Where art and Miami Beach mix

Kanye West Makes Celebrity Cameo at Art Basel

By Gilma Avalos
|  Thursday, Dec 5, 2013  |  Updated 12:59 AM EDT
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A panel discussion at Art Basel Wednesday night featured none other than Kanye West. NBC 6’s Gilma Avalos reports.

A panel discussion at Art Basel Wednesday night featured none other than Kanye West. NBC 6’s Gilma Avalos reports.

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Kanye West took on the art world in Midtown Miami Wednesday night.

The Grammy Award-winning rapper made a celebrity cameo at Art Basel, serving as a panelist during a design debate hosted by Surface magazine.

West talked about his art background, saying he was simply an art student who dropped out of college.

“I actually went to school for art, and sometimes I actually forget that, except for when I do tour and I look back at the stage and I say wait a second, I forgot, like this is the whole kind of trick that I pulled on everyone to make them think that I was a rapper or a musician or a celebrity when the entire time it’s all been a giant art project, or life has been like an art project in some way,” West said.

The musician sat next to two important members of the art world, architect Jacques Herzog and curator Hans Ulrich Obrist, for the sixth installment of the magazine's "Design Dialogues" series. Obrist, who moderated the event at the Moore Building, is co-director of Exhibitions and Programs at London’s Serpentine Gallery.

Some Art Basel partiers said they were there out of curiosity, while others said West’s perspective as an artist would give him something to bring to the table.

The event was a coming-out party for Surface magazine, an American contemporary design magazine that recently rebranded itself. The party celebrated Surface’s art issue, which is one of its most important editions.

“We wanted to show that we can bring three of the best people in the world – I mean, Hans Ulrich is the number one art curator, most influential person in the art world. Jacques Herzog is one of the best if not the best architect in the world,” Surface CEO Marc Lotenberg said. “And Kanye West is one of the most misunderstood but also the most fearless artists of our time.”

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