Miley Cyrus performed in Miami to open Art Basel last night. The set was a mix of her own music and covers of Led Zeppelin, The Beatles, and Johnny Cash. It was described as an “emotional” appearance as she told the audience that she’s had a challenging year, struggling with the death of her dog, and reassessing some of her choices. That’s also the reason why she says she “started doing art”. Still, she acknowledged that the art environment wasn’t exactly her world.

“You thought [Art Basel] was a respected place where you could escape me.” 

It’s the kind of cheeky statement Madonna would have once said, when she still had some self-awareness.

But is Art Basel a respected place? Or has it just become the Coachella of art?

Yes, Miley dressed provocatively. Yes, she smoked weed. Yes, you’re clutching your pearls. But seeing Miley lately with Patrick Schwarzenegger, when she’s not on stage, hanging out in Malibu, in maxi skirts and hoodies, on the sidelines at a football game in a varsity jacket, is there an argument to be made for separating a creative persona that’s presented in performance from a private persona that’s supposed to be a mystery? Lady Gaga doesn’t have that divide. Neither, you could say, does Taylor Swift. But I do wonder whether or not that’s the case with Miley.

Patrick is with her on the trip. He was with her last night after the show. It didn’t work out with Liam Hemsworth because of youth and change. She was changing and at a rapid rate, as we all do in cycles. Right now, with Patrick Schwarzenegger, what she is to him is already what he knows – there’s no before and after, there’s no requirement for an adjustment. The foam finger had already happened. It’s a good place to start.