Art Basel Miami Beach—the Americas’ largest and most prestigious art fair—officially descends on South Beach from Dec. 6–9, bringing 260 galleries and 2000 artists together for a week of contemporary art exhibits, store openings, and parties, parties, parties! Trust us: This isn’t your art history prof’s field trip—we rounded up the week’s most anticipated moments.
The Exhibit: Coming Into Fashion: A Century of Photography at Condé Nast
Dec. 6–9: Miami Beach Convention Center, 1901 Convention Center Drive
The magazine superpower will show at AB for the first time, filling the Convention Center’s Art Collector’s Lounge with iconic images from their new book of the same name—which dove deep into Condé Nast’s archives in New York, London, Paris and Milan. Cecil Beaton, Herb Ritts and Diane Arbus are but a few of the boldfaced photographers whose works will be on display.
The Store Opening: Moncler
Dec. 7: 9700 Collins Avenue
To fete its 60th anniversary, as well as its new boutique in the Bal Harbour Shops, French outerwear specialist Moncler will host a VIP soiree on Friday, Dec. 7th. The next day, music mogul and fashion designer Pharrell Williams will be in-store signing copies of his new book, Pharrell: Places and Spaces I’ve Been, which features contributions from Jay-Z, Kanye and Ms. Anna Wintour herself.
The Collection: Louis Vuitton x Objets Nomades
Dec. 5–9: Louis Vuitton Miami Design District, 170 NE 40th Street
Louis Vuitton has long been associated with travel—Vuitton himself got his start in 1837, when he was just a teenager, as a packer and trunk-maker. So it’s no wonder the house is showing a collection of travel-inspired objects (think: folding chairs, hammocks and voyage-friendly bags) at their temporary Design District location. The 16-piece collection gets its world premiere in-store on Dec. 4, and will be on display for the duration of AB.
The Performance: Rick Ross
Dec. 5, 8 p.m.: Miami Beach Convention Center
On the evening before the fair, half the Convention Center will host the official Art Basel 2012 opening party. The other half will host a star-studded rap show. The year’s hottest MC—as decided by MTV, and also, our car radios—Rick Ross, will be joined by rappers Wale, Meek Mill and Machine Gun Kelly.
The Pop-up: Le Baron
We’re familiar with pop-up party spots (Nikki Beach, anyone?), but how about one that changes locations every night? Le Baron, the global nightclub with roots in Paris and New York, will return to Miami, this time with six top-secret sites revealed at 6 p.m. the night of, via Twitter, Facebook, their website or the custom iPhone app.
The Surprise Art Connoisseur: Alex Rodriguez
Art displayed inside of a batting cage? No, it’s not an avant-garde commentary on America’s favourite pastime—it’s the party of the festival, to be hosted by Alex Rodriguez in his private home, which, fittingly, has a room devoted to practising his swing. In tandem with Jeanne Greenberg Rohatyn, gallerist at New York’s Salon 94, A-Rod will showcase his personal art collection, which includes Jean-Michel Basquiat and Andy Warhol.
The Author: Donna Karan
Dec. 7, 12 p.m.–2 p.m.: Poolside at Delano Beach Club, 1685 Collins Avenue
Donna Karan will autograph copies of her tome, Stephan Weiss: Connecting the Dots—a touching tribute to her late husband, the talented sculptor and painter. The designer likely won’t be the only celeb you’ll spot—The Delano is one of South Beach’s most scene-y (and swanky) hotels.