Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Art Basel -- International Destination of Art and Party

From the streets of Paris, tunnels of London to buildings in LA, VOG has gone international. But the true indicator for any artist on a global scale is to be represented at Art Basel.

As the ambitious girl that I am, I absolutely had to take part in the festival...and it had to be this year. I'd do pop-up work if it meant having art at that time. But I reached out to a few friends to see what all could be done. The Mai Tai crew once again proved itself invaluable. Hotelier and fellow kiter Dirk Goldwasser of The Betsy Hotel hooked me up with the right people.

Live VOG painting at Catalina Hotel Rooftop Art Basel Party
Before I knew it, I was the featured artist of a swanky South Beach hotel party for Saturday night. My schedule was pretty in Friday night, bikini photo-shoot Saturday day, art show Saturday night. We decided that a "live" surfboard art installation would be the easiest. The finished board was to be donated to the Miami Surf Archive Project.

In true Miami form, a new swimwear line (Todd Barrett Swimwear) launched during the party. Clearly it's not a real Miami party without a dozen girls in bikinis. ;)  The event was a huge success. It wasn't the largest or most exclusive party on the beach (p-diddy had his just across the street) but it was an awesome way to put my name out there, donate to a good cause, and prep for a bigger exhibit next year.

Before going I hadn't grasped the full magnitude of Art Basel. It is the largest, most prestigious art show in the Americas and world-renown social highlight to boot. The official convention center is only a fraction of the events happening all over the city. Every hotel on South Beach, warehouse in the design district, and street wall in Winwood, becomes a showcase of art. 

Since I'm obsessed with street art, the next day I went to check out the Wynwood walls. I could not believe it. All the buildings in this entire part of mid-town were covered in street art. Wow. For all the art I saw over the weekend...this area impressed me most. 

I wondered: How do you get to do a building here? I wished I had my spray paint on me. I passed by one guy writing on a wall so I figured I'd ask him.  His name was Pablo Power. He had been writing graffiti for over 20 years. Pablo offered to share his space with me if I could get my hands on a ladder to reach it. Sweet! The paint store was only a few blocks away. I bought some basic colors and an old shirt for painting in from the thrift store next door. Pablo found me a ladder.

The sun was setting at this point. I had only a few hours before I had to go and had never painted in the dark before. Pablo and I painted side by side as he told me stories of the old days painting train cars at night. I was a bit discouraged by the nozzles of the cans and paint I used. This wasn't my most epic of VOG peices but it was one of the most memorable. 

Pablo Power working on his design (left),  he made room the VOG man sitting atop a wave above a doorway (right)
I believe three things: 1) You make your own luck—if you believe in something and it’s meant to be, with a little effort the universe will give it to you. 2) Just Do It. You never know the amazing people and adventures that await.  Better to make mistakes than regrets.  And 3) Kiteboarding has the most resourceful, well-connected network of people in the world.

Life Is Beautiful.


  1. It’s really a creative thought. This is really an unique idea to celebrate party. Ibiza Boat Party

    1. Thanks! If you haven't made it Art Basel Miami yet you should! It's right up there with Ibiza ;)