Later this week, Miami will be the scene of endless Art Basel-related festivities (including a few of our own one-hour dance parties!). What separates a regular person gathering from an arty party, aside from the presence of this mysterious species that we have dubbed artists? What distinguishes dressed-up drunks flailing about from a conceptual happening? We have gathered together a few festive predecessors and recent notable contemporaries whose notorious parties combine parting with, um, artying. This isn’t just because the social gatherings took unusual forms in strange places, but because their attendees were trying to reach something a bit more than plain hedonism — a discourse, a spectacle, or, at the very least, an experience — with mixed results, naturally. Don’t hate. Let’s party.
Image credit: Hillier London
Allow us to direct your attention to this 1972 Palm Beach Daily News article about the notorious Surrealist Party thrown by Baroness Marie-Helene de Rothschild, wife of Baron Guy de Rothschild. “Salvador Dalí was wheeled in by his masseuse and escorted by his muse, Amanda, dressed up in a jawbone.” Then, things got weird.