Miley Cyrus, Break Art Basel

Miley Cyrus, Break Art Basel

Miley Cyrus came in like a wrecking ball at Art Basel Miami Beach, delivering a performance heavy on psychedelics, classic rock and roll, confetti, bubbles, rainbows, and shrooms.

Miley Cyrus came in like a wrecking ball at Art Basel Miami Beach, delivering a performance heavy on psychedelics, classic rock and roll, confetti, bubbles, rainbows, and shrooms.

"She can really sing!" Linda Evangelista exclaimed, during Miley Cyrus's gleaming rendition of the Turtles' "Happy Together." Standing on a sofa in the VIP—the better for cameraphoning—Evangelista was flanked by Carlyne Cerf de Dudzeele and Oribe, the three of them enraptured by the rock classics Miley was belting out, excited to share photos and videos with friends. For about an hour, Miley and friends (Amazon Ashley, Wayne Coyne, and the Flaming Lips) brought a psychedelic happening to the Raleigh Hotel in Miami Bieach, the energy of which was borderline Woodstock...or wigstock.

...And not just because Lady Bunny was running around backstage. When Miley hit the stage at 11 o'clock on the dot, delivering a hefty dose of funk with Rick James's "Superfreak," her holographic tinsel wig set the stage for a kaleidoscope of insanity that would follow. As supermodel Linda expressed, Miley really can sing, and it's a fact that bears repeating considering the phantasmagoria of rainbows, penises, mushrooms, smiley faces, confetti, and bubbles that could easily threaten to drown her out.

"For those of you who are probably wondering how the fuck I got here," Miley explained, "it took a really shitty thing happening to me—losing my dog—to get my perspective again, and once I did, I started making art."

Regardless of how alienating she might want her visual output to be—evidenced by Instagram pleas from fans to stop posting her schizophrenic collages, which she blew up poster-size and hung around the venue—Miley's artwork is purely of the pop variety, a fitting match for Jeffrey Deitch's return to Art Basel Miami Beach. V partnered with Deitch, Samsung, and Tommy Hilfiger to make the event happen, but none would have been possible without Miley's personal touches. Abandoned babies in glowstick chokers hung in the trees, Bangerz tour visuals played on curved Samsung televisions, and Miley's sculptural artworks, first unveiled at the V Gallery in September, were featured in special cabanas. As Miley spent her day glue-gunning every last detail herself, rabid fans perched across the street, screaming her name. When she soundchecked, the police arrived. The only thing bigger than the crowd at her feet was the one on 18th and Collins, rioting to get inside.

But back to the music—Miley's most masterful art form. Tearing through classics like Johnny Cash's "A Boy Named Sue," Led Zeppelin's "Since I've Been Loving You," and a particularly moving rendition of the timeless Beatles song "A Day in the Life," fans expecting "We Can't Stop," or "Party in the U.S.A." were treated instead to a window into the depths of Miley's influences, a one-of-a-kind performance never to be repeated again. Luckily partygoers like Douglas Booth, Jeremy Scott, and the Misshapes were present to take it all in. Through it all, her voice rang out with a clarity, passion, and total control that her godmother Dolly Parton would have been proud to hear.

Credits: IMAGES BFANYC.COM

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