Art Basel a.k.a Miami Art Week, is when Miami and Miami Beach coalesce into a flurry of art fairs, pop-up parties, celebrevents, and endless traffic jams, natch. With so many invites, must-sees and must-dos, Jacober Creative asked eight leading-edge influential tastemakers for their insights, perspectives, and plans of attack for how to navigate the Basel Frasel (we couldn’t resist our artisanal misspelling)." />
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Jacobar Jacobar

Basel Tov: The Artpocalypse Is Coming!

By JACOBER CREATIVE

One of our fave South Florida mega-events (along with the colorful megafauna who show up), Art Basel a.k.a Miami Art Week, is when Miami and Miami Beach coalesce into a flurry of art fairs, pop-up parties, celebrevents, and endless traffic jams, natch. With so many invites, must-sees and must-dos, Jacober Creative asked eight leading-edge influential tastemakers for their insights, perspectives, and plans of attack for how to navigate the Basel Frasel (we couldn’t resist our artisanal misspelling).

From magazine founders to gallery directors, from working artists to individual collectors, we’ve got the skinny. If you have one of those hard-to-snag invites for an oh-so-exclusive happening (or you’re that plus one), we’ll help you decide if you should swipe right or move on (you’re just not that into it).

 illustration of Sara Harrelson, Founder of Cultured Magazine

The Founder: Sarah Harrelson

Official occupation?
Founder of Cultured Magazine.

What you really do?
Literally everything from Instagram captions to tablescapes for all of our exclusive events to more, but it’s too embarrassing to share.

First art acquisition and why?
My first acquisition was a piece by Spencer Sweeney I purchased at Art Basel, Switzerland from Gavin Brown.

Favorite art acquisition?
Arthur Jafa.

Favorite local artist or gallery?
Nina Johnson Gallery in Little River.

It’s Saturday night and you’ve got a killer new pair of shoes… where are you going?
Straight to the movies with my husband and teenage daughters.

What’s your greatest asset – could be your rack or your rock, who are we to dictate?
My family (both my immediate and office family).


Favorite mode of transportation during Basel?
Uber XL – have to make sure there is a charger handy at all times.

Your sartorial piece de resistance this week?
Batsheva Hay high-rise flared trousers and Louis Vuitton sneakers.

Between events you’ll most likely find me?
At Cultured’s booth at the main Art Basel fair selling subscriptions.

Event you’re most looking forward to?
Private dinner at my house.

Art you’re most looking forward to?
Gagosian and Jeffrey Deitch’s The Extreme Present, their fifth collaboration at the Moore Building.

Favorite Basel memory?
Hosting our first pig roast with R+Co. in 2014.

Post-Basel plans – where can we find you the week after?
L.A. for another event.


 Illustration of Mario Cader-Frech

The Fellow: Mario Cader-Frech

Official occupation?
Harvard Divinity School Fellow.

What you really do?
Developing a media executive training.

First art acquisition and why?
Keith Haring – because I was told to do so by my then roommate.

Favorite art acquisition?
Rachel Harrison – because it was the first conceptual work of art I connected with and understood.

Favorite local artist or gallery?
Typoe (artist) and Primary (gallery).

It’s Saturday night and you’ve got a killer new pair of shoes… where are you going?
Depends at what time you are asking about. It could be dinner, or searching for a new libation spot with live music, or going straight to bed – with the new shoes on.

What’s your greatest asset – could be your rack or your rock, who are we to dictate?
The creative side of my brain.


Favorite mode of transportation during Basel?
By foot.

Your sartorial piece de resistance this week?
Custom-made suit by Duarte Tailors in Madrid.

Between events you’ll most likely find me?
Taking a 10-minute “eye” nap (on a park bench, in the backseat of an Uber, or maybe even standing up!)

Event you’re most looking forward to?
The opening of Art Basel’s new section titled “Meridians”.

Art you’re most looking forward to?
The new Rubell Museum - I hear it is beyond dope.

What’s your biggest Basel faux pas?
Correcting strangers on the street: “It’s Baaaaasel nor Baysill.”

Favorite Basel memory?
Not sure I remember much of what happens during Basel week - its all a blur.

Post-Basel plans – where can we find you the week after?
In Lake Coatepeque.



 Illustration of artist, Johanna Boccardo

The Artist: Johanna Boccardo

Official occupation?
Visual Artist.

What you really do?
I use my art as a tool for people to celebrate their private life-moments, be it through a commission painting or through a piece of design like the pure silk area rug I created with Odabashian for Studio Roda. The piece is titled “Heirloom” and will be exhibited at Casa Cor in Brickell.

