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Art Basel Miami Beach 2012 Diaries: It's Almost Like You're There (PHOTOS, LIVEBLOG)

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MIAMI BASEL 2012
HuffPost Arts & Culture

The time has come for Art Basel Miami Beach 2012.

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Here's the last of them. As I upload these pictures from my bedroom in rainy Bed Stuy, I feel a mix of nostalgia, nausea and hope for the future. Maybe it's the sun, the hangover or the result of spending so long without really talking to another human being, but life post-Basel just doesn't feel the same. Next year in Miami, guys.

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  • Installation at Mestizo City... 30,000 lbs of soda bottles!

  • Taste the rainbow! @Mestizo city

  • Jelly bean chairs @ Mestizo City

  • Shrimp hoarding at the amFAR auction at Soho Beach House... no time to speak.

  • Butterflies at the Fairchild Botanical Garden

  • Butterflies at the Fairchild Botanical Garden... They're everywhere!

  • Fairchild Botanical Garden tour

  • My butterfly soul mate

  • Fairchild Botanical Garden

  • Cocoons butcher window

  • Azealia Banks at Terrywood Party... note the cone bra

  • Azealia singing '212'

  • Love this table at the Delano hotel.

  • The view from Frank Gehry's New World Symphony

  • Los Carpinteros Q&A at the New World Syphony

  • What a day!

  • Bienvenidos a Miami

  • So long, beautiful Miami. This too shall pass.

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Today my first stop was Untitled Art Fair, a new fair curated by Omar Lopez-Chahoud. If the main fair was going out to an expensive yet stuffy dinner with your parents, Untitled was the impromptu ice cream cone that puts the meal to shame. The slideshow below has art from Untitled as well as SEVEN, Aqua and Moving the Still... and also some mirage-level moments from this glorious summery day!

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  • Submarine tower!

  • Palm tree shadow box

  • Baby-colored buildings

  • So

  • Glorious.

  • Untitled Art Fair! Right on the beach... silly amounts of beautiful.

  • Parker Ito's bean bag iPad installation at Untitled. Each beanbag was decorated by a different artist, including Jon Rafman and Petra Cortright. Visitors get to sit on the beanbags and make art on the iPads and it's like Kid Pix all over again! From Steve Turner Contemporary.

  • From (Art)Amalgamated at Untitled

  • Devia Troy Struther at Monya Rowe

  • A whole new world... Martin Roth at Untitled.

  • The view... not too shabby!

  • GT Pellizzi for Y Gallery at Untitled.

  • Asya Geisberg Gallery at Untitled. Busts have been popping up all over this week... but this geometric beard is really taking it up a notch.

  • Rick Leong at Parisian Laundry at Untitled. It's like if Henri Rousseau had ventured further east.

  • Another Rick Leong. His stuff is so dreamy!

  • A self-portrait of me, actually. This is exactly how I feel when I am in Miami. A golden monster mash.

  • Ebony Patterson makes doilies look fierce.

  • A sand installation on the floor that was transforming over the course of the show (aka stepped on.)

  • Maya Bloch, keeping it creepy as always.

  • Holton Rower at The Hole. I think Justin Bieber owns one of these...

  • More Rower psychedelia.

  • Participation Inc. was painfully cool. I could only stay there for a brief period before feeling not worthy.

  • Exhibit A: The hair!!! Also from Participation Inc.

  • Paco Cao at (Art)Amalgamated. Cao is giving one-on-one tarot readings invoking the spirits of deceased pop icons like Amy Winehouse and MJ. Of course I wanted to play.

  • Cao preparing before his tarot cards. (I chose Whitney Houston as my deceased pop idol.)

  • Frohawk Two Feathers at Taylor De Cordoba at Aqua. Every time I see his drawings I wish history really looked so wacky. And had so many face tattoos.

  • Really bizarre. I don't know. At Aqua.

  • A sign on the exterior of Aqua.

  • Greg Haberny was the standout of Aqua by a landslide. His whole booth, or motel room in Aqua's case, looked like a genius hoarder had rotted and died in there. In the best of ways. This image reads "REAL REAL AUTOGRAPHED PHOTO OF JESUS CHRIST" in case you can't see.

  • Greg Haberny again. "Last Party." Come on, he's the best!

  • The last Greg Haberny for now... But we promise to follow up.

  • Hew Locke at SEVEN Fair. Velvet with gold beaded strands embroidered in it, like a gaudy constellation.

  • Hew Locke sets sail...

  • A still from Frederico Solni's video at SEVEN.

