Leonardo DiCaprio spent more than 45 minutes in a private room haggling over the price of an $850,000 Basquiat drawing at Art Basel Miami.
The Oscar winner — who tried but completely failed to hide his identity under a baseball cap and a black hoodie while walking around with a huge entourage — spent more than an hour at New York’s Van de Weghe booth at Art Basel in Miami during Wednesday’s VIP preview.
The 1983 Jean-Michel Basquiat work, titled “Wire,” measures 76 x 56 cm and is signed and titled on the reverse and features a figure looking at a fly
with the words on corresponding parts “teeth,” “liver” “knee,” and a quite “keep your hands off that wire.”
Leo had earlier walked around the convention center with his posse looking at art in numerous booths for galleries including Luhring Augustine, Metro Pictures — which had a big Cindy Sherman artwork on display — White Cube, Max Hetzler, Hauser & Wirth and Acquavella.
Photographers who tried to take a picture of Leo were told they would be thrown out and have their press passes revoked.
Plus, his art advisor, Lisa Schiff, led Leo towards the Basquiat drawing.
A witness said, “It seemed like they had a plan beforehand. They brought the work into a private room with Leo, the advisor, and slowly the hat-clad entourage also poured in.
“Two blonde models who looked very much Leo’s type came and talked to his posse for a bit,” says the spy.
After about 45 minutes Leo emerged and looked at art at the booth across the way, while his advisor stayed to negotiate. “We are good, we’re getting there!” she said when she emerged while Leo huddled with his posse.
Also making the rounds at Art Basel Miami were Brad Pitt, former Knick turned collector Amar’e Stoudemire and model Frederique van der Wal.
There were also many high profile art world figures including collector Beth Rudin de Woody, Jeffrey Deitch, Tico Mugrabi and artist Chuck Close who told Page Six of the work on display, “There is a lot more interesting work here this year compared to previous years, mainly because the higher priced artworks aren’t exactly flying off the shelves right now. So the galleries are bringing their bigger pieces rather than digging into storage for something to show.”
He added his favorite artwork he’d seen so far was a painting by Brooklyn-based artist Dana Schutz.
Meanwhile, over at the Helly Nahmad Gallery stand, we are told a number of offers had gone in for the $25 million Pablo Picasso painting “Homme à l’épée” (1969).
Leonardo Dicaprio Foundation has an exhibition at the Perez Art Museum during Basel. The Perez will also be screening his climate documentary “Before the Flood” on Sunday.