First art acquisition and why?
That’s a great story! I went to art school with a Colombian artist named Omar Chacon. Right before we graduated he needed to do something with all the paintings that he had at his school-assigned studio and I offered to buy one of his pieces for what a student like me could afford at the moment. He’s a very successful N.Y. based artist now and every year I get really excited to see his work exhibited at the fairs through the galleries that represent him.

Favorite art acquisition?
Same one by Omar Chacon. It was the first painting he ever sold :)) – and we’re still good friends.

Favorite local artist or gallery?
Nina Johnson Gallery. I love Cara Despain’s work.

It’s Saturday night and you’ve got a killer new pair of shoes… where are you going?
LOL, by Saturday evening I’ll be exhausted watching Netflix at home.

What’s your greatest asset – could be your rack or your rock, who are we to dictate?
Freckled shoulders and a great partner in passionate crime.


Favorite mode of transportation during Basel?
By feet, Uber, pogo stick, hot air balloon.

Your sartorial piece de resistance this week?
A futuristic pair of epaulettes sent to me from Slovenia, my yellow hologram heels and a pair of black shinny faux leather leggings (weather permit).

Between events you’ll most likely find me?
At the gym in the mornings, trying to ground myself.

Event you’re most looking forward to?
You mean eventSSS, right? My friend Trenton Doyle Hancock’s bar-b-q dinner at Locust Projects next Tuesday evening, “A Shared Platform,” at Collective 62 (if you want to get a real grassroots feel of Miami’s art scene you need to visit this space). I’m also looking forward to visiting the new “El Espacio 23” in Allapattah and driving around Little Haiti to see what I bump into.

Art you’re most looking forward to?
Anwar Shemza’s work that Hales Gallery will display at Basel.

What’s your biggest Basel faux pas?
All’s fair in love and war, and Basel week.

Favorite Basel memory?
Having a fun conversation a couple of years ago at the Rose Bar at the Delano with one of my favorite artists...without knowing that it was him. We became immediate friends and I ended up being in some of his work. Olaf Breuning, check him out.

Post-Basel plans – where can we find you the week after?
Right here, Miami is my hometown and I’ll be glad it’s all over.

 Illustration of Lorie Mertes, Executive Director of Locust Projects

The Cultural Coquette: Lorie Mertes

Official occupation?
Executive Director at Locust Projects.

What you really do?
Literally, whatever needs doing to make art happen at Locust Projects.

First art acquisition and why?
If my collection of cat and horse figurines count, age 7. Because, who doesn't love horses and kitty cats at that age? Seriously, though, I do not collect. My curator's brain would never shut off if surrounded by works of art at home.

Favorite art acquisition?
As a native Floridian, this was total nostalgia, a great Florida Highwayman painting replacing the ones I grew up with that my mother gave away in a garage sale.

Favorite local artist or gallery?
Love them all. They are the foundation of Miami's art ecosystem (did you seriously think I would answer that??)

It’s Saturday night and you’ve got a killer new pair of shoes… where are you going?
Straight to the closest chair to take those suckers off! Don't want to ruin new shoes dancing the night away!

What’s your greatest asset – could be your rack or your rock, who are we to dictate?
Sense of humor over the fact that I have neither a great rack nor a rock!


Favorite mode of transportation during Basel?
Not really a fave but a necessity - rideshare. The secret parking spots of yore have long since disappeared. 

Your sartorial piece de resistance this week?
Jeans and comfy shoes...it's not how you look, it's how you move it, move it.

Between events you’ll most likely find me?
Stealing a few minutes of sunshine or sleep.

Event you’re most looking forward to?
Trenton Doyle Hancock's December 3 reception at Locust. I can't wait for everyone to see what he's done to our space and then I'd say, Mickalene Thomas' Better Nights at the Bass!

Art you’re most looking forward to?
Nothing specific, it's all about taking in the moment at Basel and the smaller fairs, bringing a snapshot of the art world to Miami for a brief moment in time. Since I live here, I'll save the latest at local venues for when I can really pause and then soak them in.

What’s your biggest Basel faux pas?
Not being cool enough for cool listicles!

Favorite Basel memory?
My fave memory of all time was the Globe/Miami/Island show at the Bass the year the first Basel was cancelled after 9/11. Miami came together in this remarkable way. Looking back it was a moment for self-reflection and unification for the arts community before the city was forever transformed into an international arts destination by the following December.

Post-Basel plans – where can we find you the week after?
Stealing a few minutes of sunshine or sleep.