  • A maybe scarier still from Frederico Solni's video at SEVEN.

  • William Powhida's Possible Meanings at SEVEN.

  • Husband and wife multimedia artists Jennifer and Kevin McCoy at SEVEN.

  • Monica Cook, Vukani at SEVEN. When I die I hope a similar thing happens to my taxidermic head. I think this horse has never looked better.

  • Scary Priests never go out of style! Omar Ba at SEVEN.

  • Shane Hope's "atomic_kill_threads" at SEVEN. This one needs to be seen in person.

  • What is that little hole in the wall, you ask?

  • It's Patrick Jacobs' "Fairy Ring Mushroom Cluster #5." Did your heart just break into a million little pieces?

  • Wynwood street art

  • Two dudes looking like art.

  • Kenny Scharf's mural in Wynwood

  • ...Where he sometimes stands in a model-esque fashion in front of rainbows!

  • Scharf in his native habitat.

  • Wynwood street art.

  • Magical food truck serving every kind of fried candy bar you could imagine.

  • Sad lil pole!

  • Wynwood street art

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Finished the fair. Went to MARFA Ballroom's Cocktail Party and A$AP Rocky's performance at The Delano. Hung out with Rick Ross for a hot second along the way. Reality is slowly dripping away...See more art from the main fair and snapshots from my night below.

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  • Paulo Viviacqua at Galeria Laura Marsay This foggy, abandoned beach took up a whole booth of ABMB. Strewn with trash and alien vessels with an unsettling soundtrack I kept having the feeling Laura Palmer was about to wash ashore.

  • ABMB BFFs!

  • The woman was part of an art performance. The man in red pants was just taking a breather.

  • Betty Tompkins' "Girl on Girl #7" a Rodolphe Janssen Blown up sex paintings are the quickest and surest way to draw lost/bored souls to your booth!

  • Really? REALLY?

  • Damien Hirst vs. The Butterflies. May they rest in peace.

  • Barbara Kruger wins the award for artwork most amenable to funny photos.

  • Joel Kyak at Prat Delavallade Atop a totem Of Northface and Cottonballs Mouse hits the target ...A haiku!

  • Kaari Upson at Massimo de Carlo Gallery The walking aids merge with the limbs and the wounds themselves in one of the most disturbing works in the show.

  • Ladies!

  • "KAWS" by Takashi Murakami

  • Jeremy Deller, "<a href="http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xojx2_the-smiths-how-soon-is-now_music#.UMCVYOOe-K0">Quotations</a>" at The Modern Institute Glasgow Amen Jeremy! Cheers to anything that in some way triggers a memory of "Charmed."

  • Yinka Shonibare, "Boy on a Tightrope" at James Cohan Gallery I like your style, boy.

  • Fred Tomaselli at James Cohan.

  • Michael Kvium at Nils Staerk, Copenhagen This was also one of my favorites. Even underworld dwellers get a bashful look in their eye when they have to pee on the side of the road.

  • Joanna Vasconcelos' knit totems

  • Close-up!

  • LMFAO with an MFA!

  • If only snakes shed such candy-colored excess flesh!

  • Pedro Reyes' "Personality Crisis" Thread intervention was a common motif throughout the show, but this work really evoked the air of disintegrating images both historical and mythological.

  • Close-up! Love that one surprised guy up top.

  • Mickalene Thomas at Lehmann Maupin. She's the best.

  • Lava cauliflower lovechild! (Not real title) By Bosco Sodi at Pace Gallery

  • Return of the tanning mom! By Allora + Calzadilla Gladstone Gallery

  • Right when I was about to leave I saw Rick Ross exiting ahead of me with Larry Gagosian. They ran into Pharrell on the way out. I hid in the corner with my iPhone...

  • They speak. Both in shades, obviously.

  • I ask Pharrell if he remembers me from our interview in the summer. He doesn't. No hard feelings Pharrell!

  • If I can beat this photo in the rest of the week I will eat my own finger.

  • Cat sculpture thing at the entrance to the SLS... He welcomes me silently to the MARFA Ballroom cocktail party.

  • Giant rubber ducky by the poolside... silently mocking me. @ the SLS.

  • Tuxedo sans socks and a velvet bowtie @ the SLS.

  • FOMO driving by Collins Park... What happened at that party I will never know...

  • Angela from Gallery Girls at the Delano for the Playboy + The Hole party. "I never get my picture taken!" she squeals while posing for another photo.

  • A$AP Rocky performs in a Warhol inspired ensemble. At the Delano.

  • A$AP!

  • Is this boring?

