An arts-related mini-vacation

Hampton Daze Goes To Miami




A few days filled with art and art-related events made up my mini-vacation. Two weeks ago, I headed to Miami for Miami Art Week. It was my first time experiencing the spectacle. It was a quick trip, just Tuesday and Wednesday. But in two days, I managed to pack in a lot of art.

Tuesday was all about much-needed time at the pool, which happened right after breakfast at LaMuse Café. It’s the most adorable spot nestled inside the Avant Gallery. The menu gives a nod to iconic muses and their artists. This includes Lee Miller, Brigitte Bardot, and Dora Maar (try Dora’s deviled eggs). Picture sipping your coffee under the art-filled atrium in an Alice In Wonderland inspired setting. It was the perfect start to art week.

Tuesday night was the VIP Preview for the 29th edition of Art Miami, which was held alongside the seventh edition of sister fair CONTEXT Art Miami. The shows were a magnificent sight. Art Miami is known across the globe as one of the foremost international contemporary and modern art fairs.

“This was our most successful fair to date when you consider the volume of sales of important art works, the overall quality of the artists, and respected international galleries that exhibited,” said Nick Korniloff, director of Art Miami.

As guests perused Art Miami, they experienced large-scale works by Retna and Jean-Michel Basquiat, and rare pieces by Andy Warhol. The high-quality presentation also included works by Damien Hirst, Jackson Pollock, Jeff Koons, Pablo Picasso, Willem de Kooning, Roy Lichtenstein, Keith Haring, and many others.

Following the previews, we headed over to Wynwood to meet our friends at Simple Vodka for the Simple Analog event, which was held at Deja Vu Audio South. One hundred percent of ticket proceeds from Simple’s events during art week went directly to Feeding America and the Miami Rescue Mission. The goal was to donate 20,000 meals in two days.

The party at Deja Vu, an audio component store by day and musical venue by night, included a specially prepared omakase dinner along with Simple cocktails. There was also a state-of-the-art listening room with all analog equipment. Miami never sounded so good.

After the event, we walked over to Wynwood Walls, a place that displays urban graffiti in Miami’s art district. The Walls was closed for a private party, but I did get to take a quick peek. I also took in all of the art on the walls of the surrounding area, like James Goldcrown’s wall that debuted earlier that week. The muralist’s signature hearts can be found on the side of Freshii’s building.

We ended the night at Wynwood Yards, listening to live music and eating Beyond Burgers at one of the many food trucks at the venue.

The next day I headed to Miami Beach to take a look at Faena Festival: This Is Not America. The festival, held during art week, featured the works of incredible artists that explored cultures across the continent. The theme examined Miami’s role as a port, welcoming migrants, refugees, and tourists.

For a late lunch, we stopped at my favorite South Beach restaurant, Dolce, an Italian eatery in The Gale Hotel. The restaurant captures the spirit of Fellini’s Rome of the 1960s while bringing a fresh take on Italian classics like handmade pastas and pizzas.

Later, I headed to the VIP opening of Aqua. Aqua is also a sister fair of Art Miami and is held at Aqua hotel in South Beach. Hotel rooms that open into a courtyard were used as individual galleries. This included a show by the Parsons Close Project of Springs, which displayed in the penthouse.

Steven Cohen and Curtis Cox of the Parsons Close Project said, “We experienced an environment of creativity and inclusion in the art community at Aqua Art Miami that we would never have expected. It was profound for us.”

We ended the night with an Ice Cream Social at Dasher & Crank in Wynwood. The event was also hosted by Simple and included unlimited scoops of ice cream and custom cocktails (yes, please!). The boozy shakes were all the rage.

That concluded my trip to Miami. And the excitement didn’t end there. Half of the cast of Bravo’s “Real Housewives of New York” (super fan here!) were on the same plane as me. Although they were in first class, and I somehow got stuck in an economy middle seat. Chic c’est la vie!