The Miami Herald had a look around the ABMB Vernissage:
Wednesday’s crowd was vintage Basel: Lots of Germans, Russians, Spaniards and some Los Angeles collectors, including movie studio executive Michael Ovitz. Among the Miami collectors were Micky Arison, chair of Carnival Cruise Lines, Mickey Wolfson, Dorothy and Aaron Podhurst, developer Craig Robins, Martin Margulies, Pat Papper, Paul and Trudy Cejas, banker Leonard Abess and wife Jayne Abess, lawyer Mike Eidson, and Aaron Fleischman, a Washington lawyer with a Miami Beach home.
It wasn’t all people watching. There were sales too:
“Todo, todo es negociable,” an art advisor was overheard telling an elegant young couple as they pranced to a private alcove in the Art Collector’s Lounge. […]
Branwen Jones, director of Rosen Gallery in New York, was celebrating less than an hour after the doors opened for First Choice. Her gallery had quickly sold six or seven works ranging in price from $40,000 to $130,000. A couple from New York, major collectors who didn’t want their names used, had a measuring tape out to see if David Artmejd’s The Eyelid, a large sculpture of synthetic hair, clay, glitter, quartz crystal, mirror, and other materials, would fit in their home.
The couple said they paid about $130,000, give or take a little haggling.
Likewise, the New York gallery PaceWildenstein sold American Risk, a 13-foot sculpture by Los Angeles artist Sterling Ruby, early in the day. A couple bought the piece — red, white and blue resin form, supported by a wood plank — for more than $200,000
“This piece is a statement about American power,” says Pace director Jeff Burch.
Others weren’t buying but surely were enjoying the downright strange conceptual art.
Art Basel Opens with Pomp and Optimism (Miami Herald)