Miami Art Basel came to a close this Sunday, December 7, after the four-day affair of high-profile parties, packed exhibitions, and droves of enthusiastic supporters storming the streets of Miami Beach and the Wynwood art district.
Marc Spiegler, the director of Art Basel, says that the fair in Miami Beach is as strong as ever,
“The 250-plus galleries showing at Art Basel represent the best galleries from across the world,” he says. “Our exhibitors are reporting strong and consistent sales, including many to museums – not only on the first day but throughout the show.”
What began as a small art fair centered in the Miami Beach convention center has grown to draw an international crown of nation’s art-lovers as well as a stampede of fashionistas, style spotters and unrepentant party-lovers alike. Here the blurred line between fashion and art has drifted even further into obscurity, driven by the allure of massive capital. Officials will not know the exact amount of sales generated this year, only the sales that galleries choose to report. However, Dr. Bodo Sartorius, the chief technical officer at AXA insurance, an official partner of Art Basel, estimated that the art present in Miami this year exceeded $3 billion.
Amongst the more notable exhibitions was the premier of artist Jeff Koon’s BMW Art Car. Presented by Koons and supermodel Karolína Kurková, the M3 GT2 racecar was unveiled on the opening night of Art Basel, December 4, 2013. The reveal happened during a BMW reception in the Miami Beach Botanical Garden where Koons and Marc Spiegler spoke.
This new addition to the BMW Art Car collection, featuring pieces by notable artists such as Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein, is a unique contribution to the dialogue of designing an Art Car. The bright colors and complex patterning that Koon’s is known for complements the stylistic curves of the vehicle, imparting a sense of motion and flow, perfectly fitting the powerful machine capable of producing 295 bhp at 7100 rpm and 323 Nm at 3900 rpm.
The BMW Art Car Collection started when French racing driver and auctioneer Hervé Poulain invited his friend Alexander Calder to design his BMW Le Mans 24-hour race car in 1975 and so the BMW Art Car was born. Since then some of the greatest names in contemporary art have been added to the collection creating a wide range of artistic interpretations. Including Koons’, there are now 17 BMW Art Cars in total. BMW has been a partner of Art Basel in Miami Beach since its inception and also provided the VIP shuttle service for the fair.
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