Art Basel Miami Beach roars back – with a vengeance and without an apology

In February this year, a magnificent outpost opened for the Italian restaurant Carbone in New York on Miami’s South Beach and was anointed as the hottest joint in Magic City. On a visit in the first few weeks, I spotted the music director Clive Davis at one table, the art-collecting real estate developer To the Rose in another, and Mario Carbone happy to hand over the big users who occupied the plush corner stalls. In July, God’s hand intervened and the restaurant was damaged by a fire. But Carbone could not be stopped, and in September Drake made a stop at the Sinatra-washed rigatoni fantasy to hang out with Jordan Belfort, the wolf itself from Wall Street.

It’s all to say that next week, during the madness that is Art Basel Miami Beach, for everyone except the close friends of the owners and e.g. Clive Davis, a table at Carbone is a dream. This is how we ended up …another Carbone, just a few blocks up Collins Avenue. It’s called “American Express Platinum x Carbone”, a pop-up set up on the grounds of the Edition Hotel.

“You’ve been to the restaurant in Miami, and you’ve seen that there’s no shortage of people who want to go to Carbone,” Alex Lee, The vice president and general manager of the American Express Global Dining Network, which includes the Resy reservation app, told me over the phone this week. “We thought, what better opportunity to do something beyond the restaurant – they want a chance to interact with Mario Carbone even in a very special setting.”

What a special setting. After two years with a reasonably smaller Florida due to the pandemic, the art world (and the world of celebrity and marketing) will finally get the all-important Art Basel Miami Beach it deserves. A bonus Carbone is hardly the exception during this cultural bonanza, where such overflows have become the norm. Should New Yorkers miss Marea’s fusilli with squid and bone marrow while out of town for a few days, fear not, there is a temporary one traveled at the Kimpton Hotel. Downtown Gotham cocktail joint, Dead Rabbit is at the Ritz-Carlton, and Mexico City’s Insta-famous art boite Contramar is in town too – expect to see the red-and-green grilled fish dish on your timeline. José Andres cooks with artist Serge Attukwei Clottey, while the food world Bieber Flynn McGarry is at the pots and pans for a Ruinart x David Shrigley event. Is it Lizzo perform on the beach? Yes, it’s Lizzo performing on the beach.

It’s all set to become an edition of Art Basel Miami Beach set to become the most eventful ever, as NetJets customers buying art, Birkin grips and Champagne swell finally have a pan-cultural event that not just cool to attend, pandemic-ethical, but virtually mandatory to attend. And that comes after miserable two years in which they were forced to buy only six-digit paintings and five-digit watches online.

“There’s a lot of pent-up energy,” he said Craig Robins, the real estate mogul and mega-collector whose company developed the Miami Design District, where a new Chanel flagship opens next week, along with Balenciaga, Saint Laurent, Tom Ford and others. “We’ve all been limited in our lives, and so that’s what people want to do to come down to Miami when it’s freezing north and see incredible art.”

I asked Robins if there has ever been so full of a dance card before the opening bell at the art fair.

“From the design district, we have not seen anything at this level,” Robins said. “If you look at the level of interactions where it’s a complete Louis Vuitton men’s show or Chanel doing an incredible art installation, all of these things combined make it a high-end experience. The fashion brands are starting to see Miami as one of their number a markets in the world. “

And Robins is the guy to ask when he helped bring the thing to Florida in 2002 along with the car dealership billionaire Norman Braman and then director Sam Keller, calculated that they could “take Miami’s sex appeal and combine it with something subtle, like the most important art exhibition in the world,” as Robins recalled this week.

Speaking of which, it’s true, there’s an art fair called Art Basel that takes place under Art Basel – the one that is by far the most important art fair in North or South America. And while the Miami Beach Convention Center is where collectors and retailers will be Tuesday morning when the show opens for the most important VIPs, it’s hardly the most important part of the week for so many who hang out.

“Some people quarreled about how all these people came to Miami and never even went to the art fair – but now that’s acceptable,” he said. Jeffrey Deitch, who has attended the fair every year since its arrival, except for the years he served as director of MOCA in LA “Art has become the platform for all these other creative fields, destined for the fashion industry, all major fashion brands have art collaborations in Miami. That’s what Miami has become – if you want a purer art experience, head to Art Basel in Switzerland. It is a different city. ”

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