The bourgeoisie and the rebel

Did you miss Art Basel Miami Beach 2013 – the who’s who of no one you know? Are you worried that others will think you are not cultured? Do you even know who Marina Abramović is? 

Don’t fret (fret is a fancy word for worry, and is used by people wearing scarves with high-wasted shorts at Basel). I got you.

Below I’ve assembled an easy-to-follow five-step plan that will help you get through that uncomfortable Monday morning what-did-you-do-this-weekend conversation with the twenty-something-year-old that will judge you if they were to find out you didn’t really go.


When asked, “Did you go to Basel this weekend?” respond with any of the below non-answers and let the other person take over the conversation.

  • Oh my God, the traffic!
  • My feet are pounding! 
  • So many people!
  • Wynwood is so much better than the Beach!


In the event that you are asked a follow up question like, “Which fairs did you visit?” Respond by choosing any three of the following:

  • Blip
  • Score
  • Plus
  • Dot
  • Smack
  • Taste
  • Splash
  • Zero

You can also create your own, as long as you stick to single words that could double as names of gay bars.


Update your social media accounts with random photos of “art.” Don’t worry about quality. I mean, it doesn’t have to be “real art,” by any means. The more random, the more believable. Walk around your house and snap a photo of dust bunnies under the couch, the spoons in your drawer or yogurt in the fridge. In case this task is too daunting, I’ve provided you with a few examples you can use:

so realistic.
“Hanger/Untitled” OMG so realistic.
"Lifeblood/Untitled" my faves.
“Lifeblood/Untitled” This was my faves.
"Tears of a Clown on LSD/Untitled" was really moving.
“Tears of a Clown on LSD/Untitled” Really moving.


Inevitably, someone will ask you about the Basel parties. “So, did you go to any of the pop-ups?” To make it through this final gauntlet of face-saving, you will need to incorporate all of the above techniques into a 30-second monologue of nothing.

Start with your non-answers:

  • Oh my god the traffic! And the people! It was crazy! Wynwood is so much better than the Beach!

Create new names for gay bars:

  • We ended up at (choose one of the following) Silent Sound, Spray, Cherry Lips

And then drop names of celebrities:

  • You know who I saw? I saw Marina Abramović! I know right? Hold on. It gets better. And she was with Pharrell. I almost died. Let me show you a picture <INSERT BLURRY NIGHT PHOTO>. That’s them in the corner! Crazy right?

Feel free to use this photo or create one of your own:

That's me in the corner next to the Hammer.
Crazy right?!


Whatever you say. Do not. Repeat. Do not mispronounce Basel and call it Art Basil.

Art Basil.
Art Basil.

Follow this plan and you will be transformed from basil rebel to Basel bourgeoisie. However, if you are too convincing, you may find yourself in some deep philosophical conversation about what is art and what is not, at which point you should just quote anything Madonna says from her (Not) Secret Project Revolution – or her Ray of Light album. Either one will do.

Published by Mari

I was born with a widow's peak and a thick accent. I majored in English as a second language. I work ( and travel ( and sometimes do both.

4 thoughts on “The bourgeoisie and the rebel

  1. I’m an old fart who’s favourite artist is Claude Monet. I’m afraid that Marina Abramović (whoever she is, and I’m not a particular lover of Serbian art) leaves me cold. I’ve just planted some basil in my yard, so when it grows, I’ll place it in a jar, put it on my table, and I’ll have some Art Basil.

      1. That’s All? I was hoping for much more so I could retire to Monte Carlo. Ah well, I suppose I’ll have to make do with Hialeah.

  2. Ha, ha… I don’t feel bad anymore, I attended only one event and it was at the Design District. Thank you for all the hints and photos I will definitely use, thank you for making the peeps that did not attend all the fairs, cool.

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