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Art Basel Miami: Where's All the Cheap Stuff?

An art patron at the Neuger
Reimschneider Gallery.Photo: Getty Images

"BEST ART DEAL IN MIAMI. NOTHING OVER $250," reads the sign in one booth of the upstart Geisai Art Fair in Miami. In the booth of Eric Doeringer, "they're selling like hotcakes," he says of his small-scale works that echo — okay, outright copy — works by bigger names. "The Warhols are doing particularly well," he notes.

The gimmick of the Geisai Fair — and it's a gimmick that got top collectors like Marty Marguiles, the Powerhouse Rubells, and Beth de Woody though the door so far — is that the artists sell directly from their booths, removing the dealer middleman. It's the brainchild of artist Takashi Murakami, who juried the show.

Held in the industrial Wynwood district (developer Tony Goldman owns a chunk of the neighborhood), Geisai and its more traditional sister fair Pulse (with dealers like PPOW, Charles Cowles, and Ed Winkleman) are getting decent traffic given the nearly two-dozen fairs going on simultaneously.

At the booth of Chelsea dealer Maxwell Davidson, Jackson Heights sculptor Paul Dacey's zippy Pop Art painted Frisbees are getting lots of crowd attention at about $9,500 apiece, but Sam Messenger's black-and-white drawings in the same price range are what's selling. Virtually all the art at the two satellite fairs was below $100,000.

But perhaps the biggest hits were Doeringer's 41-cent postage stamps. The artist created the stamps — legal and usable to send mail — that feature photos of famous art-world celebs (Sam Keller's reads "Greetings from Miami"). They're marked up to $1 each and available at ericdoeringer.com, and buyers are getting full sets. But Jeffrey Deitch may be upset to hear Barbara Gladstone is more popular. —Alexandra Peers