Celebs, fashion, 24k chicken wings

MIAMI (AP) – After a pandemic hiatus, the official Art Basel show is back in Miami with all its eccentric glory, a dizzying list of celebrity attendees and dozens of spin-off shows that are already generating a buzz, including a phenom child painter and a USD4 million Banksy sale.

Ten-year-old contemporary artist Andres Valencia’s gallery has already nearly sold out at Art Miami. The San Diego-based artist simply saw a cubist painting in his living room two years ago and declared, ‘I can do that’.

Actress Sophia Vergara bought one of his pieces this week and Channing Tatum, Jordan Belfort, and artist Shepard Fairey stopped by his booth at the Art Miami fair to check out his work, according to a spokesperson for Chase Contemporary.

Proceeds from Valencia’s works are going to the Perry J Cohen Foundation, which supports the arts, and environmental and wildlife education and preservation. Maddox Gallery is also showing at Art Miami, selling Banksy’s Charlie Brown for USD4 million on Tuesday. A spokeswoman for the gallery said this is the first year they’ve had a profound collection of Banksy canvases including many original works.

Basel’s annual prestigious December art fair draws collectors, socialites and celebrities from around the world.

But fashion has also played a prominent role in recent years with Christian Dior hosting its first ever US show in 2019 as a sort of unofficial kick-off to Miami’s art week.

Louis Vuitton did the same on Tuesday night, with its first ever US fashion show. But the sudden death of its 41-year-old legendary designer Virgil Abloh turned the show into a sombre yet whimsical celebration of life attended by Rihanna, Kim Kardashian West and her daughter North, Ye, the rapper formerly known as Kanye West, model Bella Hadid, Joe Jonas, Maluma and Pharrell. Kid Cudi and Erykah Badu performed at an after-party.

People walk outside of the Miami Beach Convention Center during the VIP preview of Art Basel Miami Beach. PHOTO: AP