That Time Miley Cyrus Came to Art Basel

So last night was the night that Jeffrey Deitch brought Miley Cyrus to Art Basel so that she could sing “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds” with Wayne Coyne of the Flaming Lips, the both of them tucked inside a giant plush rainbow costume. It was a night that most people seemed eager to hate the hell out of. Cyrus, wearing a glittery wig and gleefully slapping whatever female posterior twerked its way toward her on stage, was foul-mouthed and lovable, mostly. She let us know that, contrary to her normal protocal for performance days, she had indeed drank and smoked weed in advance of her set. She gave a long, rambling, self-deprecatory explanation of her recent endeavors into the world of contemporary art, after which she started talking about someone’s dead cat, and sang a pretty good piano ballad about the dead cat (even though it’s banging-key histrionics did slightly recall Dana Carvey’s classic “chopping broccoli” riff).

The venue was the Raleigh Hotel on Collins Avenue, and the evening had been organized by Jeffrey Deitch and V Magazine. Bubbles and shiny foil drifted through the air. Cyrus made it abundantly clear that she did not give a fuck about, well, anything really. She showed off her shiny pasties. The band played Johnny Cash, a bunch of Beatles, Led Zeppelin, and Rick James’s “Superfreak.” Cans of Bud Light cost $10 at the cash bar. Cyrus was high—really, really high—and she let us know about it. She and Wayne Coyne both talked about how they hate mean, awful people, especially mean, awful people who do mean, awful things to animals; these sentiments were expressed while the both of them clutched animals of the stuffed variety.

Am I making this sound terrible? It wasn’t, really. Sure, the real world had just been lit up by news that a grand jury would not indict the cop who choked Eric Garner into an early grave, so it was a bit disconcerting to watch a former Disney tween star and an Oklahoma acid-head blissfully singing how they “read the news today, oh boy.” And sure, maybe Cyrus’s forays into art-making are dire, with horrible consequences for the art world, whatever that means, but I can’t imagine her hobbies will cause any more harm than, say, James Franco already has.

— Scott Indrisek (@indrisek)

(Photos: Scott Indrisek)