Part of the fun of Art Basel is the last minute, random celebrity appearances. Is that Miley Cyrus riding a City Bike? Yup. Wait, is Usher charging his iPhone in a woman's vagina? Mhmm. When Basel week rolls around, you can bet on some last-minute big names to be announced.
And this afternoon, we got one of the biggest so far. Kendrick Lamar, arguably the best rapper alive, was announced yesterday afternoon as a performer at the Faena Art Dome. Lamar performed at Basel once before in Miami back in 2013.
The official title of the event is Amex Music Meets Art: Kendrick Lamar featuring Shantell Martin. Aside from the obvious, that the venerated Lamar is adding his name to an already stellar lineup of Art Basel performers, perhaps more important is the fact that this show is only for sale to American Express card members.
That’s certainly a bummer for those of us with Mastercard, Visa, or straight cash hiding underneath our mattresses, but for Amex cardholders, it’s an opportunity to experience something musically and visually engrossing.
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Faena Art, a non-profit that began in Buenos Aires and has since expanded to Miami, promotes itself as an “organization that houses and produces post-disciplinary and time-based experiences.” The group's website goes on to say that Faena is a “catalyst for innovative, site-specific, and immersive creative practices."
Most intriguing is the “immersive” aspect of that mission statement. Martin, the artist collaborating with Lamar for his Art Basel concert, is a London-born, Brooklyn-based artist who specializes in stream-of-consciousness line drawings. Per the press release for the show, she’ll be doing just that during the set, as the pair team up for one unified performance: “At the event, Card Members and invited guests will witness a unique intersection of music and art as Kendrick Lamar will excite the audience with an electric performance as Shantell Martin conducts live sketching of a larger than life mural mapped to Kendrick’s music. These two will take the stage at the pop-up Faena Dome in South Beach Miami, where Martin’s work will be projected throughout the dome and through the crowd.”
It's a shame this show isn't open everyone in Miami, because it's sure to be one of the best events of the week.