Art Basel just celebrated 20 years in Miami Beach and the fair was everything that has come to be expected. Celebrities, insiders, pretend-insiders, lavish gowns and a general sense of confusion as to the ground layout, which at times felt like a maze. While it’s difficult to truly experience art in an intimate sense at any fair, the sheer amount of legendary work on display was truly remarkable and worth the voyage.

Highlights of this year’s edition were plentiful — starting with arguably the most talked about installation, MSCHF‘s ATM Leaderboard. As the title implies, fairgoers inserted their debit cards, subsequently prompting the machine to take their picture and rank their balance amongst contestants.

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ATM Leaderboard is an extremely literal distillation of wealth-flaunting impulses,” said Daniel Greenberg, co-founder of MSCHF in an interview with NPR. “From its conception, we had mentally earmarked this work for a location like Miami Basel, a place where there is a dense concentration of people renting Lamborghinis and wearing Rolexes.” Diplo, a Miami and Art Basel mainstay, would ultimately record the highest balance with over $3m USD, while the ATM itself sold for $75,000 USD.

Chairs were also a prevalent talking point throughout Basel and the surrounding events. Located on the second floor, just past the entrance of the Miami Convention Center, people began to stop and gaze at a floating chair that Colombian artist Maria José Arjona lay horizontally. Suspended nearly six-and-a-half-feet, Arjona showed incredible poise, as if petrified, subtly moving her fingers and limbs throughout the duration of the event. The installation originally went on view at the Ballroom Marfa in 2011, which according to Argentinian gallery Rolf Art, “revolves around the concepts of objecthood, the ephemeral aspects of experience, memory, and archiving, while discovering the body’s critical role when addressing movement, in a given space, as a form of political choreography.”

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Staying on chairs, Harry Nuriev brought a slice of New York through a work dubbed The Trash Bag Sofa at Design Miami, just across the street. “I was interested in separating the visual qualities of an object from the object itself, transforming it into something that transcends how it is perceived,” said the designer in a statement. Although the sofa looks like any trash bag found on the street, Nuriev actually constructed it with leather.

Amongst the artwork that sold, ARTnews reported a minimal painting by legendary painter Agnes Martin fetched $7m USD via Pace Gallery, Kerry James Marshall‘s 1997 work, Mourn Our Loss #2, sold for $2.8m USD via Jack Shainman and TMZ reported that Floyd Mayweather Jr. spent $1.7m USD on four pieces by Andy Warhol, along with work by Robert Indiana and Alexander Calder.

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Additional highlights around Miami Art Week included Saint Laurent’s “Sex by Madonna” exhibition, which commemorated the re-edition of Madonna’s groundbreaking 1992 book Sex photographed by Steven Meisel and published by Callaway; along with the new Superblue space consisting of ethereal works by James Turrell, Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, Es Devlin and teamLab; a Prada takeover which was DJ’d by Techno legend Richie Hawtin and Cardi B performed a 35-minute set in front of bankers for $1m USD.

From bluechip heavyweights to exciting newcomers, Art Basel Miami Beach had it all. Peep the photos from this year’s edition in the gallery above.
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