The New York art dealer Gavin Brown is the kind of guy who, when asked how the opening of Art Basel was going, responded, “Frothy, to quote the former head of the Federal Reserve Alan Greenspan.” He had a long, detailed conversation with an advisor about several works for sale in his booth very casually right in front of me, then flashed a look of terror and said, “All of that was off the record.” He described Miami as like any other fair except “the people dress stupider.”
One of the works for sale in his booth was a series of portaits of Instagram pictures of Beyoncé. I asked Brown if Beyoncé had come by to see the work. (I don’t even know if she’s at the fair, and her sister cancelled her planned music series down here this week at the last minute, but anything seems likely in Miami. A few of the celebrities people were discussing in hushed tones on opening day: Leonardo di Caprio, Michelle Williams, Jake Gyllenhaal, Owen Wilson, and Matthew McConaughey. It’s up for debate as to whether Gyllenhaal or di Caprio had the meanest security of the bunch.)
“That would be the ultimate Instagram!” Brown said, a phrase made all the more goofy by his London accent. “If she’s here and you see her, tell her to come over!” His voice became more severe. “In fact, write this down,” he continued. “It is everybody’s responsibility to make that Instagram happen.”
You’ve been warned.