Friday, December 5, 2008

Alex Grey and the Psychedelic World of Art

by Jorge Fernandez
Pati has been working like a mule at the Basel in South Beach.
Yesterday, she was finally able to leave at 5 p.m. instead of late at night like every day since this whole caravan started.
There was a good reason to come out early, Alex Grey was speaking with a panel of other experts and artists on the history of psychedelics and art.
Yes, I did get to see him, and I know you are jealous.
The thing started at 8 pm, so to burn some time we walked up 36st from my apt. to see the galleries that have opened along the street solely for the purpose of Basel, once the circus is gone so are they.

By John Berry
We started at Sculpt Miami, where friendly giants like this one welcome you into a world of fantasy. It is free and fun, pass by there if you are in the area.
Inside the giant mushroom, in the garden of 7th Circuit Studio.
We thought of taking a cab, but then we wondered why do what all the tourists are doing when we are from here? and walked back to get the car. Drove down 3 NW Av, where we saw no cars, a big contrats to the chaos of cops, journalists and artsies of Biscayne and 2nd NE AV.
We got to 7th Circuit Studio and paid the exaggerated $20, but inside we found many many people, music, Grey's works hanged all over the studio and delicious free organic food. The $5 large wines were not bad either. Mixed partying were philosophy crews, yogis, artists and druggies, it was beautiful.
After waiting for a couple of hours for fans to get their books and posters signed by Grey, who looks more like a rock star than a painter, we finally sat down to hear the presentation.
Grey showed a slide show with works of art from various civilizations that depicted hallucigens, psychodelics or the expierence of them.
FIU Professor, Manny Torres, an expert in Art Theory and botany in the area of psychedelics, spoke about shamans and their power, about how almost unnatural it is for a human not take any kind of drug, because humanity has been doing it since its beginning with coffee, tobacco and mushrooms.
To top the night we dined together at Buena Vista Bistro, sat outside in the beautiful weather, wearing our sweaters and drinking Fin du Monde.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Where do you need to be during Art Time?

Ok, this is the schedule:

Check out the satellite fairs at Wynwood and the Design District. I will be passing by Scope, where there is a giant bouncing house in which we can all bounce together and also the Art Miami fair nearby.
I also wanted to pass by the so called Red Dot Art Fair, right there on 36st and second av.
I'll then pass by the Bas Fisher Invitational gallery, where they will be having an opening for 12 artists from 6-9 p.m. 180 NE 39th Street, suite 210
It will be hard to fit it all tonight, but I will try my best, because there is also the Naked Sushi at Doraku, where you can eat sushi off naked model's bodies, and I wanted to try some of that.

There is also a lot going on at the Riltz-Carlton, I was going to pass by yesterday, but wanted to save some energy right at the beginning of the week. was kind enough to invite me to a secret and mysterious Art Lover's Cocktail Party at the Ritz from 8 to 10 p.m.
To finish the night go see Eddie o Live at 168 SE 1 Street, this famous dj from New York is a staple of our time. She will throw down some good shit.

Well, even though my favorite part of Art Basel is the side events, it is once a year and we should go at least once. don't want to pay the $55 to get in? Get the after 5 p.m. entrance for $15, and be out of there just in time for Sobe's better time.
Go to the Lummus Park, in front of Ocean Drive, where during the whole weekend they will have live art performances for free.
Since you are already in Sobe, go to RockBar, which is having an all weekend-long Art Basel party.
If you decided to do the District instead of Sobe on Friday, the Downtown area is moving fast this week.
Fredric Snitzer Gallery is having an opening on Friday, and those are always good. 7:00-10 p.m.
The Vagabond will be having Asics, the world's Largest Lite Brite,a modern pop culture master piece, with Modernage performing Live, lots of cool djs and free entrance before 11 p.m. assuming anyone could get anywhere before 11.
The White Room has Spider Pussy hosting Adult and Yi Yip performing Live, go to the event page to see if you like the music, it sounds fun.

If by Saturday you still have not done any artsy stuff, then you probably do not live in Miami.

If you feel you want to do something more in the low key and are tired of big events, go support The Black Mangrove, who will have an art exhibit on 1415 NE 129th Street from 6 to 11 p.m.
The White Room has a party called the Factory, no cover before midnight and 2 for 1 cocktails before that same magical hour. Live performance, nefarious girl will be there to take your picture and make you famous and apparently there will be some kind of gift bags given out.

Go walk around the galleries, they will all be open: say hello to the artists, meet some Eurotrash, art dealers, etc. If you are in the Design, take a ride in one of the bicycle cabs.
Enjoy Art Basel is only once a year.
See ya'll around.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Baseling it up. What else?

Although, I was going to continue talking about my Thanksgiving adventures: Sushi Samba Buck 15, Australia, The White Room and stuff, there has been too much going on because of Art Basel, and it is only Wednesday. So, not fall behind with the news, with so much to do it is hard to find time to report, I skipped those adventures to tell you all about the world of art that came into Miami.

Monday night was the Art Basel kick off party at The Vagabond, but I decided to take it "slow" and go to Jazz night at Churchill's. Met Jeremy there and saw lovely Dani once again behind the bar since she had taken a hiatus that had made us all miss her.
Jeremy and I talked about how we were only having that one drink and going home. He sipped on his elegant sazerac which Chris made for him just the right way. "It is hard to get a sazerac done well around here," said Christ, when you are a bartender you get to talk about how other bartenders do not know how to make drinks right, nobody knows but them really.
Well, after the sazerac came Bolivarian Youth founder and director, hyper famous Michael Martinez, especially popular since he was lynched in Little Havana by angry Cubans at a rally as he protested against capitalism and praised Chavez, Fidel y El Che.
Mike was going to read his poetry in the outside stage, but later. So, he stayed with me having beers and talking politics, Jeremy was gone to South Beach. There goes getting home early.
We talked about beautiful Venezuela: Choroni and Merida and the crazy things that had happened to him there, of the time he met Chavez and the time he was robbed.

On Tuesday, although it was hard to go out after getting home so late from Churchill's, duty needed to be met. The plans were to fabulous not to. Although, it was only the first day of Art Basel, the streets of Wynwood and the Design District were filled with elegant people in coats walking up and down. It was chilly, but Jeremy and I walked up 36 Street to the Wine Bistro on second av.
If you haven't been there you should. It has a pretty varied selection and most wines it offers are rare. The owners are French and really know their stuff. We had an antipasto and hummus and a bottle of an intense Californian Shiraz.
Too many plans, too many places we wanted to pass by. First stopping at the East Side Village Gallery, which had opened that same night. Although the art or ambiance weren't as superior, there was a lot of people and plenty of free alcohol.
Plenty of free alcohol is how all this Art Basel stuff works. I have never seen so many good sponsors everywhere. At this gallery it was Grey Goose, the second one, Hacs, it was a cognac and champagne. hmmm champagne.

A friend of Jeremy was exhibiting there. Carl Pascuzzy and others everything was pretty sexual, scandalous and popsy. One of the artists made giant cakes of Britney Spears, Lindsay Lohan, Madonna and Paris Hilton and would cut out the pussy. They served cake, which matched the champagne perfectly.
We saw "scandalous" Nicholas Johnson, who wore a beret and painted mustaches and only spoke French for the rest of the night because he was in character.

Artist Naomi Fisher had sent me an invitation to a party at a gallery for that night. Although most of the galleries were closing down by this time, I was pretty sure this one was supposed to be partying until pretty late.
It was at the Galerie Emmanuel Perrotin, and it was a good party in the middle of a beautiful garden.
We danced with the guy dressed up as a lady bug and with the Euro trash that always fills up Miami during Basel. There was free alcohol, good music and weird people, just right.
Jeremy and I walked together all the way to 36 st. though the old Puerto Rican barrio.

Monday, December 1, 2008

No Solo de Pan Vive el Hombre

Also on tofu and vodka.

After passing by Sobe and buying some cheap beauties at Urban Outfitters-sorry would rather die than go buy on Black Friday, at 5 am I am just about to go to sleep-I went home and started getting ready for my guests.

