Art and Excess, Miami Edition

Jay McInerney goes to Art Basel Miami Beach:

At the Margulies Collection, a mind-boggling private trove of Modern and contemporary art housed in a humongous warehouse, I overhear this:

EUROPEAN ACCENT: That’s a portrait of Komar and Melamid.

TEXAS ACCENT: What’s Komar and Melamid?

EUROPEAN ACCENT: You just bought one of their paintings this morning.

Go read the whole thing, it’s a hoot. And I just can’t imagine that we’ll be reading stuff along these lines for all that much longer:

To a first-time visitor, the atmosphere seems like a high-end version of Filene’s Basement: a competition to find and claim the hot merchandise before your neighbor does. You get the feeling that any minute a fight may break out over who gets the big John Baldessari.

By 3 p.m., almost every booth seems to be speckled with the tiny red dots signifying sales, including Merlin Carpenter’s Christopher Wool-like black-and-white canvas emblazoned with the words "Die Collector Scum."

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