FAIR PLAY | ART BASEL SWITZERLAND 2014: THE SUPERTOUCH RECAP
It might seem like there’s a major art fair every month at this point, but the original Art Basel is still the biggest and baddest. This year’s event—which transpired in its namesake Basel Switzerland last week—showed that, unlike the kitschy Art Basel Miami, or new money Art Basel Hong Kong, it’s still the place serious collectors go to buy serious art. Absent are the celebrity newcomers and their entourages who’ve been instrumental in bringing the events to the public attention in recent years. Their notable absence is instead filled by dapper blue chip collectors and advisors looking to park massive amounts of spare capitol in art as surefire investments likely to bring them bigger returns than the current housing and capitol markets. Proof of the art market’s resilience was the $32 million pink Warhol self portrait that sold within 15 minutes of the fair’s opening, or the $5 million dolphin sculpture that disappeared just as briskly. As advisor Todd Levin told Bloomberg news, “It’s about the need of high-net worth investors to park their excess capital. They don’t want to keep it in cash in the bank. They can’t put it in a mattress. Art has historically provided the greatest intergenerational return of any asset class.” Of course Supertouch was on hand to rub elbows with the ruling class to take it all in, from the gleaming Koons baubles to the dirt cheap (by comparison) Todd James Somali pirate paintings. Have a look:
Scott Campbell laser-cut sculpture
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