Inside W Hotels' Creative Crossroads Basel Panel

Inside W Hotels' Creative Crossroads Basel Panel

BYPaper MagazineDec 13, 2023

What would Art Basel Miami be without a party? W Hotels convened a group of some of the foremost creatives at Basel for an interdisciplinary panel and afterparty that intersected the worlds of food, art and music. It was an evening equal parts resonant and raucous.

The initiating panel, moderated by PAPER Editor-in-Chief Justin Moran, brought together a venerable lineup of talents, all of whom straddle the lines between music and art. LP Giobbi (DJ and Global Music Director of W Hotels); Lucas Von Oostrom (Co-Founder of Studio Drift); Celeste Greenberg (Co-Founder of Tuleste Factory); Marc Spiegler (Former Global Director of Art Basel); and Carlita (DJ and Co-Founder of Senza Fine) all brought their unique perspectives to discuss the many ways that music has become increasingly central to the world’s most talked-about art fair.

“Music has become more and more part of the art world since people decided to go beyond painting and sculpture and [incorporate] music in the work being done,” said Spiegler, who has directed Art Basel for more than 15 years. “But, Art Basel, Miami Beach, included music from the beginning. I say this as a reformed club kid: if I wasn't running Art Basel, I literally would have gone dancing every night, because the depth of music was that insane [in Miami].”

That history resonated on the panel, especially with Romano, Chisholm and Van Oostrom, who brought in their DJ know-how to bring us closer to the ever-changing links between fine art and music. It also resonated with Celeste Greenberg of Tuleste Factory, an art and design gallery located in Chelsea, New York, who shared how music informs her own curatorial practice.

“Our booth at Design Miami this year is inspired by Stanley Kubrick and Pedro Almodóvar films. In all of these films there is a soundtrack [or] score that guides you through and puts you in a trance,” said Greenberg. “[At Tuleste Factory], we want everything to have a melody, [rather than] just showing 10 different design pieces.”

Spiegler added, “In general, the art world is a place where borders are rotting and falling. When I first entered the art world 25 years ago, people refused to be bound by a medium. Now people are refusing to be defined by the category of visual arts. Think of someone like Wolfgang Tillmans, who's arguably the greatest photographer living today. He also makes great electronic records with people like Frank Ocean.”

That boundless creativity suffused the party that immediately followed the panel. Set in the immersive, multi-level Senza Fine Bungalow, designed by Tuleste Factory, the party became an experiential nexus where the creatives in attendance could lose themselves in music while basking in the colorful light display. As for the evening’s sets, Carlita brought her signature vibrant sound to the decks, while DJ Tennis, who was serving double duty as the night’s food curator and DJ, brought the proverbial flavor. LP Giobbi evoked W’s signature, creative-forward thinking ethos with her ever-pulsing set.

In fact, the whole night, which was the product of a collaboration between W Hotels, Senza Fine and Tuleste Factory, was a testament to W Hotels’ longstanding commitment to the arts and creatives. Through both their hotels (which include hotel suite recording studios), and their live performance series and global music festival series, W Hotels serves as a connector for the creatives making culture happen. That connection though is informed by their curated spaces and forward-thinking attitude.

“It's part of the environment that we're trying to create with W. [Guests should] feel empowered and adventurous, that they're discovering new things [when they come into a W],” Giobbi said. “We do that through art, design and music. I think when you're nailing both, they elevate each other.” One could certainly feel that elevation as the drinks flowed and the music propelled guests to move.

As the night wound down, tired dancers sighed off the dance floor. It was yet another night of Art Basel, after all, and everyone had to be sure to reserve just a semblance of energy for what was bound to be more music, more dancing in the nights to come.

For more of what you missed at Art Basel, Miami Beach, click here.

Photos via BFA