The Ten People You Meet at Art Basel Miami Beach

The Ten People You Meet at Art Basel Miami Beach
Illustrations by Mark Poutenis

On a normal day, Miami is a mash-up of the world's most eccentric, flamboyant, noisy, and colorful people. We dress for attention, we party all night, and we drive like madmen.

Imagine, then, a Miami turned up to eleven, courtesy of an onslaught of cultural events followed by a slew of parties, all drawing tens of thousands of artsy onlookers from across the globe to rub elbows on one tiny island. During one week in December every year, we dress like attention-whoring art stars, we party all night, all day, and all night again, and we spend hours in causeway traffic.

Welcome to Art Basel, y'all.

It's an inspiring, frustrating, amusing, and most of all, overwhelming experience. There's no telling what crazy shit's about to go down this week. But one thing is certain: If you're planning on attending Art Basel's fairs, openings, and other assorted madness, you'll surely run into these ten people.

See also: Art Basel Miami Beach 2013 Fairs Guide

The Ten People You Meet at Art Basel Miami Beach

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10. Celebrities

They say celebrities look different in person than they do on your TV screen or in the pages of US Weekly. But they say wrong; from Beyonce to Pharrell, you're going to know them when you see them. Maybe it's at the super-exclusive after-hours party you somehow conned your way into; maybe it's in some random Wynwood gallery where an image-conscious star has chosen to go slumming. But whether it's Jay-Z, Leonardo di Caprio, or Madonna herself, you better keep your distance. Celebrities this famous employ teams of people to keep them safe and separate from the art-dazzled masses -- and some of them turn out to be murderers.

The Ten People You Meet at Art Basel Miami Beach

9. Smug Artists

You know how self-satisfied everybody looks at the Oscars? How they're so proud of themselves for getting there? And how goddamned annoying that is to watch?

Well, Art Basel is basically the Oscars of the art world. And if you're an artist who's made it to the big show -- or even any of the satellite fairs -- you're probably feeling about as unabashedly smug as you've ever felt in your entire life.

It's hard to blame these creatives for stroking their egos. Art Basel is, after all, a major turning point in the careers of many artists. You can blame them, however, for looking down their nose at you through their bizarre and unflattering eyeglasses; for talking about their work solely in cryptic artspeak; and for ditching your conversation as soon as some rich collector or art honcho wanders by.


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