Today was the day we went in and rubbed elbows with the big guns. Prepare to be disgusted because the name of the game is money, and lots of it. Whispers of conversations here are not for the faint of heart and romantic notions are best left in the coat check. Art moves into the area of strict commodity with verbal exchanges between advisor and collector going something like this: Collector: "Is so and so buying this yet?" Advisor: "No." Collector: "If he's not buying it, then I'm not. I need something with staying power."
The major New York galleries were all in attendance and, without a doubt, put their best foot forward showing works from some heavily traded contemporary favorites. Anish Kapoor's wall sculptures have shifted from
Wait, did I just see Steve Cohen purchase the guy on the right? I suppose what they say is true: everything is for sale, especially here at Basel---just name the price.
This article was originally written for publication with The Miami New Times Blog, Cultist, as one of a series of articles titled "Art Basel in Basel" by Seanica Howe. This writing, as well as the remainder of the series, can be accessed here: