Art Week Racking Up Impressive Sales

Art Basel Miami Beach opens today.

But as any art aficionado can tell you, business-wise it’s kind of already over. That’s because the biggest sales always happen during the VIP days (that was Tuesday and Wednesday this year), before the fairs are open to the public.

And early indicators suggest it’s been a success­—maybe not a 2019-level success, but healthy and active, with buyers acting on their pent-up desires after Art Week was a no-go in 2020 due to the pandemic. A Picasso went for $20 million at the main fair. A Banksy commanded $4 million at Art Miami. Gagosian has already placed at least $10 million in sales. Pace Gallery sold $6 million worth of art in six hours, including a Jeff Koons painting for around $1 million. Each of those revered New York-based galleries sold around 30 pieces to reach those impressive sales numbers. “It feels good,” Larry Gagosian told Artnet News. “I like to see friends coming by. And we are doing business.”

You know things are returning to normal when art advisers are remarking that the best pieces are already gone, and there was plenty of that going around on by Wednesday. So don’t expect Leonardo DiCaprio, Ricky Martin or Adam Levine to be walking the floors of the Miami Convention for the next few days. They’ve come and gone—a good sign for the durability of one of the world’s most famous and lucrative art events.

Photo: Frank Stella’s Gray Scramble, an acrylic on canvas, at Art Basel Miami Beach

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Drew Limsky

Drew Limsky



Drew Limsky joined Lifestyle Media Group in August 2020 as Editor-in-Chief of South Florida Business & Wealth. His first issue of SFBW, October 2020, heralded a reimagined structure, with new content categories and a slew of fresh visual themes. “As sort of a cross between Forbes and Robb Report, with a dash of GQ and Vogue,” Limsky says, “SFBW reflects South Florida’s increasingly sophisticated and dynamic business and cultural landscape.”

Limsky, an avid traveler, swimmer and film buff who holds a law degree and Ph.D. from New York University, likes to say, “I’m a doctor, but I can’t operate—except on your brand.” He wrote his dissertation on the nonfiction work of Joan Didion. Prior to that, Limsky received his B.A. in English, summa cum laude, from Emory University and earned his M.A. in literature at American University in connection with a Masters Scholar Award fellowship.

Limsky came to SFBW at the apex of a storied career in journalism and publishing that includes six previous lead editorial roles, including for some of the world’s best-known brands. He served as global editor-in-chief of Lexus magazine, founding editor-in-chief of custom lifestyle magazines for Cadillac and Holland America Line, and was the founding editor-in-chief of Modern Luxury Interiors South Florida. He also was the executive editor for B2B magazines for Acura and Honda Financial Services, and he served as travel editor for Conde Nast. Magazines under Limsky’s editorship have garnered more than 75 industry awards.

He has also written for many of the country’s top newspapers and magazines, including The New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Miami Herald, Boston Globe, USA Today, Worth, Robb Report, Afar, Time Out New York, National Geographic Traveler, Men’s Journal, Ritz-Carlton, Elite Traveler, Florida Design, Metropolis and Architectural Digest Mexico. His other clients have included Four Seasons, Acqualina Resort & Residences, Yahoo!, American Airlines, Wynn, Douglas Elliman and Corcoran. As an adjunct assistant professor, Limsky has taught journalism, film and creative writing at the City University of New York, Pace University, American University and other colleges.