ARTICLE NICHOLE JANKOWSKI
PHOTOGRAPHY EDUARDO SILVA
Last Wednesday, Bowery’s The Hole Gallery paired up with Playboy Magazine for what was billed as one of the big kickoff events for Art Basel Miami Beach. By 10 p.m. security cordoned off the growing invite-only crowd swarming the hotel’s front steps.
Inside, past the girls’ running guest lists and through the Philippe Starck-designed lobby, behind the restaurant terrace, there was a small stage perched at the deep end the hotel’s glowing infinity pool where Los Angeles-based digital artist Parker Ito’s installation was visible only in the flashing lights of cameras.
London-based artist Matthew Stone DJed in front of a backdrop wall plastered with the bunny logo. Guests vied for spots on the white beds lining the edge of the cyan-lit pool under Paz de la Huerta’s gaze, looking up from the cover of Playboy’s holiday double issue, which had been laid out for guests. Some flipped through her revealing 10-page spread—photos by Mario Sorrenti and interview by Jeffrey Deitch, director of Los Angeles’ Museum of Contemporary Art. Others lingered around a small open bar serving mezcal straight from clay sipping cups, where Brooklyn-based writer and ‘Slutever’ sex blogger Karley Sciortino chatted with friends.
Guests included Angela Pham of the insidious Bravo reality television show Gallery Girls, and Dee Jackson, half of the design duo Dee and Ricky (best known for their Marc Jacobs collaboration and Lego block accessories), wearing a varsity letterman jacket with the letters R-I-C-H in colorful bold chenille emblazoned across the back, spelling out the theme of the week.
A photographer from Patrick McMullan did laps around the pool in search of actor Jeremy Piven, who was rumored to be hiding out in one of the VIP cabanas. “I fucking hate this,” he said before turning back for another round, never to find Piven. Having to compete with the Chanel and Art.sy event that night at the Soho Beach House, the crowd was more friends-of-The-Hole than famous.
Moments before the A$AP Mob took the stage, a stream of New York cool kids arrived, as if their plane had just taxied up the hotel’s driveway. Lisa Katnic, host of VFiles web series LisaTV appeared, sporting head-to-toe camo and a bold platinum flattop. Geneviève Belleveau, the Brooklyn-based performance artist, followed. Outside the hotel people were still arriving, hoping to catch the five-song performance that started an hour and a half late—for which A$AP Rocky apologized when he got onstage.
“That's swag, bitch,” he rapped to a crowd that rushed the stage for the last song of his set, bobbing up and down to his single, “Fuckin’ Problem,” looking like they’ve never had one. After the set the crowd quickly dispersed, surely late for yet another party where everyone would be VIP.