Drag queens channeling Britney Spears. A group selfie with Sean Penn. Singing along with Alicia Keys. The tropical bacchanal of art fairs, private dinners and A-list parties known as Art Basel Miami Beach has returned with a vengeance. Here are some highlights from Wednesday night.
Big Gay Night
There is usually one big gay-friendly party during Art Basel and this year’s was held by Loewe, the Spanish fashion brand, which took over Twist, a sprawling gay club in South Beach. Partygoers danced, drank and kiki’d well past 5 a.m.
Occasion: Loewe and Gayletter, a queer culture magazine, celebrated a new book of paintings by Florian Krewer.
The Room: Twist is a maze of seven interconnected bars, some featuring drag shows, dance floors and shirtless male go-go dancers who offer lap dances.
In Attendance: Jonathan Anderson, the creative director of Loewe; Ricky Martin; the actor Josh O’Connor; the actor Ansel Elgort; the actress Hari Nef; the drag queen Gigi Goode; the gallerist Lucas Zwirner; and Tom Jackson and Abi Benitez of Gayletter.
The Mood: “Today is my birthday and my mother just flew in,” Ms. Goode, a star of “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” said a bit after midnight. “We’re going to be spending the day at the art fair.” Did she know it was Britney Spears’s birthday, too? “Yes!” she said, adding that on Saturday she’d be throwing a Britney-themed party at House of Avalon in Los Angeles. “I’m doing ‘(You Drive Me) Crazy,’ and I’ve been practicing my choreography in my hotel room,” she said.
Leonardo DiCaprio got to Miami late and did not show up until 10:45 p.m., after the auction and dessert. But that did not dampen spirits at the 175-person dinner for Core, a charity started by Sean Penn and Ann Lee to help Haiti and other Latin American countries.
Occasion: The rare benefit party at Art Basel, which raised $1.6 million on Wednesday night.
The Room: A giant tent erected on the beach in front of the Soho Beach House, with about 20 burlap-covered dinner tables.
In Attendance: Mr. Penn, his daughter Dylan Penn, Mr. DiCaprio, Mark Anthony, Antoine Arnault, Delphine Arnault, Serena Williams, Craig Robins and Alan Faena.
The Food. Family-style plates of burrata, tuna tartare, meatballs, rigatoni, grilled branzino and beef tenderloin.
Moment of the Night: Reka Nyari, a photographer, auctioned off a selfie with the night’s V.I.P.s that was turned into an NFT. It sold for $200,000. And this was before Mr. DiCaprio showed up, in a black baseball cap and large gray mask.
The Mood: “I collect one artist named Gottfried Helnwein, simply because I came onto it before it cost too much,” Mr. Penn said. “I’m always doing movies that I want to do, that therefore pay less than my colleagues’. I’m an appreciator, but I’m not as sophisticated of an appreciator like Leo DiCaprio, who really puts his time into this.”
Ultimate Instagram Bait?
Superblue, the immersive art center started by Pace gallery in partnership with Laurene Powell Jobs’s Emerson Collective, introduced itself to the Art Basel crowd with a meditative concert by Alicia Keys. Before she performed, guests slipped on bootees and spent two hours winding their way through a mirrored Es Devlin installation that seemed tailor-made for selfies.
Occasion: The invitation read: “one-night-only experiential performance by Alicia Keys interweaving music, meditation, movement, art and technology.”
The Room: The 50,000-square-foot warehouse space featured an upside floral installation by DRIFT, as well as exhibitions created by James Turrell, Es Devlin and the art collective TeamLab.
In Attendance: About 600 art-world insiders including Ms. Keys; the art collectors Don and Mera Rubell (their museum is across the street); Leo Villareal, an artist; and Yvonne Force Villareal, a curator.
Moment of the Night: Just past 9 p.m., Ms. Keys led a guided meditation before performing a 75-minute set that included older hits like “Empire State of Mind” and “Girl on Fire,” with songs from her upcoming album, “Keys.”