Art Basel Miami Beach 2014 Market parties

TV Party Does Miami

Glenn O' Brien and Theophilus London. Photographer: Neil Rasmus /

Glenn O’ Brien and Theophilus London.


“Fuck New York, fuck L.A., we’re putting Miami on the map,” said a drag queen named the American Dream, who carried four American flag umbrellas. She was, at that moment, being interviewed on a couch by Kembra Pfahler, who from time to time dropped to her knees to worship her and her three similarly dressed friends

“It’s sexy it’s fun, and it’s artistic now,” continued the American Dream, on Miami.

The American Dream, and her ilk, had wandered into Glenn O’Brien’s TV Party last night, at a pop-up Neuehouse inside the Hotel Casa Claridge.

Like all of his televised parties, which began in 1978 on public access but were recently picked up by Vice, the scene in the hotel was weird. The drinking in the foyer yielded to performances. Later in the night Theophilus London serenaded all levels of the casa, which has a village square-style atrium, and a rapper named Thurston Howell III did a freestyle tone poem about how “crazy bitches got the best pussy.”

A producer wandered up to O’Brien, dressed in all white, to tell him that Alex Rodriguez had just arrived. Did he want to interview him? “Get Hailey to do it,” O’Brien said. “It’ll be better with a girl.”

“Get him to show her his arms, where he shot the steroids,” he advised. “Get her to ask him if his balls shrunk.”

Rodriguez, and the hedge fund billionaire Dan Loeb, actually happened to be hanging out near the bathroom, Rodgriguez in the middle of telling someone, “that’s why we’re such a good team,” meaning him and Loeb. They declined to give a quote and when told that there were plans to get them on camera they agreed they’d “better get out of” there, and left. Co-host Scout Willis did nab an interview with Howell, though.

Outside on a terrace, André Saraiva, the Le Baron owner and co-host for most of O’Briens’s recent TV Parties, discussed plans to graffiti the entire exterior of an abandoned building nearby.

“Tomorrow,” he said, “It will be Mr. A’s,” referring to his tag. It wouldn’t take as long as you’d think, he said, because he happened to be very fast in such matters, having learned to be from dodging les flics.

Asked how the Miami party scene was different from others, he said it tended to be more laid back. “If you smoke inside they don’t throw you out,” he said. “If you have sex in the bathroom they don’t call the police. If you sniff some powdered sugar they don’t look at you like you’re an assassin.”

Saraiva also mentioned that he was single at the moment. Was he dating? “In France, we don’t go on dates.” Well what do you do instead? “We have sex with girls. Dates is fake. Blah, blah blah. What do you want?”

“I like your earrings,” an art girl with frizzy hair and a nightgown told an older woman inside. “They’re like tiny robots.”

“Thank you, these are 19th century, actually,” she replied. “Sort of an ancient modernism.”

“I believe it,” said the girl.

Soon the artist Todd Eberle arrived. He’d recently been featured as a suggested profile for new users to Instagram, a feature that saw him receive 48,000 followers in 2 weeks. Then they took him off. “Disappointment, befuddlement,” he said about how that made him feel. “Anger. No, no really.”

All the same, he was a firm believer in the power of Instagram. He recently discussed the app with Hans Ulrich Obrist, who apparently has “a whole staff of people” who look for the unique stationary on which his Instagrammed notes from artists are written.

Though Eberle laughed off the follower boost, he also did see Instagram as something significant in the world. “There are people who don’t use Instagram and those who do,” he said. The difference is between “people who are not engaged with the world, and those who are,” he said, meaning respectively.

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