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Suit Up! It’s Time for Art Basel Miami Beach and Design Miami

Hot Pursuit: Erwin Wurm’s “Big Hoody” (2010) at the Art Basel Miami Beach booth of Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac and Nick Cave’s “Soundsuits” (2011) on offer at Jack Shainman Gallery. (Photos: UnBeige and Jack Shainman Gallery)

First the turkey, then the art and design. Today Art Basel Miami Beach opened its doors to the public. Now in its tenth year, the ever-expanding fair is showcasing works from a eye-watering 2,000 artists represented by approximately 260 galleries worldwide. Based on the champagne-swilling VIPs at yesterday’s preview (we spotted Morley Safer lounging with a cigarette and intially mistook him for a highly realistic sculpture), Erwin Wurm is gaining a lot of new fans, thanks in part to crowd-pleasing works on view at the booth of Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac. Drawn in by the Vienna-based artist’s disembodied pink hoodie (above), few fairgoers can resist standing under the neighboring giant, wall-mounted police officer’s cap. Wurm was also feted last night at the Bass Museum of Art, where an exhibition of his genre-bending work opened today.

Right around the corner from the Convention Center, Design Miami got a headstart on things with its opening yesterday, complete with a Veuve Clicquot-sponsored food truck and champagne lounge. In addition to works from 23 galleries, this year’s fair features “Craft Alchemy,” a performance project in which designer Elisa Strozyk and artist Sebastian Neeb work their magic on Fendi’s leather scraps. Meanwhile, architect David Adjaye gets his close-up as designer of the year, while Bjarke Ingels has teamed up with Audi on a “digital street” environment. And what’s that floral aroma wafting through the tent? Belle-Ile, a fragrance created by olfactive branding company 12.29 especially for Design Miami.

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