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Art Basel: Still starry eyed for art


Despite the frustrations of traffic and anxiety over sales or getting the right invitations, for many the week's seemingly limitless opportunities to see great art far outweighed the negatives. On Wednesday Miami artist Carlos Betancourt, who has been an enthusiastic participant since Art Basel Miami Beach was launched, was charging enthusiastically through the main fair at the Convention Center. He has had a banner year, with a major show at the Museo de Arte Contemporaneo de Puerto Rico and a book, "Imperfect Utopia," published by Rizzoli. Yet he remained as enthusiastic as at his first art fair 14 years ago.

"Art always needs new audiences, and that's what Basel does, brings us that new audience," said Bettancourt. "It rejuvenates us and brings new blood to the community."

Over the years, Betancourt said he'd made friends with people around the world that he saw each year at the fair, connecting with others as passionate as he is about art. "This is what we love," he said. "This is like having 20 of the best museums in the world here." On Sundays, Betancourt said he always comes to the main fair by himself. "I come to say good bye to this work I'm never going to see again, because it's going into private hands. At the end, it's all about the art."


- Jordan Levin / jlevin@miamiherald.com

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