, P. Diddy and more. Each year Green and friends host the unconventional art party at the ToeJam Backlot in Wynwood. This ain’t your artsy-fartsy art party with wine and assorted cheeses. Food trucks however, those were aplenty.

Ace Hood Vibes Art Basel 2015 Toe Jam Gil Green IMG_0032
Rapper Ace Hood performs.
Shaggy Vibes Art Basel 2015 Toe Jam Gil Green IMG_0087
Reggae artist Shaggy performs new and old school songs.

I've seen the event change and grow from its first year where it was much smaller with a very eclectic crowd of hip-hop lovers (young and older), appreciators and newbies to the scene, to a massive crowd of attendees who pretty much all look the same. Vibes 305 used to be more of a hidden gem. Like your favorite little bakery before they became super popular and started lining up customers down the block and skimping on the cupcake icing. Don't get me wrong Vibes is still a good ol’ time, but for me it's just not what it used to be and for some that's great. I however, look fondly back on being able to casually run into one of my absolute favorite Miami Heat players, and seeing local celebrities hanging out among the crowd sans security vs. this year watching rappers race by with a 6-person security detail/entourage. Oh, and let's not talk about the chaos at the door, hour-plus long, line to get in, and the non ticketed line that was three times faster than the ticketed line (side bar: Thanks to the young lady who eventually helped with my guest list fiasco).

Vibes 305 Art Basel Party Crowd Toe Jam

It also seemed like the art used to be much more prominent. This year seemed to lack a little in newness, showing several pieces that were on display last year. I had one guy come up to me and ask me where the art was? He was being facetious of course and obviously not of the culture so it was hard for him to get it but it speaks to the sense of lacking. I think part of the problem is we were all packed in there like sardines. If you really take a step back to look at the venue, the ToeJam Backlot in and of itself is a work of art. Every square inch of the actual building is covered in some eccentric "thing" for lack of a better word. You have to think beyond seeing something hanging on a wall. I mean there's an actual cockpit and hallowed out school bus in the backlot for Christ sake but that may be hard to appreciate when your vision is obstructed by a thousand people. Maybe.

Bottom line: Cool event. Cool venue. Great music. But... gone to the masses.


No Commission Art Fair X The Dean Collection

Swizz Beatz and Jeffrey Deitch No Commission Dean Collection Art Basel 2015 IMG_0165
Swizz Beatz gives art world legend, Jeffery Deitch the tour of the No Commission fair, stopping to discuss a piece by Sandra Chevrier.


So you've probably heard of mega producer Kasseem "Swizz Beatz" Dean but what you may not know is that the musical superstar is also a passionate art lover and collector. Last year he was asked to curate a collection for the Scope Art Fair, which he branded The Dean Collection. This year he branched out and expanded, partnering with Bacardi to launch his own art fair and concert series entitled No Commission.

The interesting thing about Art Basel is some events are free, some are pricey, some are open to the public, some are super exclusive, some are of the highest quality and some are a damn joke. How Swizz managed to create an experience that was, of the highest quality, free, open to the public while also being exclusive says a lot about how much effort was put into this project.

Sue Tsai No Commission Dean Collection Art Basel 2015 IMG_8376
Artist Sue Tsai poses next to her piece entitled "Rooted in Love", inspired by the quote: "You fell in love with my flowers but not with my roots. So when Autumn arrived you didn't know what to do." One of my top two of the entire week.

The No Commission fair afforded the participating artists the opportunity to show and sell their work at one if the worlds biggest art events without the burden of having to pay a gallery a hefty commission, hence the fair's title. Swizz curated the collection himself, handpicking the artists for the showing but giving them the opportunity to pick the pieces they wanted to show and set their own sale prices. Up and comers showed alongside more established artists like Sandra Chevrier for a collection Swizz describes as "by the artist for the artist”.

Sandra Chevrier No Commission Dean Collection Art Basel 2015
Amazing piece by Sandra Chevrier. Close up look at the intricate details.

Sandra Chevrier No Commission Dean Collection Art Basel 2015 IMG_0159v2

I for one ate it all up. I loved the concept, loved the execution, loved the pieces selected, loved being able to chat with all the artists, and loved how gracious a host Swizz Beats was. This clearly wasn't something he just slapped his name on and took credit for. It was quite evident how passionate he was about making his vision come to fruition.  Hat's off to you Mr. Dean.

