Art Basel Miami Parties Feature Janelle Monáe and Harmony Korine

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Miami Art Week is in full swing in South Florida, anchored by Art Basel Miami Beach. We were on the scene for parties in the area that featured the performer Janelle Monáe, the filmmaker Harmony Korine and prominent figures from the art world.


The pop star Camila Cabello greeted Harmony Korine enthusiastically on Thursday night just inside El Palenque nightclub in Miami’s Little Havana neighborhood.

Mr. Korine, the filmmaker and artist, drew about 600 people, including Ms. Cabello, to the sprawling space decorated with red neon lights. It was an introduction, for many, to his new design collective, Edglrd, pronounced “edge lord,” which is a reference to internet trolls known for courting and relishing in controversy.

“I just want to work on future content,” Mr. Korine, 50, said, adding, “I just think it’s what comes after linear logic. What’s more sensory? What’s more integrated into a specific feeling or the kind of things that are beyond simple articulation?”

Inside the club, the D.J. pit was surrounded by LED screens with visual effects and animation mimicking Mr. Korine’s new film, “Aggro Dr1ft,” which was screened this year at film festivals in Toronto and New York.

The crowd at the event included the comedian Hannibal Buress, the artist Alex Israel and the skater Evan Mock. The party was hosted with Boiler Room, an online broadcaster and club promoter. The night opened with a set from AraabMuzik, who did the score for Mr. Korine’s film, followed by BLP Kosher, a rapper from Florida, and Yung Lean, a rapper from Sweden.

Around 1 a.m., Mr. Korine, wearing a skull-like yellow mask with horns that was a nod to “Aggro Dr1ft,” stepped up to a turntable for what he said was his public debut as a D.J.

Mr. Korine described the sound, an aggressive blend of Brazilian phonk with elements of trap music, South Florida rap, ’90s pop and metal, as something made by “gamers in favelas.”

Around him, people in white body suits and masks bobbed to the beat of the music, and women with long, neon green wigs stood still and stared ahead.

To prepare for the set, Mr. Korine said, he was “doing a lot of menthol vapes, a ton of Mountain Dew and eating Sweet Tarts, and sitting on a houseboat, and listening to a lot of Brazilian music.”

He wanted to try his hand at the craft, he said, because, “I just thought it was the right time.”


On Wednesday night, artists, curators and musicians convened under palm trees for an event celebrating the artist Mickalene Thomas at the Miami Beach Edition hotel.

Ms. Thomas was showing work at Art Basel Miami Beach and had released a capsule collection with Shop with Google, which included T-shirts, a sweatshirt and a baseball cap featuring some of her motifs.

“What excites me about tonight is the community of people here together,” Ms. Thomas said. “It’s about women celebrating women.”

Guests, including the actress Tasha Smith, the musician George Clinton and the gallerist Yancey Richardson, wrapped around a poolside bar sipping rosé as servers passed pepperoni pizza pockets and endive salads.

Around 8:30 p.m., the performer Janelle Monáe climbed to the top of the diving board hanging over the pool wearing a custom cape made of ruched black-and-white fabric roses that she had designed with Rey Ortiz.

“Happy birthday, baby!” the actress Yvonne Orji called out as Ms. Monáe, 38, took a microphone.

Over about 30 minutes, Ms. Monáe performed several of her songs, including “Float,” “Make Me Feel” and “Come Alive.”

“I’m here for you, Mickalene,” she told the crowd. “I love you so much. One of the greatest artists of our time. My friend. My sister.”

As she wrapped up her set, Ms. Monáe walked into the blue water behind her, fully dressed, and swam to the other side.

The audience cheered, and Ms. Monáe returned to the stage, finished the performance and walked off, draping herself in a large, white towel.

On Tuesday evening, blocks from the palatial accommodations of Collins Avenue, a disco ball spun slowly above a pool as a D.J. played a blend of Afro-Caribbean jazz, disco and Italo pop.

Just before Art Basel Miami Beach opened to V.I.P. clients, the blue-chip gallery Gagosian hosted a party at the Freehand Miami, with a crowd of more than 600 gathering in the hotel’s Broken Shaker bar and 27 Restaurant.

The evening was designed, in part, to channel the calming energy of Italy’s Le Sirenuse hotel before a week devoted to art fairs and luxury consumption shifted into high gear.

“Relax,” intoned Antonio Sersale, the proprietor of Le Sirenuse, as he circled the patio with the joyful air of a hotelier who deals in the good life. Servers floated by with fried oysters, and stations were set up with tacos and ceviche.

(Members of Gagosian’s staff, as well as many of the gallery’s clients, are fans and frequent guests at the five-star, family-owned hotel, organizers said.)

The crowd included Jeremy Pope, an actor and artist with work at the Scope Art Show; the photographer Tyler Mitchell; the artist Chloe Wise; and Meredith Darrow, an art adviser whose clients include Kim Kardashian. Guests drank champagne and margaritas by the pool and chatted with work friends. Larry Gagosian, the gallery owner, did not attend.

Ms. Wise, who is showing her work at Art Basel Miami Beach, said she planned to celebrate her birthday, see art and go to the beach.

“I feel very connected to Miami and Florida in a humorous and inspiring way,” she said, specifically referring to the bikini shops near the beach.

She continued: “It’s this combination of something I would like to satirize, something I look at, something I’m participating in, and I find it to be a very American consumerist sort of hilarious, yet meaningful, space.”

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