Chaos as Woman Brutally Stabbed at Art Basel in Miami Beach
Visitors mistook the stabbing for performance art.
An altercation amid the aisles led to bloodshed at Art Basel in Miami Beach at about 5:15 p.m. last night as one visitor to the fair allegedly stabbed another with an X-Acto knife, according to the Miami Herald.
The incident, which involved two women, took place at the fair’s Nova sector, which focuses on young artists, near the booth of Los Angeles’s Freedman Fitzpatrick Gallery and an installation by Miami artist Naomi Fisher called The Swamp of Sagittarius.
The victim reportedly confronted her attacker, who has been identified as 24-year-old Siyuan Zhao, of New York, and accused her of following and repeatedly bumping into her. According to police, Zhao responded by stabbing her in the arms and neck.
The injuries were non-life threatening, and the victim was taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital. As Zhao was arrested, according to police reports, she told officers “I had to kill her and two more!” and “I had to watch her bleed!” NBC reports that Zhao is facing an attempted murder charge.
Visitors to the fair were reportedly confused by the stabbing, mistaking it for performance art. The area was quickly marked off with police tape, which some people seem to have thought was part of the installation.
“A guy walked up to me and said, ‘I thought I saw a performance, and I thought it was fake blood, but it was real blood,” Fisher told the Herald. “It’s horrible… I’m so freaked out.”
The Herald reports that Art Basel had increased security measures at the fair following the recent terrorist attacks in Paris, and moved quickly to clean up evidence of the violent event, but not before local photographer Rudy Perez captured graphic images of the incident.
“The attack was an isolated incident that was immediately secured,” said Art Basel Miami Beach spokeswoman Sara Fitzmaurice in a statement. “Our thoughts are with the victim.”
Follow Artnet News on Facebook:
Want to stay ahead of the art world? Subscribe to our newsletter to get the breaking news, eye-opening interviews, and incisive critical takes that drive the conversation forward.