The glitzy spectacle on the beach outside of Faena Hotel was a telling start to a frenzied week of consumption, anchored by Art Basel Miami Beach.
Life-size elephant statues and other discarded relics from the former Trump Taj Mahal Hotel and Casino sat around in the sand, courtesy of artist Peter Tunney. The extravaganza with fire dancers was in part a way to attract the next generation of wealthy buyers who flock to Miami each December for the parties, networking -- and art.
More than 82,000 people attended this year, up 6 percent from 2016, according to the organizers. Celebrities including Leonardo DiCaprio, Paris Hilton and Brad Pitt.
“A new generation of collectors is coming in,” said Lucy Mitchell-Innes, whose gallery was among the fair’s 268 exhibitors from 32 countries. The collectors are in their 40s and much more used to finding art at fairs than at galleries. “And they are quite decisive,” she said.