Miami Basel Recap
There were many articles all week long about how less crowded it was this year than years past. Lots of theories. I have a few thoughts on that. My guess is many of the reservations were cancelled around the Zika scare. If I was of child-bearing age I would not come down here either. They really don’t know enough about Zika yet and why take a risk. The people we saw walking the shows were mostly older.
It seems like the shows did well but there is also speculation around the state of the world. No doubt taxes will go down with the Trump administration as his cabinet is looking extremely old school Wall Street tilting very right. China is a major player in the art world and his conversation with Taiwan scares people. More than anything people buy art when they are feeling upbeat, happy and confident. I am not so sure that people are feeling this way but more on edge here and abroad. There are a lot of speculators in the art market who buy for investment purposes to flip later on and that might be something that collectors are wary of.
We collect like we invest. Early stage = emerging artists. It is something we enjoy doing. We have never sold a piece that we have purchased and have been collecting a long time. Everyone comes to this fair with a different agenda. We love the art, the artists, the process, the history and to be surrounded by work that resonates with us.
Our favorite shows were Pulse and Untitled. The really out there satellites were the most interesting and discussion worthy. It is what stayed with me. It was at the Satellite Fair where we saw a lot of galleries from second tier cities such as Baltimore to North Carolina. The artists and gallerists all had the same look at that show. I hate to use the word Brooklynesque but there is a look and feel from all of them that is a constant. This generation grew up with more information coming their way than the past. There is a take on their future that is almost apocalyptic. Social media and media in general 24/7 has created an even flatter world so the youth in the Middle East can be connected to someone in LA yet they are comfortable with their religion setting them apart. That is a good thing. On the other hand there is a backlash to simplicity and survival mode in the work. A backlash to big money and a connection to community and doing what makes them happy. It is really interesting and reflective in the gallerists and the artists.
The populist Governments across the globe will be represented in art as we move forward. It was great to see so much video and technology incorporated in works and my guess is we will see more of that. It is part of the ever evolving art world. The artists and people in the art world tend to not be part of the populist movement. They are really representative and embracive of a changing world and their work shows that.
Next years Basel will be a lot more interesting than this one as the next twelve months is a serious crapshoot.