Wednesday, May 25, 2022 May 25, 2022
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Arts & Entertainment

Basquiat Painting Suffers Major Damage

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MAASTRICHT, HOLLAND — This afternoon I was minding my own business, browsing past at least $1 billion worth of art, when I happened upon three gallery dealers in a tizzy. Seems I’d just missed a tragic accident by 30 seconds. According to the guy I overheard, probably talking to his insurance company, some dandy had just tripped and fallen shoulder first into Red Skull, a painting by wacko smack freak Jean-Michel Basquiat. (Great movie.) I found myself standing next to them as they picked up the huge painting and gazed down on the floor at scattered chips of paint. Nightmare. Minutes later, I met Robert Hall, a gregarious guy who deals Chinese snuff bottles. Hall is also the snuff bottle curator (my term, obviously I’m rusty on art terminology) at The Crow Collection of Asian Art in Big D. And he’ll be here (there) in a couple of weeks to call on the museum. Other news: the organizers are aware that the world is watching the business of TEFAF this year. The fair is the first test of demand from buyers and an indicator of concern about a shrinking economy. Last year they sold $500 million worth of art. Well, somebody may not write a check for $30 million this week for a Van Gogh painting, but the fine jewelry showcases were an absolute glittery perfume-scented mosh pit of Eurowealth. I still have white spots in my eyes from the dazzle of the ginormous diamonds. Mind boggling. I’m speechless. (I know, close to perfect.) Tra la.