basel blog

Seven Things We Learned at Art Basel Miami

Martin Klimas’s Amaryllis IV (2007)

Even New Yorkers who couldn’t care less about art could take something from the just-ended Art Basel Miami Beach fairs, which sent market-changing telegrams for party planners, real-estate agents, and even fishmongers. Here are seven things we learned from ABMB:

1. Party sushi is over. Virtually no one served the addictive and pricey staple of boom time.

2. Condo prices are going to get reaaally cheap in Miami. Several new name developers (Mondrian, Gansevoort, Icon, Ritz-Carlton, Fontainebleau) are hawking lush new waterfront properties, but Florida leads the nation in homes in foreclosure — over 7 percent. And the rate of price declines in the city has been accelerating this fall.

3. Even for the superrich, it’s tough times. Halfway through a packed “Champagne and Canapés” brunch at the Cartier dome, the jeweler stopped serving Champagne. Gulp.

4. Party hosts trying to cut costs are sending out e-mail invites only. All over Miami, invitees were crowded at velvet ropes, calling out to “the girl with the list” and scrolling through BlackBerrys to prove they were welcome.

5. Cutting-edge has become cliché. After days of parties where the entertainment was almost always scantily clad dancers or singing drag queens, one bored Sotheby’s wag noted that “a string quartet would have been more radical.”

6. The disinvited never forgive. One name in design, left off the party list for Craig Robins’s dinner this year, announced on Collins Avenue, “I made him.”

7. Dubai is the new Miami. Representatives of the UAE and its many art events hung out in the main fair’s VIP lounge courting the art world’s biggest players, announced the biggest single prize for an artist in the world, and are meeting with U.S. museums to schedule collector trips. Since the art world is a community of people who’d cross the Alps for a free crab cake, saddle the camels. Said one Russian art dealer invited to the Art Dubai Fair, to a friend, smiling, “I’ll go if you go.”

Seven Things We Learned at Art Basel Miami