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Miley Cyrus performing at Art Basel@mileycyrus via Instagram

Miley Cyrus launches career as visual artist at Art Basel

Controversial art impresario and curator Jeffrey Deitch describes her as ‘the real deal’

"You thought this was a respected place where you could escape me?" Miley Cyrus told the crowd at Art Basel last night. The Miami art extravaganza attracts collectors and artists from all over the world, but it's safe to say that they did not think the Bangerz singer would be among their ranks.

With the help of controversial curator and former Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) Los Angeles director Jeffrey Deitch, Cyrus made a very sincere attempt to launch herself as a visual artist on Wednesday. She exhibited a range of her psycho-psychedelic craft sculptures at the Raleigh Hotel before performing in a silver wig for an invite-only crowd with Flaming Lips frontman Wayne Coyne. 

The 22-year-old singer played mainly covers, including the Beatles' "Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds", Johnny Cash and Led Zeppelin. Cyrus told the audience that she had gone through a difficult year after her twerkathon at the MTV Video Music Awards and the death of her dog.

Shortly before launching into a song written after a friend's cat spoke to her in a dream, Cyrus said: "This year has constantly challenged me, and that's why I started doing art."

According to artnet news, Cyrus has the enthusiastic support of Deitch, who told Basel collectors that she is "the real deal".

He added: "It's southern outsider art, very close to Mike Kelley. We have a remarkable situation where someone channels her vision through music, art, theater, and fashion." (At this point, it is worth noting that Deitch was heavily criticised by trustees for his "celebrity-driven programme" when he was heading up MOCA.)

This marks Cyrus' debut outing as an artist at Basel. She previously dipped her toe into fashion design by creating PLUR-tastic jewellery for friend Jeremy Scott's SS15 show and exhibited her first sculptures during a solo show called Dirty Hippie at New York Fashion Week. 

What do you think of Miley the artist?