Works on offer ranged from 11 paintings by Cuban master Wifredo Lam at the Leon Tovar booth, a Chagall for $595,000 at Leslie Smith, and the massive Ladies of the Opera Terrace by James Rosenquist, for $2.75 million a far cry from the $250,000 it originally fetched in 1985.
Across the causeways at the Miami Beach Convention Center, Design Miami, the official companion event to the Basel fair, opened its doors actually a mammoth pavilion of inflated tubes entitled Drift, the creation of Snarkitecture of New York to a bigger-than-ever inaugural crowd drawn by collectible furnishings and objects dart. By 8 p.m., a line of invitees waiting to get in snaked out of the pavilion entrance. Buyers almost immediately began snapping up pieces, fair director Marianne Goebl said.
There is a lot of energy and interest, she said.
Among the hits drawing the well-heeled, cameras in hand: The Bride, a spectacular gold and copper chandelier, cascading floor to ceiling, made by artist Taher Chemirik in a Parisian studio, and yours for $150,000. Or, for $155,000, an American flag table with legs that spell independence fashioned from epoxy resin by Gaetano Pesce.
Only in Wynwood, where the family of the late urban revivalist Tony Goldman unveiled a new set of graffiti murals including a tribute to the developer by Shepard Fairey, was the mood subdued in comparison to previous years. His daughter, Jessica, who took over the company, and his widow, Janet, posed for pictures with Fairey, in a Ramones T-shirt, and a throng of Wynwood Walls muralists in front of Faireys big new sunbeaming portrait of Goldman.
Its bittersweet, said Fairey. Its sad but also amazing to see how much love there is for Tony.
Audra D.S. Burch and Jane Wooldridge contributed to this report.