Kicking off the opening of Art Basel was the 7th Annual Bombay Sapphire Artisan Series finale party at 11 11 Lincoln Road, a transformed garage space. The exclusive event was hosted by hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons and his brother Danny Simmons, a renowned neo-African abstract expressionist painter.
Launched in 2010 as a collaboration of the brothers’ RUSH Philanthropic Arts Foundation, the event is an annual competition committed to discovering the next big talents in the visual arts. Thousands of artists submitted across the US and Canada but only the works of 16 artists were chosen to display that night. The Grand prize went to Philadelphia artist Darius Frank, who will now go on to collaborate with New York based non-profit arts organization, Creative Time on a groundbreaking public arts project scheduled to come out in Spring 2017 and win a solo exhibition at next year’s SCOPE Miami Beach.
Jermaine Dupri DJed the night and celebrity guests included A$AP Rocky and Rosario Dawson, and new to the scene Sasha Lane. Those in attendance enjoyed artfully crafted BOMBAY SAPPHIRE cocktails and hor d’oeuvres.
Bombay Sapphire hosted another elusive event at the Faena Hotel called the Night Market at the Pao by top chef Paul Qui. Held on its outdoor terrace, the nightly market inspired my South-East Asia featured exclusive menus from 5 different top chefs, cocktail collaborations coupled with live music and original work by artist Tracey Emin. The chefs’ creations included John Fraser’s jerked avocado lettuce wrap with goat cheese, watermelon and crispy onion; Erik Bruncer-Yang’s Taiwanese oyster omelet with tomato gastrique; Paul Qui’s chicken inasal with yogurt, pickled onions and achara; Ed Lee’s beef kabli with cheese and kimchi hodduk; and Christopher Haatuft steamed crab in cabbage with porky dill sauce. Those attending did not leave on an empty stomach.