Art Basel Reeling Over Steve Cohen’s Disappearance

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Wherefore art thou, Steve? Photo: Scott Eells/Bloomberg via Getty Images

You might think that the person or persons most depressed by the recent troubles of hedge fund billionaire Steven A. Cohen would be Cohen himself, closely followed by his family members, employees, clients, and recipients of the annual SAC Capital holiday gift basket, who are going to be left waiting by an empty mailbox this month.

But another affected population has spoken up about the damage wrought by SAC Capital's legal travails: namely, the art dealers who have missed out on Cohen's usual spending sprees at this year's Art Basel Miami Beach.

You see, Cohen typically attends Art Basel with a hole in his pocket and spends hundreds of thousands of dollars on new pieces to add to the pickled shark in his massive art collection. But amid massive legal problems (highlighted in a front-page Times story today), Cohen is AWOL at this year's fair.

According to another Times story, gallery owners are fretting about the loss of Cohen-related income:

“It’s disconcerting,” said Timothy Blum, co-owner of Blum & Poe, a gallery in Los Angeles. “We’re talking about a lot of liquid,” he added, meaning money. “A lot of liquid."

Truly, these Art Basel people — people who use "liquid" to mean money and probably wear sunglasses indoors — are the victims. When does the candlelight vigil start?