Art Basel Miami Beach 2008, on right now, AO is On Site: Weather report is kind of chilly, slightly overcast

December 3rd, 2008

Cocktails under the lights at the Raleigh Hotel – Photo by ArtObserved

For some time the press in general, with sometimes a bit too much schadenfreude, has been anticipating how the bacchanal of the art market, Art Basel Miami Beach, would be affected by the current art market downturn.   ArtObserved is here and can say definitively that the energy is more subdued than prior years.    Art Basel Miami Beach has 250 exhibitors from 33 countries showing more than 2,000 artists with costs of exhibiting exceeding $100,000 in some cases.   Last year 43,000 visitors were recorded in attendance.  This year there are still the chauffeured cars, the expensive catered events with fashion or luxury commercial tie-ins, the crowded parties, such as the packed throngs of people (including Pharell) trying to get into the Raleigh penthouse party last night (story coverage to follow).   However, for the bulk of the exchanges in Art Basel Miami Beach, the cocktail and booth-side conversations, the topic seems to inevitably focus on assessing the situation.

Art Basel Miami Beach is still a young fair, but for the past few years it culminated into one of the most significant global art events.  Part of the reason why it offers unique perspective into the state of the art world is that Art Basel Miami Beach always was differentiated by extraordinary amounts of satellite fairs (no other major art fair  has as many satellite events) as well as for grand, almost shameless levels of fashion, music, film, publishing and luxury corporate sponsorships and collaborations, which, along with the weather, brought many affluent buyers and cultural influencers to the scene.   The galleries showing know that the market is soft, and part of the exciting part of this year’s fair is that participants have brought some of their most resilient and high quality works to fight it out.   Art Basel Miami Beach will this year have a few too many flopped parties, some disappointing no sales at the booths, and perhaps some galleries will be dealt some damaging blows but in the end the fair seems to still be one not to miss.

Glitz Meets Grim as Miami Basel Fair Opens in Pallid Art Market [Bloomberg]
Art Basel Miami Beach | Naomi’s Watts
Editor’s Picks: Art Basel Miami Beach Preview
Twenty-One Cranky Ways of Looking at Art Basel Miami Beach
The Block and the Booth [ArtInfo]
Art loves everyone. Love it back… [FinancialTimes]
Art Basel Miami Beach set to party on [Financial Times]
Art Basel satellite shows likely to struggle this year
$300,000 sculpture destroyed en route to Art Miami show
Art Basel Art Fountain’s Inhuman Stain [NYMag]
Miami Madness
Art Basel Miami Kicks Off Cautiously, Optimistically
Presence of Mutated Muffin Head Dress Man Yields No Significant Insight on Fair Permanence. Yet. [ArtFagCity]

more resources after the jump…

The Boyd Level Miami Art Fair Map from The Boyd Level via ArtFagCity

A Selection of some of the art fairs:
Art Basel Miami Beach

Aqua Art Miami – Aqua Hotel
Aqua Art Miami – Wynwood
Art Miami
Art Now Fair
The Artist Fair
Bridge Miami Beach
Bridge Miami Wynwood
Design Miami
Fountain Miami
Full House Pool Art Fair
Geisai Miami
Ink Miami
NADA Art Fair
Photo Miami
Pulse Miami
Red Dot Miami
Sea Fair
Sculpt Miami
Scope Miami