Art Basel Miami is a trip. First of all it is huge—beyond huge, covering most of the floor space of the Miami Beach Convention Center. Dealers come from all over for this 4-day orgy of “wretched excess”. For the dealers it is the place where thy come to meet collectors, sell their art , and network with each other. For the public, it is a peep show of bad art, bad fashion, and bad manners. Its where everybody comes to show off. The dealers have no interest in this. For the most part they sit on severe ill-designed chairs dressed in black suits with excessively shortened jackets, staring at their iBooks. The woman dealers are dressed the same except they are shapely with blond hair and I think their role is to reel in the male collectors but I am not sure. For all they care, they could be sitting in an empty room. When a colleague, or a known collector shows up, they come alive and the sucking and stroking begin.
As I have previously mentioned, 95% of it is dreck, 4.5% is Eh!… and the rest is very good. There are always interesting pieces to be seen but you have to stumble through an endless throng of “the public”, artists and near artists, filthy rich people (who are probably actually looking for something to buy) and young people who are dressed up as artists (or so they think) because they are outfitted in outlandish costumes, bad hair and other oddities that will get you noticed. There was even an old couple (I think they were aging lesbians, however they could have been men) dressed as women in matching costumes, There was endless plastic jewelry covering most of their bodies. They were bald, and covered in pasty make-up. Very exciting.
This photograph is of a few dealers in conference. Who knows what was going on. A deal gone bad, a check gone bad, a prospective client gone dark?