Dry your tears and stop fretting. Art Basel Miami Beach will return soon enough. As we are winding down from the breakneck pace, parties and thrills, let’s take a moment to reflect and celebrate the highlights. Shall we? Major art collectors, philanthropists, artists, business moguls, curators, museum directors, fashion designers, celebrities were all seen around town. From art collectors Eli Broad and Peter Brandt to Nancy Specter Curator of the Guggenheim, Julian Zugazagoita Director of the Nelson Atkins Museum, Herve Chandes Director of Fondation Cartier, Gucci owner Francois Pinault (who is considered to have the largest contemporary art collection in the world) all flew in for this event. There was a Damien Hirst sighting at the Soho Beach House. The dynamic duo of fashion, clothes designer Naeem Khan and his jewelry designer wife Ranjana were seen out and about town in their McLaren. Will Smith, Diddy, Michael Douglas, Catherine Zeta Jones, the Hilton sisters, Naomi Campbell and the list goes on. ABMB is such a wonderful financial boost for Miami’s economy. Slowly the word is trickling in that the fairs had solid sales. It is about time because art is as strong as bullion in today’s market.
The convention center did well with the sale of high ticket works of art by Chagall, Soutine, Modigliani, Brancusi, Diego Rivera, Leger, Picasso, Warhol’s, Damien Hirst and Anish Kapoor. Art Miami closed with record breaking attendance this year and strong sales. Nada reported strong sales as well. Pulse received rave reviews from avid collectors and reported strong sales. Scope and 7 were also right up there in terms of popularity and sales. Have not heard from the other satellite fairs but will get some feelers out right away. Some of the biggest sales are still under negotiations. Notable highlights include the Tides Hotel 3D video display on the exterior of the building. Prince William’s wax sculpture was probably the most photographed. Yes, fans were lining up to stand next to the dashing prince and have their photo taken with him. An enormous array of Andy Warhol’s were on view at the convention center. Art Miami’s Titian’s Saint Sebastian circa 1520 was on view for the very first time in the United States. Luis Valenzuela’s Eco Art Fashion Show lasted the entire week (LMNT, Arsht Center, the Albion Hotel and Transit Lounge). I have to admit there was one “live” performance installation that I could not convince myself to attend. And it was not because I was over extended. It was because I would have rescued artist Mira Kim from the living with a herd of pigs and would have whisked her to the nearest spa for a mani pedi. Not that I have anything against our special little piggy friends or against performance artists in general. In fact, admire performance artists very much. Take Maria Jose Arjona for instance. She too subjects herself to “uncomfortable” situations in the name of art. These two ladies have a lot of guts and courage. Tomorrow I think I stop by Miami Beach’s Canyon Ranch and inquire if there has been a Mira Kim sighting. I have a feeling half of Miami will be there trying to recover and sharing ABMB war stories.
by Tina Cornely