Many art exhibits include a hint of controversy to spice up the show and grab attention. From phallic symbols to bizarre mediums, there can be many eye-catching elements to sear images onto the brain. However, Mickalene Thomas' show titled “Better Nights” held at the Bass Museum during Miami’s Art Basel last Thursday has the art scene buzzing.
Tayo Otiti, a public relations guru was forced to turn guests away due to the venue being filled to the brim, reports Page Six. This was when Fabian Basabe, seen on E!'s “Filthy Rich: Cattle Drive" called a museum board member to be escorted inside. Things did not pan out as expected, and, instead of leaving gracefully, Basabe decided to endeavor on another course of action.
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The winner of the #CityofMiamiBeach's 2019 Legacy Purchase Program is Ebony G. Patterson! The artist's piece "...as the graden secretes a swarm of monarchs feast..." was shown by Chicago's @moniquemeloche Gallery at #ArtBaselMiami. The finalists were selected by the #AiPP and the work was voted on by the #MiamiBeachResidents from artists presented at Art Basel Miami. The city is devoted to not only the fairs, but the galleries and artists as well. __ 📸: 1. Daniel Moody, Image courtesy the artist and Monique Meloche Gallery, Chicago 2. #Repost @moniquemeloche @miamibeachnews #CityofMiamiBeach #ArtinPublicPlaces #AIPP #Miami #MiamiBeach #MBCC #ArtBaselMiami #ArtBasel #MiamiArtWeek #Miami #ABMB2019 #ContemporaryArt #Gallery #ArtFair #Artist #VisualArts #Painting #AbstractPainting #ModernArt #Creativity #ArtExhibition #ArtShow #ArtPractice #ArtLovers #ArtWorld
"The room is at capacity… People have to leave for me to let people in," Otiti said. Basabe then proceeded to upset other guests. He didn't stop there.
"When he’s leaving, he starts screaming at the top of his lungs, ‘peasant,’ ‘whore,’ ‘b***h’ at me… When he’s 50 yards away, he screams, ‘F**k you [N-word] b***h," she claimed.
Although Basabe admits to insulting Otiti, he attempts to clean it up by stating, "In passing, I said, ‘nice try, peasant.’ I 100 percent said it and will apologize for it. But she’s using the N-word and ‘whore’ to rally support… It is deeply upsetting and not true for her to use these trigger words.”
He did some name dropping as he continued, "I just had in my home, Cuba Gooding Jr.... praying with my kid! I just had George Foreman in my home just this past week… It’s truly unfair.” Since the spread of the fiery incident on social media, Basabe initiated a cease-and-desist letter against Otiti.
One of the on-duty guards, Fernando Sainz, who is also a retired law enforcement officer, backed Otiti's account of the ordeal, stating, "I may be old, but I am not deaf, and I heard it clear as a bell: ‘peasant,’ ‘N-word.’ Nobody deserves to be called that, and that’s what really upset me.”
A Bass Museum top official made it clear that the incident was circulated up and down the chain of command and that Basabe is barred from returning to the establishment.
The Art Basel is an international art fair founded in the 1970s. The four-day event coincides with an initiative by ZEAL that attempts to place a focus on Black Art and Black artists whose works are often duplicated but to whom credit is not always applied, reports the New York Times.