You can pretend you understand contemporary art. But face it: You barely know what blue-chip art is. Luckily, there's one universal language spoken by everyone at Art Basel, and it's not artspeak. It's booze. So thank Lady Gaga for the art lesson in Jeff Koons as you make your way to some of the best culturally inclined parties during Miami Art Week.
The Gale South Beach (1690 Collins Ave., Miami Beach) will host two invite-only affairs, including the Paper magazine and Tiki Disco party on the hotel's rooftop Thursday and Friday, December 5 and 6. The party promises hip music and beautiful people mingling under the Miami sky. But the real hot spot will be the Chez André pop-up at the hotel's basement lounge, Rec Room. Collaborating this year with Milk Studios, it will be a three-night affair beginning Wednesday, December 4. A-listers such as Demi Moore, Kanye West, Kim Kardashian, and Chelsea Handler were spotted when Chez André popped up last year at Studio at the Shelborne.
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Del Toro Shoes, the local shoemaker headquartered in Wynwood, is inviting everyone to a block party from 4 to 8 p.m. Thursday, December 5, outside its new space in the Wynwood Building (2750 NW Third Ave., Miami, between 27th and 28th streets). The shoe brand will host an art exhibition and show off its new walls that somehow stand out even in the street-art-heavy neighborhood. There will also be live music and barbecue by chef Henry Hane. Our sources at Del Toro say there will be "surprise guests performing." The only hint they dropped: "Think friends of Del Toro."
It caught us by surprise when Scope announced it was moving to the sands of Miami Beach. The former midtown fair will inaugurate its South Beach digs Friday, December 5, with a big invitation-only party, cohosted by VH1, at its beachside pavilion (Ocean Drive at Ninth Street, Miami Beach). Indie pop stars Tegan and Sara will perform live along with DJ Cassidy. Here's the good news: Even if you can't score an invite, sources say there will be areas on the beach where the public can see the show for free.
Miami's Hottest Art Basel Week Parties
The biggest party of them all might be the premiere gala at the new Pérez Art Museum Miami (1103 Biscayne Blvd., Miami) Saturday, December 7, from 7 to 11 p.m. More than 700 guests are expected to attend this cultural milestone for the city. Scoring an invite might be the hardest thing to do this week, but the bragging rights should be worth the hassle. Latin crooner Marc Anthony is slated to perform, while restaurateur Stephen Starr is handling the catering. This will be a party for the 1 percent, but Miami residents can still visit the museum for free December 4 through 8.
After you've had your fill of art, Fool's Gold will be there to nurse your hangover — or perhaps make it worse. The New York City record label is hosting its Day Off party Sunday at Mana Wynwood Soundstage (318 NW 23rd St., Miami) from 2 to 8 p.m. The music lineup is packed with acts like A-Trak, Flosstradamus, and Dave 1 of Chromeo, but Fool's Gold guarantees a proper Miami farewell with one of the city's most prolific rappers, Trick Daddy, headlining. Just remember — "Trick love the kids."