Simply Gallery

Simply Gallery Wynwood_IMG_0198

So I ventured to some other galleries after the Dean Collection and found some really great pieces. The Simply Gallery hosted by Simply Jess, Alessandra Gold & MJA, mixed art with fashion, showing off paintings sculptures and a couple of boutique-like setups with unique articles of clothing and footwear. One of my favorites included one from artist Aaron Maybin who I discovered at Basel two years ago and a crazy bullet-themed piece from Charles Soto aka Soto Ink.

Simply Gallery Aaron Maybin paintings

Alexander Mijares

Alexander Mijares Art Basel 2015 IMG_0210

Near by was an absolutely amazing gallery exhibition by Cuban-American Artist Alexander Mijares. The exhibit entitled, Freedom was centered on history, exile and redemption and featured a large-scale installation of a Cuban refugee boat that recently brought 16 exiles to American soil. Displayed with the original contents still left inside, the boats sail was painted in customary Mijares fashion.

Alexander Mijares Art Basel 2015 IMG_v2

Gallery 212 & Wynwood Walls

Gallery 212 Art Basel 2015 IMG_0235

I also managed to stop by local spot, Gallery 212 and Wynwood staple, Wynwood Walls. If you’re unfamiliar, Wynwood Walls was born in 2009 when a section of warehouse building walls were turned into giant canvases for graffiti and street art. It brings in all kinds of artists from around the world. For this year’s Art Basel, 14 new large-scale murals and installations were included. As usual, Wynwood Walls was a sight to behold.

Gallery 212 Art Basel 2015 IMG_v2
Cuteness at Gallery 212
Wynwood Walls Art Basel 2015 IMG_0240
The infamous Wynwood Walls

Another great year of Baseling as I like to call it, has come to an end and I’m going to miss it. I already can’t wait until next year. See you there!

Check out more photos below:

Next to painting Concept Art Fair Sea Fair Art Basel Miami 2014

Albeit late, here is my recap of last weeks Art Basel activities. You’ll have to forgive the tardiness, as I was bedridden for several days with the cold from hell. Now lets get down to business. Last week art lovers and novices alike flocked to Miami to take part in one of the worlds largest Art Fairs. Art Basel, while around for over 40 years has only taken place in Miami since 2002 but each year has seen tremendous growth. With art lovers, millionaire, celebrities and the artsy-fartsy type taking over the city for about a week, Miami has become hands down the it place to be during the first week of December. Think Cannes Film festival in Cannes, France, only you can actually afford to come and enjoy the city of Miami without taking out a second mortgage. Here’s a round up of some of my escapades during Art Week.

Day 1 – Tuesday

Concept Art Fair: Preview Showing

Boat Concept Art Fair Sea Fair Art Basel Miami 2014


The Concept Art Fair held its preview party on Tuesday before it opened its doors to the public on Wednesday. I was super psyched about the venue, a mega yacht named the Sea Fair docked in the Biscayne Bay adjacent to the InterContinental Hotel in Downtown Miami. As we boarded we were greeted with drinks and passed hors d’oeuvres and made our way through the ship enjoying the works curated by the different galleries. The ship boasted 4 floors of galleries, a couple of full bars, and deck and seating areas where one could relax and enjoy the views of the downtown skyline and grab some fresh air. Unfortunately for us, it was raining so taking advantage of the decks was not an option.

Old woman Kerchief in Ghana Concept Art Fair Art Basel Miami 2014
A Kerchief in Ghana by Omar Arraez - Charcoal in wrinkled paper
Pokara Old woman Concept Art Fair Art Basel Miami 2014
Pokara by Omar Arraez - Charcoal in wrinkled paper


As for the artwork, there were several interesting pieces and two works from the Omar Arraez  actually turned out to be my favorite pieces from my entire Basel experience this year. A simple medium of charcoal on wrinkled paper created this amazing life-like effect. However, I can’t say that the Concept Fair blew my mind overall. As a party it was lovely but it was definitely on the small side for a fair. I’d be somewhat underwhelmed if I had paid $15 for the general admission day pass when I can see hundreds of works for the same price at some of the other fairs.

