In Miami, art is foraying into new methods of commercialisation.

Lucy Sparrow
For its seventeen edition, Art Basel Miami - along with its score of parallel fairs and the plethora of events toing and froing - is displaying its capacity to sell art in ever-innovative, new ways.


Spanish artist Axel Void, for example, has established an artist residency programme in Miami (entitled Homeless), where 25 artists have produced artworks and installations in situ that are available to be bought directly. For two days, the artist would open their doors to collectors looking to acquire pieces, without requiring an intermediary gallerist.

The Pace Print Gallery at Art Basel has also shown its innovative streak with the marketing of Kaws' last triptych (a 100-copy edition for $65,000) as a lottery. Unable to garner huge demand, the potential buyers had to sign up and have their name randomly drawn to complete the purchase.





The Untitled fair hosted a booth where the (absent) artworks were replaced by QR Codes. One tap of a smartphone and the work's whole file along with its payment method could be accessed. With pieces by Richard Prince, Sol LeWitt and Ed Ruscha, the realistic process even put red stickers on works that had already been sold. After just the first day of the fair, half of the offering had already been swept up by buyers.

Originality was also to be found in English artist Lucy Sparrow's ephemeral supermarket, where nearly 2,500 "products" were on sale. Her work, balanced between contemporary art and handicrafts, consists of woollen and felt sculptures parodying products of mass consumption. Crisp packets, canned foods and other tins were available to buy direct for between $20 and $60, undoubtedly making them the cheapest signed works of all the fairs.




The final thing to note was in the Design District, where TheArtPark - a new space revolving around the theme of mobility in every form (cars, motorbikes, bicycles, surfboards, etc.) - was opened. This hybrid space will house exhibitions and events on art and culture. At its inauguration, works by Daniel Arsham, Wim Delvoye and Adel Abdessemed were amongst those present. The first Miami edition of Grand Basel in 2019, dedicated to automobile excellence, will be the first real opportunity to test out the new space. Read more on this here.





Philippe Danjean