When People Stop Buying Art at the Art Party, All That's Left Is the Party

Art Basel Miami Beach, the super-chic Swiss-imported Important Art fair, still teeters along, the ruined economy denting its sales but not its woozy party atmosphere. ''All the sellers think it's 2007, and all the buyers think it's Miami Beach real estate," a dealer told the Miami Herald. So... even though nothing's actually getting sold (Herald reports that over half of the vendors have seen sales declines from last year), everyone is still pretending that artsy optimism is de rigeur. And they're getting some big help from mushy celebrities like Mary-Kate Olsen and the mostly-forgotten Pamela Anderson!

Titsy Pamela showed up wearing only underpants and a lewd look to either drum up support for something, herself, or because she got lost on the way to the Long John Silver's. So Basel's got that goin' for it? Pamela Anderson is not a good sign. Art Basel was, for a glorious few years, the primo art show—the only art show where serious art people could talk seriously about art, plus get drunk and eat fancy food with each other, giddy to be away from the crush of New York and feeling heady, warm Caribbean winds. It was a dream of an art fair, like Sundance—cold, brisk, exciting—used to be the jewel of indie cinema fests.

Now that's a ruined husk of what it once was, co-opted by all manner of brand sponsorship and smallish studio endeavors weakly masked as independents. Art Basel—whose sales, despite the Herald's relative optimism, are tanking this year—runs the risk of realizing the same fate, with the after hours festivities eclipsing the actual commerce of the event until there's no real big commerce going on at all anymore. Everyone's too drunk to talk shop!

And they're too busy gawping at our littlest Norfin, Mary-Kate Olsen, who had sparkly-lit dinners with her boyfriend and wandered the faux meth lab created by Justin Lowe. All the hipsters at the fair sidled up to her and everyone made nicey nicey and artsy artsy and the whole thing listed sideways like the Titanic and yet the string quartet played on.

[Photo via PopCrunch]