The Miami Herald explains the logic behind Art Basel Miami Beach as the art fair of Latin America especially as those collectors increasingly become global players:
Art Basel Miami Beach attracts with its quality offerings a growing number of sophisticated Latin American art collectors — the established, such as Brazil’s Ricard Akagawa, a presence every year at the world’s top fairs; and younger sophisticates like [José Miguel] Sokoloff, whose acquisitions point to the development of a strong contemporary art market in Latin America.
“Art Basel was what put Miami on the art map for me,” says Sokoloff, who collects post-1960 Latin American art with a political edge and has a second home in Boca Raton. […]
Sokoloff’s 168-piece collection includes works by artists as diverse as Fernando Bryce, Vik Muniz, William Córdova, Rosangela Rennó, Johanna Calle and Miler Lagos. He began collecting ‘‘100 percent Colombian’’ then expanded to the rest of Latin America about five years ago. […] Argentine businessman Juan Vergez and his wife Patricia Pearson started their extensive contemporary art collection by purchasing and supporting the work of emerging Argentine artists, whose works they brought to Miami for exhibition in the Design District during one of the first Art Basel fairs. Soon, they expanded their collection to include Brazilians, and from there, they embraced the most cutting-edge work of artists from all of Latin America. But one summer in Basel, they reached a turning point when they were drawn to a photograph by Shirin Neshat, an Iranian who explores the complexities of Muslim female identity through film, video and photography.