December 4, 2014

Lucky 13 for Art Basel Miami Beach?


Organizers of Art Basel in Miami Beach, now in its 13th year, are hoping so. The event, which opens today and runs until Sunday, is certainly the world’s best known art fairs, and it has created a whole week’s long festival of exhibitions, happenings, parties, smaller fairs, openings, product launches and events for which there is no known category—last night at the Raleigh Hotel, for example, Miley Cyrus performed at the behest of uber-curator Jeffrey Deitch.

Inside the Miami Beach Convention Center is where the real, twerk-free action is, with 267 of the world’s top galleries gathered in a overwhelmingly concentrated fashion. A certain glazed-over look is common in the visitors, since there is so much to look at.

“We’re seeing a lot of new collectors this year, especially from Europe and Asia,” says the fair’s director, Marc Spiegler. “Miami is a known quantity, and it makes the idea of going to an art fair approachable.”

He added, “We’re also getting a lot of museum groups. The directors love to brings their patrons and spend some real time looking at art.” And sometimes those patrons are museum trustees who are buying for their institutions.

At least dealers hope so. The big sales tend to happen early, when VIP buyers are allowed inside. The New York dealer Per Skarstedt, for example, reported three sales for over $1 million each, including a painting by German artist Sigmar Polke—and that was before the fair was even officially open to the public.

Want to see some of the highlights—from the sublime to the outrageous—from this year’s fair? Scroll through this handy slideshow.

Related: Must-Sees at the 10th Edition of Design Miami

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