Tons of exclusive parties will take place in Miami this week, but not all will have New York hipsters trying to crash them. Take, for example, a fundraiser for Jeb Bush, Miami's now somewhat embarrassing presidential candidate, hosted by Romero Britto, Miami's now somewhat embarrassing celebrity pop "artist."
Yes, because the combined wealth of Art Basel Miami Beach attendees is more than the GDP of several developing nations, presidential candidates will be in town to try to collect a bit of that wealth for their campaign coffers. Democrats Hillary Clinton and Martin O'Malley will also be in town hunting for cash, but Bush's bash is perhaps the most notable.
Dubbed "Pop Art, Politics & Jeb" (no exclamation point), the Saturday party will also see the official unveiling of a Britto-designed poster of Bush, though the design has already been leaked to the media. We guess noted painter George W. Bush was too busy doing self-portraits to help his brother.
This Friday night, the party will be preceded by a $1,000-per-person fundraiser at a private home on Key Biscayne. That location is quite removed from the Basel madness, but we're sure the attendees can afford the Uber fare.
Bush and Britto actually go way back, which is unsurprising because Britto likes to cozy up to Miami-Dade's political elite. A Britto painting is said to hang in Bush's office at the Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables, and Britto and the Bush family once collaborated
on a painting to promote childhood literacy.
Bush's wife, Columba, is also a close personal friend of the artist. According to the New York Times
, she often pops by his studios to create some paintings of her own.
Incidentally, Britto also has a history with Donald Trump. In an early season of The Apprentice
, contestants were tasked with trying to sell limited-edition Britto prints.
Bush won't be the only politician in town, however.
Clinton will fly into Miami tonight before the fair's official opening. She'll hit up two fundraisers: a $1,000-per-person shindig in Miami Beach and a $500 event in Pinecrest. Though, neither event is specifically aimed at the art crowd. Indeed, the Miami Beach event is targeted at LGBT professionals.
Martin O'Malley will also hold an event, cohosted by literally his only friend in Florida, former Miami Mayor Manny Diaz
. The $250 event will feature live music at a waterfront home in Miami Beach.
Interestingly, Marco Rubio will also return to the Magic City this week, though he won't target art denizens. He'll host a $20-per-person event Saturday on his home turf of suburban West Miami.