Photo Diary: Aaliyah, Fashion, Art, and Under-boobs at Art Basel Miami

A local takes her camera out to document the wild nights, parties and all the art in Miami Beach.

Photos and text by Cat Roif 

So, I’m from Miami and have been going to Art Basel since its South Florida debut back in the early 2000’s when I was still in high school. This was my first year actually attending the main tent in Miami Beach.

Wandering around Miami with a camera could be my number one favorite thing to do.  
The nights are wild and warm and free to last till the sun comes up. I snuck into a lot of parties over the weekend and can’t tell you where all of these photos are from. I can tell you though, that I had a great freaking time and that I always found myself at the beach at the end of the night. I met a girl who told me the moon was calling out to her and we skinny dipped under the silver light. 
Thank you always, Miami.

This piece is by Alex da Corte, Meat and stinking chips, 2017. WWF fake wrestling was one of my first true loves, so I think looking back that’s what drew me to this piece. I’m also a big sucker for color and cats.

Manet’s Olympia is one of my favorite paintings. This is Jeff Koon’s Gazing Ball series, 2017. Coming from LA, I’ve become familiar with more of his work in the last five years and was drawn to this piece in the series.

Keith Edmier had a sequence of plaster faces emerging out of the wall. This is Ice Cube, he was my favorite 🙂

Above is Tony Tasset’s Fallen Snowman, 2017. It’s always fun to see snow in Miami :), even though I never have. We used to get snow days in middle school just because it was below 45 degrees, regardless of the chance of snow.

Abive is Leticia Parente’s Tarefa I, 1982. In this video piece the artist lies on an ironing board while her maid is ironing (with the artist inside the clothes).

Above, Rodney Graham’s Media Studies ’77, 2016. I’m a photography nerd, and this image stood out brightly in it’s light-box presentation. It reminded me of color photos from the 70’s.

Above, Nick Cave’s Hustle Coat, 2017. This piece reminded me of the Nasty Gal vintage clothing racks from the days I used to work there.

Above, Tom Wesselmann, Steel Drawing (Sitting Nude), 1986-87.
I really fell in love with the line and color work of this ‘steel drawing’. Eighties, simple, sexy, one of my personal favorite haircuts, and the only piece I photographed that had a sold sticker on it. Soon to hopefully be adorning in an equally 80’s Miami Vice apartment on Star Island.

Ran into Marilyn, the homie from Miami, who I met in Miami, also known as @calientechica.

This gentleman was standing by this orange sculpture in his perfect shade of orange pants and I couldn’t help myself.

Roe Ethridge is one of my favorite photographers. I took the photo of Greta with Sacrifice Your Body, 2015, before I knew who the artist was, but was pleasantly not surprised to find out when I looked at the title.

Primary interactive light sculpture by Gabriel Kuri, 3 in 1/3, 2017.

A beautiful portrait of a man with his hands raised and a palm crown behind him at the fair.

Wynwood is a district in Miami that has changed a lot since the first Art Basel fair. It’s now most famous for it’s colorful murals by local artists. It has become equally as relevant to the Basel weekend as the formal Miami Beach art tents.

I grew up listening to Miami radio, which means a lot of booty bass. I love this mural and I love all of these local radio stations.

This is Isaac. He is thirteen and I think he is very talented. Amidst the drunk colorful crowds walking all over the design district on Sunday he sat in a blue corner with his blue typewriter. He had a sign advertising his poetry. Donate based, you would offer up a word and he would create a custom literary piece for you. He might have been the best thing I saw all weekend.


He even wrote a poem about Nasty Gal. Follow him! @Poemmeisterike

Above, a painting by LA artist @Kevin_Spring_ 

Above, a piece by John Margaritis and the NY Sunshine Install Team.