“The goal is to make everybody uncomfortable,” explained Al Moran, co-founder of Los Angeles’ OHWOW gallery and co-host of Friday’s Art Basel fête celebrating Terry Richardson‘s latest book, Terrywood. “We draw the kind of crowd that ranges from high to low culture and from young to old,” Moran continued, adding that he considers a gallery event to be a success if, at some point during the night, an older art collector and a barely-legal hipster eye one another warily, each wondering how the other got past the front door. “That kind of uncomfortable feeling produces a beautiful energy.”
Moran certainly had the demographic mix down. The poolside gathering at South Beach’s the Standard Hotel ranged from Demi Moore (who cut a much publicized swath through the week’s nightlife circuit, but reportedly couldn’t find the time to take in a single actual art exhibit) to what seemed like every studio assistant in Brooklyn. Other revelers included Ryan McGinley, Chelsea Handler, Paz de la Huerta, and Azealia Banks—who whipped up some hands-in-the-air action from the assembled throng.
Richardson himself was comparatively subdued, hanging off to the side and, as is his custom, politely declining an interview: “I’m exhausted, can we talk tomorrow?” Instead, he autographed copies of his book and gamely mugged for snapshots alongside a steady stream of well-wishers. Nearby, co-host HTC and Social Print Studio were slapping up a photo wall of guests’ Instagram pics. “When I do events in, say, Tennessee, it’s a different kind of crowd. You have to really push them to take photographs of each other like this,” said SPS’s George Sylvain. And tonight? “This is a crowd ready to self-promote.”
On Saturday night, friends of Michael Nevin including Maria Cornejo, Waris Ahluwalia, and Stephanie LaCava gathered at the newly minted Gale Hotel to celebrate the 32nd issue of the magazine he founded and edits, The Journal. With the fair finally winding down, McGinley shared his secret for doing Miami Basel right. “Rent a scooter. It gives the ultimate freedom for getting anywhere, and if you’re at a party, you can give people a ride, and that’s really sexy.”