The Gagosian Gallery, the big Kahuna of the Art Basel Miami, has a new policy on labels identifying the work on view in its booth. There are none. “We don’t like to label our artists,” said one gallery staffer when asked about the missing ID tags.
In other words: If you have to ask, you don’t belong here.
Not that it hurt sales. Gagosian, who represents such artists as John Currin, Damian Hirst, and Mark Tansey, reported selling some $10M worth of work over the course of the fair. Who needs to cater to the sub-prime-strapped gawkers, who couldn’t tell the difference between Francis Bacon and Kevin Bacon, when you can do business like that?
With 20-odd satellite shows, it was hard to get a bead on total attendance at the week-long event. But organizers estimated that some 43,000 people paid $30 — more than the controversial $20 admission price at New York’s Museum of Modern Art — to get into the main event at the Convention Center. That’s up from 40,000 last year.