Thursday, January 24, 2013

Palm Beach Social Diary

With wire transfers completed and checks cleared from last December's Art Basel epic convention-center gathering, SeaFair's dockside megayacht showcase in downtown Miami provides a vastly more intimate setting for collectors to browse fine art, jewelry and collectible galleries with inspiring skyline and harbor panoramas.
4th Miami International Art showcase aboard SeaFair
By Augustus Mayhew

Whether it was the sudden twenty-degree temperature drop, the breezy wind chill on a beautiful January night, or the chance the bump elbows aboard an art-filled megayacht with an open bar and a pack of waiters offering never-ending trays, several hundred were already on board MIA’s SeaFair by the time we arrived around 6:30 on Friday night. One of Lee Ann and David Lester’s premiere seasonal South Florida art showcases, MIA’s opening preview was a benefit for Miami’s Museum of Contemporary Art followed by a VIP Collector’s Invitational, making for a nonstop valet parking line extending far down Biscayne Boulevard. 

The Drang Gallery, Padstow, Cornwall, UK, featuring an image of "For the Love of God," from the atelier of artist Damien Hirst.
SeaFair’s four decks offered numerous exhibit spaces, a coffee bar,  an open-air champagne and caviar lounge, a spectacular glass-walled restaurant, and on the Sky Deck, the  Bistro360, an informal open-air restaurant and a cocktail reception area.  The exhibitors included Adriana Budich Arte Contemporáneo, Angel Orensanz Foundation, Art Vitam, Christopher Walker Art, Drang Gallery, Elite Fine Art Galleries, Fernando Luis Alvarez Gallery, Robert Fontaine Gallery, Pan American Art Projects, Setford & Bridges, Taihe Art Gallery, Stephen Knapp, Galerie Frederic Got, Mark Helliar Italian Design, and from Moscow, the Valentine Ryabov Gallery.

Today, January 24, IFAE’s ArtPalmBeach 2013 Art + Photography + Design celebrates its 16th Anniversary with a Preview Event at the Palm Beach County Convention Center before its weekend run January 25-28.  This year fair offers premiere events, special exhibitions, topical lectures, special museum tours, site specific art installations, art performances and exclusive VIP programs.  Also, coming up at the PBC Convention Center, the annual American International Fine Art Fair opens with an exclusive invitation-only preview on Tuesday evening February 5.  This year AIFAF is adding fourteen new exhibitors and a lecture series including Marla Prather,  curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Before heading over to SeaFair, we stopped in South Beach at Khong River House, the latest elaborately-staged concept restaurant from the group who runs the wildly popular Yardbird.  After a stroll down Lincoln Road, we navigated downtown Miami’s maze of condo and office canyons, opting to park adjacent to SeaFair at the InterContinental Hotel garage.  From there, we headed to the lobby for a look at Spindle, reportedly the largest privately-owned sculpture by Henry Moore that also may be the area’s most significant work of art.

Northern Thai cuisine on South Beach

My raw vegan friends had just arrived from New York, more than willing to try the exotic Thai menu at the recently opened Khong River House on South Beach.  Although none of us recognized the names of any of the dishes, we charged forward and ordered a mix of dishes. And yes, it could be because they’ve only been open a month, but we were not disappointed in either the food or the service. However much good taste at these formula spots most often relies more on its delicious décor rather than the intricacy of flavors found on the plate, Khong River House proved a satisfying pleasurable escape on every level.
Opened last month, Khong River House is a block off the Lincoln Road stampede on Meridian Avenue.
A thematic booth located at Khong River House's second dining room on the ground floor.
From the entry on the ground floor, a view looking towards the main room with its tin-roof ceiling, birdcage chandeliers, and mix of sand and cream-colored wood and bricks, concentrated to evoke life along the Mekong River. After our late lunch, we walked down Lincoln Road to the seventh-floor of the Herzog and de Meuron-designed 1111 Lincoln Road Parking Garage for a view of the sunset.
Friday, 5:15 p.m. From the parking garage's 7th Level, the view looking southeast towards the ocean from Lincoln Road down Alton Road to South Pointe where a penthouse recently sold for $25 million.
The late afternoon view to the northeast affords a silhouette shadow of Herzog and de Meuron's iconic parking garage cast on the wall of a building in the lower right corner of the photograph. Thirty minutes later, we arrived in downtown Miami.
Henry Moore at the InterContinental Hotel
100 Chopin Plaza - Miami
The hotel's façade features an ever changing light show.
Sculptor Henry Moore's 18-foot 70-ton Spindle is the hotel lobby's centerpiece.
Spindle, a close-up view set in the center of a fountain.
Spindle, a view looking up towards the glassed atrium ceiling.
4th Miami International Art Fair opens aboard SeaFair
Designed by yacht designer Luiz De Basto, the $40 million 228-foot vessel is the largest ship built for commercial operation in the Intracoastal Waterway.
Miami's Museum of Contemporary Art (MoCA) Shakers held a first-look private preview before the VIP Collector's Invitational. "MIA's opening attracted nearly 2,000 art enthusiasts and collectors," said Ashlea Heck, communications director for IFAE, the fair's producer.
A MoCA Shaker membership offers young professionals invitations to exclusive cultural happenings and gallery openings.
Artist Carlos Estevez and MIA director Lee Ann Lester, principal of International Fine Art Exhibitions (IFAE). Since 1990, Lee Ann and David Lester's IFAE has organized more than 80 major international fairs in Hong Kong, New York, Los Angles, Chicago, Dallas, Newport, Greenwich, Long Island, Miami, Naples, Sarasota, and Palm Beach.
Despite a rapid chilly temperature drop, the art crowd swarmed SeaFair.
Frederic Got Fine Art, Paris.
Frederic Got Fine Art, Paris.
Based on photographer Jadikan LP's "light paintings," Art Vitam's exhibition of light works were installed in various areas on board SeaFair.
The Drang Gallery, Padstow, Cornwall, UK, featuring an image of "For the Love of God," from the atelier of artist Damien Hirst.
The Drang Gallery, Padstow, Cornwall, UK. God Save the Queen, from the studio of Damien Hirst.
Art Vitam/Gallery G, Paris, Miami, Chicago. Discrepancy. 64 x 51 in. David Gista, artist. $10,200.
Art Vitam/Gallery G, Paris, Miami, Chicago. Discrepancy. 64 x 51 in. David Gista, artist. $10,200.
Carlos Estevez, Miami.
Setford & Bridges, Paris & Glen Falls, NY. In the Mind's Eye #3, 2012. Michael Mistric, artist. $6,500.
SeaFair, a view from the gangway. When we left around 8:30, every deck was jam-packed.
Bayfront Park view from SeaFair — after dark it becomes a melodramatic noir landscape.
The view of Miami as we were leaving, The city's CSI skyline often takes on the dimension of one of Blade Runner's surreal futuristic scenes.
Wakhadahatchee Wetlands – Delray Beach
Photographs by Augustus Mayhew.
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