Tom Wolfe’s latest novel, ‘Back to Blood’ uses the annual Art Basel Miami Fair as the backdrop for a story about excesses and vulgarity in the art world. “Harry Goshen” one of the main characters is a thinly disguised portrayal of the billionaire art dealer Larry Gagosian who is described as “ghostly and sinister.”
The book synopsis reads; “As a police launch speeds across Miami’s Biscayne Bay – with officer Nestor Camacho on board – Tom Wolfe is off and running. Into the feverous landscape of the city, he introduces the Cuban mayor, the black police chief, an ambitious young journalist and his Yale-marinated editor; a psychiatrist who specialises in sex addiction and his Latina nurse by day, mistress by night – until lately, the love of Nestor’s life; a refined, and oh-so-light-skinned young woman from Haiti and her Creole-spouting, black-gang-banger-stylin’ little brother; a billionaire porn addict, crack dealers in the ‘hoods, ‘de-skilled’ conceptual artists at the Miami Art Basel Fair, ‘spectators’ at the annual Biscayne Bay regatta looking only for that night’s orgy, and a nest of shady Russians.
Based on the same sort of detailed, on-scene, high-energy reporting that powered Tom Wolfe’s previous best-selling novels, The Bonfire of the Vanities and A Man in Full, Back to Blood is another brilliant, spot-on, scrupulous, and often hilarious reckoning with our times.
“He had no hand in making them at all”, Fleischmann’s art adviser explains. “And if he touched the photographs it was just to put them in an envelope and FedEx them to Dalique, although I’m sure he has an assistant to do things like that. No Hands – that’s an important concept now… And there you’ve got the very best, the most contemporary work of the whole rising generation.” The work mentioned in the book is close to the Jeff Koons and his pornstar ex-wife La Cicciolina’s his Made in Heaven series of work which covered painting, sculpture and glassworks. This is the read of the season even for just trying to work out who the characters are sending up.