Once you buy that piece of pricey Miami Beach real estate, you need to decorate it. Which is why this year’s eighth annual Art Basel Miami Beach, held at the revamped Miami Beach Convention Center, was an essential stop for those with bare walls, those who love art, and those who just wanted to check out some really cool and beautiful things — along with celebrities like superagent Mike Ovitz and movie star Val Kilmer.
The mood at the VIP opening was decidedly bright, with attention actually focused on the art instead of the economy (unlike last year’s post Wall Street crash event). Several pricey pieces sold. In fact, opening night guests were more intimidated by the width of the aisles at the convention center and the amount of walking necessary to get from booth to booth than they were by the prices.
Artists represented at the event ran the gamut, from top artists like James Rosenquist and Guillermo Kuitca (who has a current retrospective at the Miami Art Museum), to those known for a different kind of artistic talent, like “Rambo” and “Rocky” star Sylvester Stallone. Apparently, he is a very accomplished oil painter. Who knew? Top galleries from around the country were on hand showcasing their top talent, and many were pleased with the results of the show.
Of course, not all the works exhibited fell under the heading of “serious artwork.” Unless you consider a chubby tree made of silver pipes, or a beach umbrella festooned with Christmas decorations, or a bunch of silver chains arranged to spell the word “Prozac,” serious art.
There’s always room for the wild and wacky at Art Basel, including the Chinese artist who has changed his name to MadeIn. As in “Made in China.”
Or, if one if his pieces winds up hanging in the wall of one of Miami’s luxury condos and homes, “Made in Miami.” You never know.
by Lisa Canfield
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