Have Art Fairs Destroyed Art? Zombie Abstraction and Dumb Painting Ruled in Miami?

“If no one ever looked at art, would anybody even create it? And how much does art actually need buyers.” Extremely reasonable questions put forth by the 2014 BMW Art Guide by Independent Collectors, these queries appeared especially intriguing during the latest iteration of Art Basel in Miami Beach (ABMB). A positively gilded affair that looks increasingly beholden to a global art-as-asset aesthetic, this year’s ABMB featured lots of shiny surfaces, stacks of joke paintings, and enough zombie abstraction to inspire several remakes of World War Z. The fair’s thronged aisles of mostly uniform wares also sparked a few less politic questions. Among them: Who buys all this shit?

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