In his newest novel “Back to Blood,” Tom Wolfe dedicates a chapter around the frenzy of Miami Beach’s Art Basel fair and its VIP parties, status-crazed billionaires and one-up buying sprees. In an excerpt from the book, he writes: ‘All of them wanted to be where things were happening, and it would be over the moment the first foot of the first clueless member of the public touched the premises.’
The South Florida Business Report spoke with two local art experts on whether Wolfe’s portrayal of Art Basel had any negative impacts on the event itself.
Local gallery owner and art dealer Gary Nader said the event has become exactly what Wolfe has described in his novel.
“Art Basel is a buying frenzy to see who has more money. What he wrote is true,” Nader said. “It’s really pitiful that a bunch of wealthy people are clamoring over who can spend more.”
Nader owns – at 55,000 square feet – the largest gallery in not only Miami, but also the U.S. He’s seen the Miami art scene transform over the decades and after Art Basel.
“The respect of art has been completely changed,” he said. “The people with money know nothing about the art, and the ones without money know everything about it.”
He hoped Art Basel would bring bigger galleries to South Florida, something that could contend with the likes of New York and London, but he hasn’t seen any push for that.
Read the whole story at The South Florida Business Report.
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