Fun in the Sun at Miami Art Basel 2008
by Don Porcella
I went to Miami and visited the 2008 Miami Art Basel Art Fairs. It was an amazing experience to be in Miami and to get a first hand account of the art market. As has already been reported, The Art World is NOT Dead, Whew!!!!! It is alive and well. And as my gallery told me, "If you make good art, people will buy it no matter what the economy is like"
The Art Market is not dead, but it has slowed down. Seeing the art market come back to earth after the last few years offers collectors and viewers an easy pace to see and buy art. I went to several fairs including Art Basel, Scope, Fountain, Gen Art and Art Miami. Each fair had its own personality and SCOPE seemed to stand out the most to me. It had the most red dots (quite a few, actually) that I saw at any art fair. It had really good interesting work by artists who are not priced out of the market.
I was really impressed with the quality of work at all the art fairs. It seemed that maybe the good pieces had not sold in this economy and were being shown at the fairs. I heard that collectors were asking for 30 - 40% discounts, but that seemed just crazy hearsay. Most galleries, I mentioned this to laughed at that big of a discount and said they wouldn't sell any art for that big a discount.
The Art Newspaper said there we certain collectors including Jean Pigozzi who seemed to be targeting certain artists and art works like the artists from Takashi Murakami's Geisei Art Fair.
All in all, if the work was exceptional and affordable it seemed to be selling. Some collectors were fulfilling their wish lists buying and being able to get what they wanted and what they were looking for specifically. This was a great time for anyone with money to pick up some great deals where cash is king. Go market, go!!!!!