As the annual American art orgy known as Art Basel Miami Beach kicked off last night, the lion share of news is not about the economy, the art, or the galleries. Instead, the big news item is how twelve US Marshals and police officers approached the booth of Swiss gallery Galerie Gmurzynska and promptly seized approximately $7 million worth of art by Yves Klein, Joan Miro, Edgar Degas and Fernand Leger. Read more here.
Imagine going through the preparation and expense of exhibiting at a gallery fair and suddenly having a majority of your available artwork confiscated. Tough way to start one of the biggest international fairs of the year.
Alas… all is not lost for Gmurzynska. Fortunately, the gallery is also exhibiting the work of action hero turned painter, Sylvester Stallone. Yes, you read that right. Sly, best known for his roll as Rocky, has been creating art and is now exhibiting at Art Basel Miami. Excuse me for clearing my throat –- tough to get that one out. His work has been selling for $40,000 and $50,000. Seriously?? Dare I say, is this yet another sign that the apocalypse is upon us? I guess others see it differently.
As one decidedly slanted broker states: "Collectors are doing their best to obtain Sylvester Stallone autographed art. The rarity of the art along with the driving force behind it will assure that the artwork will grow in value in the years to come. There is also the fact that Sylvester Stallone's artwork is actually very pleasant to look upon. His use of color, shapes, and designs is truly something to behold. Many collectors are eager to obtain paintings from Sylvester Stallone. Even more collectors are eager to obtain Sylvester Stallone autographed art of any type."
"Art of any type." That says it all to me.