Art Basel Miami Beach 2015

Rumpus Room: Devin Troy Strother Throws a Rager in South Beach

Devin Troy Strother Space Jam Marlborough Chelsea

Devin Troy Strother, Space Jam.


Saturday night in the basement of the Miami Beach Edition hotel—that one place with the ice skating rink and the bowling alley inside of the club (I pathetically recognized it from my Instagram feed)—the artist Devin Troy Strother threw a party with his Mexico City gallery Anonymous.

When I walked in, on the early side, there weren’t that many people, but the bass more than compensated. Some party kids bowled in the Technicolor alley. Three separate photographers walked around and took photos. The bar-back wore a Mexican wrestling mask. One bouncer tentatively held a beachball for some reason. I thought back to the first time I came to Miami, when I was 20. This kind of scene might have been novel to me back then, but at this point I can barely muster up a bad Entourage joke.

(When I arrived, the music was care of the DJ Jahphet Landis, who I knew from his days playing drums in the spazz punk band the Death Set, but who currently hits the skins for TV on the Radio. I wanted to talk to him, but after several failed attempts at shouting at each other over the heavy bass, we both gave up.)

Luckily, the man of the hour was much more psyched than my boring ass. “I’m on a lot of Molly right now,” Strother told me. “I got into the ocean at 11:30 this morning and took four Molly pills and got wavey.” I suggested to him the Miami outpost of the legendary Russian and Turkish Baths if he needed a place to detox the next day. “I’m not trying to. Yeah,” he told me. Fair enough!

I wandered around more and watched some asshole in a blazer and T-shirt do a spin move to “Hotline Bling” as he pretended to be excited about bowling. I peeked into the adjacent room, which contained a Metallica pinball machine and reminded me of something you might see at a mid-tier Northern Wisconsin resort. A rumpus room, if you will. More people took more photos, posing mildly suggestive style with bowling balls. I don’t know, at this point I was pretty tired. I’m going to take the blame for my lack of enthusiasm. (I shared an Uber with two men on my way out of the club who we’re impressively wasted, considering it wasn’t even midnight yet. One of them asked me if I knew where the Versace Mansion was. I didn’t.)

Later, the musician Father would perform in the upscale bowling alley, a much different setting from the first time I saw him, at the packed Brooklyn club The Flat, where he played his great hit “Wrists” to a sweaty, moshing audience. I asked Strother if he was going to bowl that night. “No, I don’t bowl,” he told me. What about ice-skating? No to that, too. “I just do drugs,” he clarified.

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