Art Basel was fun again this year. After a recession-stained climate last year led to toned down partying, collectors and dealers (and everyone else) was back in style this time around. According to the Wall Street Journal, it seemed like everyone was throwing a party this year, with the likes of Larry Gagosian and Lance Armstrong getting in on the action. And, the parties didn't suck. Hosts went all out -- with live music and other attractions -- to separate themselves from the competition. Some even tried something new, with the words "Everybody has a Damien Hirst" uttered.
Of course, there were enough celebrities in supply to ensure that every host had one to boast about. Scott Stapp, lead singer of Creed, and Russell Simmons, for example, were present at the Mondrian South Beach Hotel. Simmons is a committed collector of works by Jean-Michel Basquiat and Barbara Krueger and was in town to raise money for his charity, Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation.
An after-party hosted by Julian Schnabel's art dealer son, Vito, attracted some big names, as well. Peter Brant, an art collector who recently tried to move "Brother Sausage" by Basquiat at auction, was there, along with Abby Rosen.