 Illustration of Luis Rigual, Editor of Miami Modern Luxury

The Modernist: Luis R. Rigual

Official occupation?
Editor-in-Chief Miami Modern Luxury and group editor for Modern Luxury Weddings South Florida & The Caribbean.

What you really do?
I am a polisher of words.

First art acquisition and why?
A mixed media collage by Autumn Casey titled "4 of Wands." I liked the celebratory, happy spirit of the piece.

Favorite art acquisition?
That one probably.

Favorite local artist or gallery?
Nina Johnson. She always puts on forward-thinking shows. I may not always love the art, but there's no denying she wants to create a dialogue between the global art world and Miami.

It’s Saturday night and you’ve got a killer new pair of shoes… where are you going?
Lately, L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon or AMA at Kaido for a special night, or the new Gregory's Diner for a casual dinner with all my friends who seem to live in that area. And then maybe a stop at The Sylvester afterward for some cocktails. I don't need fancy shoes for all of those things, but it doesn't hurt.

What’s your greatest asset – could be your rack or your rock, who are we to dictate?
My six-pack and Chris Hemsworth good looks. Ha! Right. It may sound cliche, but it's my friends and family.


Favorite mode of transportation during Basel?
I wish I had a helicopter, but I tend to go with Uber. Parking is not an option during Basel.

Your sartorial piece de resistance this week?
Not sure yet. I've yet to purchase it. This year I am thinking all black all the time.

Between events you’ll most likely find me?
In the Design District discovering all the new things there and swinging on those hammocks that are part of the Fernando Laposse installation. It's experiential art at its best.

Event you’re most looking forward to?
The Dior Men’s runway show, Louis Vuitton's Objets Nomades at Design Miami, plus anything at the new museums by Jorge Perez (El Espacion 23) and the Rubell’s in Allappattah. And of course, the Miami dinner we are planning to celebrate our 2019 Basel issue.

Art you’re most looking forward to?
All the art in the new Meridians sector of Art Basel Miami Beach, plus the two new shows that will be up at the Bass.

What’s your biggest Basel faux pas?
One year I tried to make events on both Miami Beach and the mainland. Not just once but a couple of times during the week and got rather pricey speeding tickets for my efforts. I still drove to Basel events back then. I have since learned my lesson.

Favorite Basel memory?
The year that they revealed Palm Court in the Design District during the week. Our office was there at the time and we had heard about it for years so seeing that first aspect of the Design District renaissance be revealed was very special.

Post-Basel plans – where can we find you the week after?
On deadline for our February 2020 issue during the day and home in bed by 9. That Basel week takes everything out of you.



 Illustration of John Lin of Lin Projects

The Luxury Brand Ambassador: John Lin

Official occupation?
Founder, Lin Projects.

What you really do?
Sit in bed writing emails at 6 am while watching Live PD! Then in season I'll do some work.

First art acquisition and why?
Jose Parla because he had an exhibition at Buck 15 back in the day and we were friends.

Favorite art acquisition?
I can't say I have a favorite as I love all the pieces I have, but at the top would be the Clifford Owens Text Pieces and Andres Schoultz Melting Gold Flat (Made in China)

Favorite local artist or gallery?
They're all my favorites, it wouldn't be fair to choose

It’s Saturday night and you’ve got a killer new pair of shoes… where are you going?
Into the kitchen to grab some fried rice.

What’s your greatest asset – could be your rack or your rock, who are we to dictate?
I'm unfiltered.


Favorite mode of transportation during Basel?
None.

Your sartorial piece de resistance this week?
I've been working so much my brain is mushy, I don't even think I know what you mean, so I'll do a hard pass on this question :-) 

Between events you’ll most likely find me?
Still working.

Event you’re most looking forward to?
The Art Fair itself.

Art you’re most looking forward to?
I'm not sure. I never try to have expectations when I look at art.

What’s your biggest Basel faux pas?
Not RSVPing.

Favorite Basel memory?
Jello wresting at Ryan McGuiness's 51 Parties.

Post-Basel plans – where can we find you the week after?
Standard Spa getting massages.

 Illustration of Eric Newell, Editor-in-Chief of Celebrated Living, an Ink publication for American Airlines.

The Word Traveler: Eric Newill

Official occupation?
Editor-in-Chief of Celebrated Living, an Ink publication for American Airlines.

What you really do?
Showcase the world’s best destinations with a smart set of colleagues and contributors.

