In the late ’60s, Andy Warhol famously prophesied that, in the future, everyone would be world-famous for 15 minutes. With reality television making, breaking, and forsaking “everyone”s with brutal speed, YouTube giving hope to anyone with the dream of landing a mention on Tosh.0, and Twitter putting celebrity/infamy a mere 140 characters away, Warhol’s prediction was dead on (though 15 minutes may have been an overestimate).
It is no surprise, then, that Warhol’s face and work are everywhere at Art Basel Miami Beach this year, which opens its doors to the public today and hosted its exclusive Vernissage Tuesday evening. In this video, L & M Arts dealer Dominique Lévy discusses Warhol’s enduring relevance nearly 25 years after his death in a setting the artist would have appreciated: A booth literally plastered with his face.
Another theory for Warhol’s predominance at ABMB this year is that, with the economy still sluggish, dealers are leaning on old reliables like Warhol and his 20th Century fellow art stars — Keith Haring, Roy Lichtenstein, etc. — to assure themselves a return on their investment in a pricey piece of Art Basel Miami Beach real estate. (Booth space at the fair can cost as much as $30,000 for the weekend.) If that’s the case, the strategy may be paying off. Word on the street is that money is flowing at ABMB this year, which, if true, makes those Cash For Your Warhol billboards all over Miami prophetic in their own right.
Something else Warhol said: “Making money is art and working is art and good business is the best art.” Too bad he didn’t live to see art sold Costco-style at Art Basel Miami Beach.