Dec01

Surviving Basel: Day 2

Play us a tune, Pop Up Pianos.

So as to not be a Basel vampire (those who only come out at night for the party), I hit a daytime event on Wednesday. At least, I think it was Wednesday. The Basel blur is already starting to take effect. This led me to Pop Up Piano in the Design District at The Living Room for an impromptu performance centered around a piano painted by GG. And it was perfect. The moment was captured by NBC and anyone else who happened by. Pop Up Piano’s be-in-the-right-place-at-the-right-time mentality captures the spirit of Basel.

Also amazing, the sidewalk leading to the piano. Transformed into a stream-of-consciousness hop-scotch board, I felt a connection with this piece below.

Sometimes art is as simple as black words on a white background — sidewalk debris included.

My next artful venture of the day: The Convention Center for Basel, itself. I haven’t actually been to the Convention Center during Basel in a handful of years, so it was great getting back to the origin of this whole week’s ongoings. In true form, I was drawn to the black and white pieces, like this one below. And while most of the art wowed me, including that giant, multicolored glitter piece, other pieces, like the Prince William statue with the engagement ring adhered to his sleeve (for you to slip your finger through and pose next to him), felt to me like little more than the tabloid fodder of the art world.

In person, this piece explores depth perception. Very cool.

Next stop: Art of Night at the Shelborne. Hanging on the walls, art by my beloved neighbor, Seth Browarnik. Seth’s been shooting celebs living the high life after the sun goes down for as long as I’ve known him. Geez, has that been a decade already? Wow.

Here’s Seth. On Alton Road. In a Towel. A caption explaining this is probably necessary, but what fun would that be? I’m just thankful this wasn’t his ensemb for the evening.

Heeding warnings from Seth, I got to the event early because rumor was, this place was going to be packed. It was, In addition to being a total blast. I’m just going to go ahead and say it, Art of Night was, hands down, the best party of Basel. I know I’m only two days in, but I’m calling it here and now. Even celebs like Pharrell came out to see what the fuss was all about. There were the usual suspects, unusual suspects, celebs and a lot of flowing libations. Congrats, Seth. It was definitely a party to remember. And the one that gave the majority of Miami Beach a hangover today.

Courtesy of the guy in the towel.

Disco balls taking human form at Art of Night.

Last stop: Soho for Elew. All I can say is, if you have not seen this man in action, stop what you are doing on Friday at noon and get to the Arsht Center for his Pop Up Pianos concert. In my life, I have never seen someone tackle a piano in such a way. He plays the inside of the piano, because, well, he’s clearly mastered the outside. As for the inside, yup, he’s mastered that, too. I was fortunate to witness about six songs, in which Elew, who lounges, rather than sits, when he plays, became the music, creating a sound that rose from the piano and created a wall. A thick wall of aural perfection that was sometimes heavy, sometimes classical, sometimes familiar, but always captivating. Witnessing the presence of greatness on the second night of Basel. What more can you ask for? Celebs, I know you want to hear about celebs. Tonight’s about town sightings included: Kyle MacLachlan OF “TWIN PEAKS”!!!!!!!!!!! (yeah, yeah and “Sex and the City”) and Paris and Nicky Hilton. Overheard: “I’m working on my own art” – Paris. Um, OK. Roberto Cavalli and Val Kilmer were also in the mix. And no, he does not look like Iceman from “Top Gun” anymore.

And after two days of Basel, “I feel the need, the need for speed” takes on a whole new meaning. Kidding, Mom. Kidding. I could use some caffeine, though.

Elew.