Each December for the last 13 years, nearly 100,000 artists, collectors, galleries, jetsetters and celebrities flock to South Beach to see art — and party — during international art festival Art Basel Miami Beach.
This year, celebrity activity dominated Art Basel. Academy Award winning actor Adrien Brody unveiled his own work for the first time at gallery space Lulu Laboratorium. Rapper A$AP Rocky performed at an Art Basel concert series on Saturday evening, and hotels rolled out the red carpet for the likes of Kylie Jenner, Bella Hadid, Paris Hilton and instagram star Josh Ostrovsky (The Fat Jewish).
Perhaps the celebrity to cause the biggest stir was Kasseem Dean, the successful record producer known as Swizz Beatz. Dean partnered with Bacardi to produce ‘No Commission,’ a three-day contemporary art fair he curated, which allowed emerging artists — such as Shepard Fairey and Kaws — to keep 100 percent of their sales.
Typically, a gallery will split sales down the middle with an artist, but Dean wants to change that. “From the artists standpoint, galleries are winning and collectors are winning, but artists still need to find their way home,” he says.
Dean hopes that this event will serve as a new model for the business relationships galleries are forging with artists. “I want them to feel like they can have a conversation about improvement,” Dean says. “I would love for galleries to look at this show and adjust small things. Even if they change it to a 55- 45 percent [split], we won.”
No Commission quickly became one of the most popular and exclusive events of the week. At night, the art fair closed and the space was transformed into a concert venue where performers like Dean’s wife, Alicia Keys, and rappers Pusha T and DMX took the stage before a packed crowd.