David Velasco coins new words and ponders the fate of dying celebrity at ArtBasel:
The rich have their rituals, Art Basel among them. They also have “spendorphins,” a new term (not hers, she assured me) that I acquired from writer Sarah Thornton. Spendorphins seemed to be running freely this year. “No complaints—and for good reason!” Hauser & Wirth director Anna Helwing happily announced. (The “good reason” might have been a sale of a set of Paul McCarthy sculptures that sold Tuesday for $3 million.) Dealers weren’t taking low bidders, either. “I don’t bother with them,” one dealer sniffed at a pair of collectors. “Their limit is twenty thousand dollars—they can’t afford anything here.”
Since it’s not a Venice year, this fair was low on celebrity wattage: Bianca Jagger shipped in for her first Basel experience, and Val Kilmer hit the ground running with collector Peter Brant. (“I guess becoming an art collector is a better fate than Dancing with the Stars,” meowed one observer.) But then we spotted Jeanne Greenberg Rohaytn, who now has a reality show on Bravo—that counts, right?
Tony Basel (Scene&Herd/ArtForum)