In Miami, High Prices Make Buyers Hesitate

Art Basel opens to huge crowds, but some sense a slowdown
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 6, 2007 7:06 AM CST
A piece shown by the Richard Gray Gallery titled, "Love of Home" by artist Jaume Plensa is displayed at the Vernissage of Art Basel Miami, the international art show, in Miami Beach, Fla. Wednesday, Dec....   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Art Basel Miami Beach opens to the public today, but yesterday's VIP preview saw the now-traditional mad dash of collectors to snatch up works. Many people attending the preview were complaining about high prices, the Miami Herald reports—not least at those galleries that are pricing work in euros. Despite the crush of visitors, some are saying that this year's fair has got off to a slow start.

The increased visibility of the art market has hiked the celebrity quotient at the most important art fair in the United States. But Art Basel may be the first casualty of the weaker art market that so many have predicted. "This year there is a little slowdown," said Karl Schweizer, who buys art UBS. "The prices are too high, too marked up."