Kimberly Brooks is a painter who occasionally writes for the Huffington Post. Here she’s back from Art Basel Miami brimming with excitement:
For most artists, the fair hovers around our consciousness like a distant moon or planet that we know is there but that we don’t actually visit. My paintings have attended for a few years with my gallery, but I myself had never gone in person. That said, I hear more and more galleries suffering from fair fatigue and given the economy, I fear the degree to which these fairs will carry on with the gusto they have in the past will diminish. In fact, I met many people who said, “you shoulda seen it last year — there were twice as many Basquiat’s and Warhols…. Clearly the dealers were holding back their best stuff”. That may have been true, but it was still pretty spectacular. [ . . . ]
The people might not eclipse the art entirely but they sure come close. The opening night at the main fair is called “The Vernissage” which technically means “varnishing” in French but in this case means private preview. Living in Los Angeles, I can tell you that I have attended my share of fancy parties, but nothing can compare to the chic and sex appeal of an international crowd speaking many languages at this event. Where women in America often dress like grown up version of their teen-age daughers, the European women, escorted by their handsome men in tailored shirts and a scarf casually draped around their neck, slink in the lanes like Catherine Deneuve of every age was put through a cloning machine. It’s fashion/people watching heaven.
Miami Basel Reflections (Huffington Post)