Thursday's Best Art Basel Events: Nas, Mr. Brainwash, and the Real Art Basel

Uh-oh. Guess what day it is! Guess what day it is. Eh? Anybody?

Mike. Mike Mike Mike Mike Mike. What day is it, Mike?

That's right. It's your Art Basel hump day.

No, it's not Wednesday. But after the last couple days of VIP parties and satellite fair openings, today -- the official opening of Art Basel -- marks the mid-way point of the festivities. Make it through tonight, suffer through work tomorrow, and you're clear to sail down a river of Champagne to Sunday.

Here's how to get happier than a camel on Wednesday. What what!

See also: New Times Ultimate Art Basel 2013 Guide: All the Fairs, Parties, and More

Art Basel: The reason for all the parties, satellite fairs, gallery openings, and general traffic congestion finally opens to the public today. Wear comfortable shoes and prepare to get lost.

Open daily from noon - 8 p.m. Thursday through Sunday. Visit artbasel.com.

Art Britannia: This British showcase has technically been open since Dec. 1, but what's an art exhibit without a fancy opening night? In this town, nonexistent. So hit up the Design District for the official kickoff party.

VIP cocktail reception 5 p.m. - 7 p.m., open to the public 7 p.m. - 10 p.m. at 3940 N. Miami Ave., Miami. Visit artbritannia.com.

See also: The British (Art) Invasion: Art Britannia Brings a Piece of Britain to Miami

Fridge Art Fair's Gala Opening Benefit: One of this year's new satellite fairs has taken an egalitarian approach to the typically VIP-only opening nights. Tonight's gala is open to the public, with a $40 suggested donation to fund Visual AIDS and PAX Miami. Also, there'll be paintings of dogs. Win-win.

7 p.m. at PAX. Visit fridgeartfair.com.

See also: Fridge Art Fair to Bring Refrigerators, Doggy Paintings, and "Some Dude from The Voice" to Little Havana

Hennessy V.S and Pulse Art Festival Event: Nas takes the stage at Pulse's VIP opening night. It's an invite-only affair, so work those connections.

6 p.m. opening, 8:45 p.m. Nas performance. Visit pulse-art.com.

Monkey Town: NYC's legendary underground restaurant pops up in Miami, pairing artsy fare with dishes by GiGi and drinks by Bar Lab. Thursday's opening day events include a performance by artist Shaun C. Leonardo, Elle Dee, and Juan MacLean. It's a private shindig, but worth working for according to reports from up north.

Open 2 p.m. - 11 p.m., with nighttime performances at 8:15 p.m. and 9:45 p.m. Visit monkeytown3.com.

Mr. Brainwash SoBe Takeover: South Beach is about to become Brainwashville. Several Collins Ave. buildings, including The Gale and the 1826 Collins parking garage, will be getting a makeover by the money-hungry pop artist, set to debut tonight. We don't know exactly what to expect, but given the scale of Mr. Brainwash's previous Basel stints -- occupying entire buildings with storm troopers; exhibiting gigantic spray paint cans -- we're guessing it's going to be large.

The installation is set to run Dec. 5-8.

New Times ArtAffair TweetUp: Need someplace to chill out between Basel events? May we suggest New Times tweetup at Essex House, which will feed you bites from Zen Sai and drinks from Quinessentially Vodka and Premier Beverage Wines -- for free? Plus, it's right on Collins, right in the middle of the mayhem.

7 p.m. to 10 p.m. The event is free, but you've gotta register to attend here.

Pop Up Piano: The annual Pop-Up Piano concert series returns with performances by Elastic Bond and Las Cafeteras. But instead of street performances, this year's shows will be held in swanky spots like tonight's SLS Brickell. Movin' on up.

6:30-8:30 p.m. Visit popuppianomia.com.

Follow Ciara LaVelle on Twitter @ciaralavelle.

Send your story tips to Cultist at cultist@miaminewtimes.com.

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