Made from detritus and old frocks, the pieces are haunting, resembling, as a critic noted, “mysterious, vacuum-packed matter from some other universe,” as so many things at art fairs seem to do.
Seated in bright sun at a picnic table beside a Roberta’s Pizza pop-up, the Miami collectors Don and Mera Rubell are enjoying a Coke. Mr. Rubell is wearing his customary dark jeans and sneakers; Mrs. Rubell, an all-black uniform topped with a mesh bubble cap.
A person in their party is carrying an expensive Goyard tote bag. The bag is stenciled with the Rubell name.
“We are all such clichés,” a passer-by remarks, apropos of what it is not exactly clear.
Just then a man walks by dressed in the natty pinstripes worn by the coked-up stockbroker Jordan Belfort in “The Wolf of Wall Street.” The man is one of three actors commissioned by the artist Dora Budor to parade around the fair impersonating Leonardo DiCaprio in his more emblematic roles. In a different section is a man clad in the crisp white pilot’s uniform of “Catch Me if You Can” and another attired in the trapper rags of “The Revenant.”
The artist John Currin is standing at the threshold of a booth installed by his dealer, Larry Gagosian, talking to someone in his coterie: “You need to lay off the helium,” he says.
A short walk away, the curator Clarissa Dalrymple peers into Honor Fraser’s booth in the Spotlight section, where each booth is dedicated to the work of one artist, in this case the American Kenny Scharf.
Ms. Fraser is meeting with a cluster of potential clients, who gather reverentially around a Cortelco 2500 touch-tone covered with paste gems and excremental pink blobs.
“This is the actual phone that Keith Haring and Kenny Scharf used in 1979 when they were talking together,” the dealer says.
“How much is this?” someone inquires of a period radio similarly customized by the artist.
“The boom box is $40,000,” the dealer says.
“Oh, that’s not bad at all,” a collector says.
At the Aicon booth, where the featured artist is the Indian painter Francis Newton Souza, the dealer Harry Hutchison is itemizing the works by price. “That’s $40,000, that’s $250,000, that’s $100,000,” he says.
This calls to mind an observation once made by Andy Warhol about art collecting, as recorded in “The Philosophy of Andy Warhol (From A to B and Back Again).”
“Say you were going to buy a $200,000 painting,” wrote Mr. Warhol (or whoever it was who actually did his writing). “I think you should take that money, tie it up and hang it on the wall. Then when someone visited you the first thing they would see is the money on the wall.”