If you’re going to Art Basel, you’re going to party. If you want to party, you want to do it big. And if you want to do it big, that can mean two things: 1) actual big-ness (as in scale), or 2) a big-ness of ideas. Hands on the Sand at the beloved W Hotel in South Beach wasn’t massive in scope, but it represented sprawling, electric creativity. That energy drew in the fashionable, the stylish, and the ineffably cool.
The result is simple. One of the best parties in all of Art Basel week. Period.
In many ways, the party was centered around an installation by skyrocketing Argentinian art star Pilar Zeta, called Future Transmutation. Zeta has worked with Coldplay (she was nominated for a grammy for her work on Everyday Life) and Katy Perry, so to score an installation from her feels like a great choice for the W and they committed to it — space, resources, publicity, and energy — in full.
“This is an altar for transmuting your energy,” Zeta told me at the party. “The work uses symbolism to connect you to your future self, what you want to create, and entering a new experience.”
It was also visually striking and engaging. As this picture of the artist, taken by me, reveals:
The installation also conjured religious practice, the occult, and, in many ways, our increasingly digital lives — as the shapes and objects Zeta plays with are so clean and clearly defined that they look like computer renders. The installation, centered on 44 glowing tiles, launched in tandem with a psychedelic intervention by the equally reknowned Miranda Makaroff and an iteration of the widely beloved party series, well known to the Ibitza set, Hands on The Sand. Djs Pascal Moscheni and Chloe Caillet caught the vibe of the artsy, stylish crowd and ran with it — building two slow burn sets that hit a fever pitch with one-performer drag show by Gottmik well past midnight.
“This is a fantasy space,” Zeta told me, speaking on her work but perhaps of the party too. “I hope it inspires people to create in whichever ways they wish.”
Creativity is certainly the theme of these photos from the party but, be warned — if you suffer from “mimetic desire” like they talk about in this season’s White Lotus, you’re going to be aching with some serious FOMO. Bella Thorne, The Secular Sabbath Crew, Scout Larue Willis, art stars, models, and a whole bunch of the most stylish people alive… It was a scene in all the best ways.