Concept Art Fair Sea Fair Art Basel Miami 2014


Day 2 – Wednesday

Diane von Furstenburg: Book signing party at DVF pop-up in Aventura Mall


This is where fashion meets Basel. Diane von Furstenburg made her way to Art Basel this year and managed to schedule in a few stops to promote her latest books, “The Woman I Wanted to Be.” And “The Journey of a Dress.”  Being the fashion lover that I am, I couldn’t miss the opportunity to meet the fashion icon. Diane treated her supporters to wine, champagne and some of the most delicious passed hors d’ oeuvres a girl could ask for. She got up close and personal as she signed books and chatted with guests. Though not technically an art related event, I found art in the displays throughout the pop-up store, many chronicling her history as a designer and impact on the fashion world. Like a little gallery within a retail location, every piece strategically on display to showcase the accomplishments of this empowered woman and you know I was all for it.

DVF Diane Von Furstenburg art basel Miami 2014


Day 3 – Thursday

Disaronno Terrace: Miami Art Week Edition with Artist Jeremy Penn

 Cup Disaronno Terrace Miami Edition Art Basel 2014

Once again it rained on my parade. Or should I say it rained on my Basel. The Disarono Terrace event, was scheduled to be held on the rooftop of The Gale Hotel South Beach but was unfortunately moved to a rain location, the basement area of the hotel known to locals as the Rec Room. While it’s an interesting location for a Saturday night out, it’s not quite as scenic as a Miami Rooftop on a cool, breezy winter night. Furthermore, planned for this Art Week edition of Disaronno Terrace was an exhibit entitled “The Evolution and the Ego” by artist Jeremy Penn. This exhibit somehow never made it to the basement thus making this event a non-Basel related party with free drinks by Disaronno. I was disappointed by the lack of artwork but the drinks were delicious and there’s only so much complaining one can do when the drinks are delish and did I mention free.

Disaronno Terrace Miami Edition Art Basel 2014

ATC/British Knights Basel After Party: Footwear boutique & barbershop

After Disaronno Terrace we wandered into something. I’m still not quite sure what we wandered into but that’s what made it all the more interesting. Drawn in by the crowd milling outside and music pumping from the speakers, we stepped into ATC footwear. Apparently ATC and British Knights were celebrating the launch of their new T-shirt and hat line collaboration. The footwear was front and center. Actually, a patron in a barber chair was front and center as he received one of the most intricate hair cuts I’ve seen up close from a talented barber from  Notorious Barbershop while the footwear revolved around him on an airport style luggage carousel.

ATC British Knights Relaunch Event Art Basel 2014


Day 4 – Friday

Vibes: The Art of Inspiration Party by Gil Green and 305 Films

Presented by Coors light, this hip-hop meets art shindig has been held in the obscure Toe Jam back lot for three years running. It’s my favorite party of Art Basel. This years event showcased works by director Gil Green and photographers Jonathan Mannion and Derick G. I left my pretentious party pants at the door and came casual (but fashionable) and ready to enjoy old school hip-hop and reggae vibes and tons of random art installations and live graffiti paintings. From a stripped out school bus and part of a cockpit perched high above the crowd, the entire event is an explosion of cool. The explanation doesn’t do it justice. You had to be there.

Vibes 305 Gil Green Toe Jam Backlot Art Basel Party 2014



Day 5 – Saturday

Product Placement Exhibit by Derick G

I’d seen some of Derick G’s work the night before at the Vibe party but he was holding another event the following night at the maps back lot with more works.  The Product Placement exhibit provided a party atmosphere similar to Vibes party but on a smaller scale. Derick’s pieces are a little too risqué to showcase here on this blog but I can tell you that the works focus on how sex appeal is used to sell products. Derick G. uses nudity in the female form and strategically placed products from some of America’s most recognizable brands to capture the sexual innuendo. Though I can’t show you pictures of the artwork. Here are some pictures from my evening.

Derrick G Product Placement Exhibit Art Basel 2014

And there you go folks. That sums up my Art Basel experience this year. Typically on Sunday I go out to the Red Dot fair and walk the Galleries in Wynwood along N Miami Ave. It’s a great way to close out the week. Unfortunately, someone tagged my car and to add insult to injury, I came down with a nasty cold that totally killed by Basel mood.  Aside from how my week concluded, it was another great year at Basel and I can’t wait until it comes around again next year. Let the count down begin.