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December 17, 2017

Trump beats Kim, sort of, at Art Basel in Miami Beach

Trump beats Kim, sort of, at Art Basel in Miami Beach
'The Art Basel fair in Miami Beach has become the Americas' main art dealing hub since its first event in 2002 ' - By: GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/AFP Nicholas Hunt

A painting of Donald Trump dressed as Wonder Woman and defeating "Rocket Man" -- North Korea's Kim Jong-Un -- is a star attraction at international art festival Art Basel, which opens Thursday in Miami Beach.

Also on display at the fair -- which has become the Americas' main art dealing hub since its first event in 2002 -- are various works by Roy Lichtenstein and a painting by Willem de Kooning valued at $35 million.

The painting featuring the US president, entitled "President Trump Becomes a Wonder Woman, Unifies the Country and Fights Rocket Man," was one of the top works at a private viewing on Wednesday.

The parody piece by Peter Saul shows Trump in the iconic garb of the female superhero, punching caricatures of Kim Jong-Un.

A 1979 painting by the Netherlands' de Kooning is likely the show's most expensive, valued at $35 million, according to Paul Gray of the Richard Grey Gallery, where it is being shown.

Other attractions include a work by Ellsworth Kelly and a 1969 Lichtenstein that has not been displayed in years, said Noah Horowitz, director of the Americas for Art Basel.

Art Basel Miami Beach -- which runs through December 10 -- kicks off weeks after the art market showed its strength at a New York auction, where a Leonardo Da Vinci painting sold for a record $450.3 million.

Tens of thousands of artists, gallery owners and art lovers also tour parallel exhibits, fairs and other events that fill the streets of Miami Beach for a week.

One of them is a night show in which 300 drones fly over the city and form different shapes, like sculptures, up in the sky.

"This is what we are. We are Miami Beach, we are an arts and culture destination," said Mayor Dan Gelber.

The last edition of Art Basel, an annual event which also takes place in Switzerland and Hong Kong, brought 77,000 visitors to Miami Beach -- despite fears surrounding the Zika virus.

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