We decided to start the night with a dinner party to farewell my friend Danny Lu, who was leaving to India for 6months to do social work and help with the guilt trip, but ended up just getting his money back after the unfortunate terrorist attacks. So, hopefully he gets to go later on and we get to have another farewell party.

The cooks were Danny and my lil sis Carolina, who was visiting from Gainsville, like lots of other people who were visiting Miami this Thanksgiving weekend.

Although later on, Caro and I ended up going to The Vagabond's 80s Prom Party, so late that it was already the 90s, the main part of the night was the dinner.

Total debauchery, Greek-like feast of food, love, drugs and dancing.

Danny's dish: a stir-fried tofu with red curry, noodles and veggies, abso-freaking delicious, especially at 5 or so coming back from The Vagabond. Thanks DannyLu it hit the spot.
Caro went for a delicious Ratatouille, even though our main vegetarian Vane was absent in D.C. and missed the awesome party, the whole meal was veggie-friendly.

For desert we had pure fresh pomegranate with our hands.

After much merengue-dancing, bubble-blowing, bjork-singing craziness some started departing against my will, I was still not ready.
Soon enough Caro and I were getting a ride to The Vagabond with a bottle of POM juice filled with Vodka.
Couldn't find my I.D. and dropped the bottle on the floor in front of the friendly Haitian bouncer.

"You don't have id and you have that bottle gurl, what do you think?" he said.
Boy c'mon is so late. He was in a good mood, at this hour it seems like everyone is.
As soon as I walked in I encountered Modernage Mario, dancing with two girls, who he dropped on the floor to hug me.
I was as excited. The next day I got a text from him: "Nos Vimos!"
Lol, I almost forgot, I wrote back.
Since that close encounter of the first kind, since it was in the entrance, I never again saw him.
Instead, inside the dark Vagabond dance floor, as I jumped and shook and tangled my hair to a level I would only discover the day after, I saw a guy dressed all in white, with long hair under a white hat, looked interesting, almost mysterious, until I discovered who it was.

Frenchie Sebastianne, famous in my circles from the times we both used to work at Blue Cafe, known for its Latin Saturday Nights, its bully bouncers, corruption and abundance of drugs.
Also for its cute cocktail waitresses.
We hugged and danced some more until I abandoned him for a group of Five Fabulous Gay Guys who had taken very seriously the whole 80s prom theme: excellent.
Four days later I received a mysterious text message:
"I saved this phone number earlier this week, who is this?"
"Bego, who's this?"
"Lol Sebastienne"
We both knew why it was so funny.

Early Turkey

I started my Thanksgiving fun early on Tuesday, being that the week before I had died because some gloomy dentists decided to yank out the little wisdom left in my mouth and the recuperation process was long and painful, especially for Miami, which had to endure all this time without me.
It is obviously truth that some day we will evolve and be born without those bothersome useless bones, which at some point helped us chew raw mammoth. After spending more than a week at home, without being able to have any kind of amusement, I definitely fell behind in the evolutionary ladder.

On Tuesday night I stopped at Jeremy's, he had crazily enough decided to cook a whole turkey, even though he was abandoning me to go to Orlando, what is Orlando?, and spend the family Holiday with his family, he still wanted to cook the WHOLE turkey.
Well, among Cuba Libres with Ron Abuelo he cooked the never-frozen turkey Asian style, bathed on soy sauce and honey, while I entertained him with my horror stories of wisdom teeth.
I learned very little of the art of cooking the bird of the Native American Genocide Day, except that when the needle hits 165, it is done, information I will cherish since you never know when it can become useful, definitely not next Thanksgiving; I am still not ready too cook my first bird of such a dimension.

We ate a lot of turkey, considering that there was no other side dish than the rum, that was lot of bird for us two, but we made it.
Turkey makes you sleepy, we obviously talked about that. "It is called tryptophan," said the sometimes annoying know-it-all Jeremy. Almost passed out in his beautiful red couch, freaking typtophan. I still needed energy for Wednesday, I had errands to run on my free day, parties to organize, people to call.