Off to the races: Miami Basel Begins, with Buoyant Sales Reports, a Bevy of Stella, and a Grab Bag of Celebrities

Art Basel Miami Beach opened its doors this morning to Earth’s primo art collectors, who perused the offerings from 267 galleries en route to snapping up works by blue-chip artists such as Picasso and Frank Stella, who continues his hot streak by having a dozen works spread among four different booths.

Even more eye-catching are the text-based neon works that have become a staple of art fairs in the age of Instagram. Again, this is Miami Beach, where neon seems to line even the palm trees, so this is to be expected, but the unending stream of platitudes written in glowing mercury started to cause strained corneas: Tracey Emin’s I forgot how beautiful you are at White Cube, Sylvie Fleury’s Eternity Now at Galerie Thaddeus Ropac, and—most prominently—the all-caps naughtiness of Karl Holmqvist’s Who Run This Mother at Gavin Brown’s Enterprise.

“I think this is going to be the most popular Instagram of the motherfucking fair,” said Thor Shannon, a dealer with the gallery.

 

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