First art acquisition and why?
The very first was a coffee-table book of Erté pieces – the salesperson said, “Congratulations,” when I bought it, which I found a little odd, since no one had ever said that when I bought a book before, but this was at a gallery. Is Erté coming back? I see Central Saint Martins grad Michael Halpern was inspired by him for his Fall 2019 collection. As a real piece, I suppose it was a wicked Al Hirschfeld caricature of Tallulah Bankhead smoking in her Broadway dressing room. People always ask me if it’s Bette Davis.

Favorite art acquisition?
A trio of wonderfully creepy Suellen Parker pieces. She creates mini psychodrama narratives out of clay figures that she photographs and then photoshops using images of real people.

Favorite local artist or gallery?
Pan American Art Projects in Little River. 

It’s Saturday night and you’ve got a killer new pair of shoes… where are you going?
If I want to see people, L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon or Fiola. If I’m hiding, Café Prima Pasta or Christy’s.

What’s your greatest asset – could be your rack or your rock, who are we to dictate?
An endlessly spiraling knowledge of arcane tidbits about vintage Broadway and Hollywood.


Favorite mode of transportation during Basel?
Walking if possible, but everything is getting more and more spread out. I guess Uber or Lyft. Can I get a police escort?

Your sartorial piece de resistance this week?
Probably one of my collection of pochette squares from Hermès or Pucci. They always add spark to an ensemble.

Between events you’ll most likely find me?
Quaffing a gin.

Event you’re most looking forward to?
The opening of the Rubell Museum

Art you’re most looking forward to?
Something I haven’t seen yet, probably at one of the big fairs.

What’s your biggest Basel faux pas?
Too much chattering. I’ve often felt overstimulated and have to jabber on so much that I finally get sick of myself. It could be a Gemini thing.

Favorite Basel memory?
The Basel that wasn’t, in 2001. It was right after 9/11, and none of the international galleries would ship their art to town. But Miami had all its plans ready, so the town gave itself a big party. It was a good rehearsal for the next year.

Post-Basel plans – where can we find you the week after?
Usually supine. But then I’ll suddenly realize the holidays are nigh, and rush to get in the jingle-bell mood. Also wrapping up the magazine deadline.





 Illustration of DJ Adora, Local drag performer, DJ, actor, and showgirl

The Performance Artist: Adora

Official occupation?
I’m a drag performer, a DJ, actor, showgirl and everything in between.

What you really do?
My main goal is to entertain, I’m an entertainer by nature, love to perform – comedy and lip-syncing are key to my routines. DJing is also something I really love to do, it has become a big part of my career. 

First art acquisition and why?
My first art acquisition was a drawing by a friend. I was 17-years old, I really liked it and I paid with a t-shirt – yes, this transaction was in Havana, Cuba.

Favorite art acquisition?
One of my favorite art acquisitions is a painting by lowbrow movement artist Garry Basemen.

Favorite local artist or gallery?
Fave local artist is my husband David Rohn, sorry but it is. I know where his art comes from and love the depth of the always evolving work. 

It’s Saturday night and you’ve got a killer new pair of shoes… where are you going?
If they are comfortable enough, I’m going dancing. If they are just “a pair of killer shoes,” I’m going out for dinner and lounging.    

What’s your greatest asset – could be your rack or your rock, who are we to dictate?
My best asset is my charm. I think I could charm a prison guard and he wouldn’t hesitate in giving me the keys, right away.


Favorite mode of transportation during Basel?
Uber, Lyft, a chauffer, anything in a car.

Your sartorial piece de resistance this week?
I think a catsuit will be best, easy for getting in and out of cars, a big purse and a shawl…just in case it gets a bit chilly, shawls can be very versatile. 

Between events you’ll most likely find me?
During Basel you can find me at Waterloo Miami on Friday nights, and at Señor Frog’s Drag Brunch on Sundays.

Event you’re most looking forward to?
So much going on, it’s hard to say, but most definitely Scope. I always enjoy its  freshness and humor when it comes to art. And of course the Patricia Field fashion show, this is always a great party.

Art you’re most looking forward to?
I’m hopping for some exciting and meaningful art, I’m sick of decorative art. 

What’s your biggest Basel faux pas?
Wearing eight-inch stiletto heels is the biggest faux pas ever.

Favorite Basel memory?
The closing event at Vizcaya has a magical feeling to it by having a different artist showing or performing throughout the venue. This makes it all very intriguing, a perfect setting for sipping champagne, facing the bay and thinking about what to wear next year.

Post-Basel plans – where can we find you the week after?
Post-Basel plans are already in place, a week at the spa.




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