  • No, no it's not.

  • IMG_1521

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At 3:40 AM this morning my alarm sounded. At a more decent hour I landed in the wet, salty and perfect Miami Beach. Before long my desire for caffeine was replaced with a sense of entitlement for endless champagne flutes. No, not flutes, fountains. I headed right away to the big fair, Art Basel Miami Beach, home of the priciest, most renowned and, sometimes, most boring artworks.

Peruse my first findings in the slideshow below and keep in mind there is still a lot to comb through at this fair, let alone the whole art-infested city. Are you ready to see through the eyes of an under-slept, over-excited Miami outsider? Take a look through my diary and stay tuned for way more updates throughout the weekend.

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  • Packing list: flamingo robe, sparkles, blazer to stay legit

  • 4 am... Dark times

  • The cereal spoke to me! "Your beliefs become your thoughts... Your thoughts become your words... Your words become your actions... Your actions become your habits... Your habits become your values... Your values become your destiny." Deep stuff coming from Tony the Tiger. Jani Leinonen, "Your Beliefs"

  • A great welcome to the fair... possibly an even greater welcome to a kitsch Halloween store? Robert Indiana's "Rum Run"

  • The Fresh Prince is alive and well in Miami couture

  • CHECK IT OUT!

    By Suzanne Duchamp, Marcel's sis. Definitely check out "Duchamp's Brothers and Sisters" at Francis M. Nauman. The coherence of the collection is a nice change from a lot of the more commercial feeling "best of" booths. All the works are tightly packed in tight with a narrative weaving them throughout, making me feel kind of like stumbling upon the Duchamp family attic.

  • <a href="http://bit.ly/TQZZZM">Look familiar? </a>

  • Jean Dubuffet... I love the nose so much.

  • By Katharine Dreier, a friend of Duchamp. Also @ Francis M. Nauman.

  • CHECK IT OUT!

    DAN Galeria in São Paulo really blew me away with their delicate optical illusions that vibrate before your eyes. They really don't translate in photos. This work is by Cruz Diez.

  • Joel Meyerowitz @ Howard Greenberg Gallery. Meyerowitz shot the portrait of the diver and when he printed it he turned it upside down. And now she looks like a dolphin woman!!!

  • edamame beans. Not cool. fruit salad. SERIOUSLY NOT COOL. See those delicious looking chocolate covered strawberries on the bottom? You don't even want to know what those will cost you.

  • Selfie... sorrry

  • Eva & Adele. Words cannot describe my love for them and their pink boa purses. But where's your bindi at Adele?

  • CHECK IT OUT!

    Ivan Navarro's sculptures at Paul Kasmin are stunning. Pipe-like structures lead down into a seemingly endless tunnel where language-centric words fall into the darkness. Look into them and for a second you almost forget where you are. Also, <a href="http://blogs.artinfo.com/artintheair/2012/12/05/diddy-ponders-basquiat-owen-wilson-walks-with-mugrabi-and-more-from-abmbs-vip-day/">rumor has it that P.Diddy</a> was checking out the selection so you know it's legit.

  • Another Navarro... this time softer.

  • Alex Katz' portraits pop amongst the louder, more experimental works. Or maybe it's the coral lipstick. CORRECTION: An earlier version stated the artist as Alice Neel. I regret the error.

  • How nice to see a bindi without any 90's/seapunk vibes!

  • I wasn't exactly sure how to feel in the face of Jon Pylypchuk's snarky cigarettes, which formed a picket line of the gallery floor, part David Shrigley and part South Park. But this particular quote reminded me of Kanye West... and amidst all the classy folks smoking cigarettes outside it's fun to imagine the scenario from the other end.

  • Os Gêmeos really pops in Instragram, don't you think?

  • Prom King & Queen 2012!!! I didn't even ask them to look into each other's eyes like that.

  • Flowers? For me?

  • FLESH + BEACH = ART BASEL MIAMI BEACH!

  • Vampire by Sterling Ruby at Xavier Hufkens in Brussels... If Edward Cullen had an Etsy account.

  • Peta Coyne's Untitled #1375 (No Reason Except Love) Somewhere between a chandelier and a baroque butcher.

  • Everyone who wears sneakers to the fair deserves a big hug. I wimped out... maybe tomorrow.

  • I had only seen Nobuyoshi Araki's bondage photographs in a book. The graphic photo peeked out from a back corner, where it lured crowds to get a closer look with a mischievous seduction. Then everyone left awkwardly... blushing a lot.

  • The queen watching over her kingdom. All hail Marina.

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