12/06/2011 01:56 am ET

A First Look At Art Basel Miami Beach (PHOTOS)

The entrance to the Miami Beach Convention Center on the opening night of Art Basel Miami Beach had VIP's packed in shoulder-to-shoulder as if they were just regular P's. In a mass cloud of furs, jewels and befuddlement, the who's who of the art world was simultaneously realizing they were being made to wait in line.

Eventually the anticipation bubbled over and someone dared to climb over the velvet barrier rope, resulting in a very high-profile stampede. Once the pack made it inside the convention center, standard decorum was resumed, as collectors, press and artists perused the labyrinth that together presented the best of the contemporary art scene.

Our first night at the Art Basel fair went by so quickly we had to return, but these are our first snapshots of the works that originally caught our attention. Some standout pieces appropriated classical media to more current and unexpected subject matter.

Others excelled through the perfection of their construction, whether through sleek and minimalist design or opulent adornments. A large number of the works addressed current social issues such as homosexuality and the economic crisis. There were the more traditional paintings with flawless colors that stopped us all in our tracks.

And then there was the car filled with bananas. Stay tuned for more in-depth looks at some of the galleries, and take a look at our first round of favorite pieces from the fair.