If only he'd made it to South Beach – Franco would have been heralded by the assembled art-erati. Indeed, after a flurry of starpower at the start, celebrity sightings have been scarcer than Jon Gosselin's dignity this year. "Celebrities don't collect art. Look at the economy. They only come down here when we pay them, and there's no money for it," shrugged one publicist.
Brad Pitt, usually an enthusiastic shopper at Design Miami, was likely too busy filling out more adoption papers to browse at the fair. Instead, his boldfaced space was taken up by the likes of Suze Orman, spotted at the fair with much whispering – a sign of the slim celeb pickings – as well as Stephen Dorff and Val Kilmer. They came for art-browsing as well as partying with developer Aby Rosen and Interview magazine's Peter Brant at a buffet dinner the pair hosted at the new W hotel, which doubles up as a de facto gallery for Rosen's fistfuls of art.
Of the celebs in town, no-one's been more elusive than Pharrell Williams, even though he only lives a cab ride away. He proved camera-shy at the debut of his film "The Ear" at architect Chad Oppenheim's house. "I just don't know where he is," hissed one party planner while furiously Blackberrying. (Pharrell did manage to make it to a dinner for Emilio Pucci a few days earlier, though he didn't have any hosting responsibilities there - perhaps he's just a fan of the iconic print.)
Despite no Pitt, there was a Pittman – as in Bob, one of the founders of AOL. The unemployed billionaire launched his latest venture, a $275-bottle tequila called Casa Dragones, aboard his own private yacht to one of the week's toniest crowds: not just art heavy hitters like Sam Keller and Marc Spiegler - the former and current directors of the Art Basel fair - but guaranteed glamour fixtures including hotelier André Balazs.
Indeed, Balazs's Standard Hotel has been one of the buzziest party spots of the week, especially his bash for Bruce Weber's latest book, "Roberto Bolle: An Athlete in Tights." The usual fashion-skewing crowd was there, including Kelly Bensimon, the Caten twins from DSquared, and of course Miami mainstay Calvin Klein. "Art is not about glamour, it's about sophistication, culture, refinement," said the latter. "Fashion may be superficial but it's about glamour. Art is more serious."
Only at Art Basel Miami Beach might that not be quite true.
Read the previous party report here.