Friday, July 24, 2009

Shopping for Tauba Auerbach [Updated]

Tauba Auerbach-designed ad for Comme des Garçons from Vanity Fair, October 2008.

Luxury good manufacturers have long been smart about selling products
at a variety of price points to attract different types of consumers. At Coach, for example, you can start out with a cheap key chain (like this cute $38 lobster piece that Jeff Koons may want to examine) and work your way up to their more epic, expensive handbags (like, say, this decadent $6,000 garden set).

Most artists have been slower to embrace this paradigm completely. You could always buy a painting (the highest price), a drawing (the middle), or a print (the low), and maybe a cheaper artist book, but things have started to become a bit more interesting. Hirst has expanded high (maybe too much so) and low, releasing products to meet almost any price point. David Shrigley has a massive series of books and postcards that seem omnipresent at museums and book stores around the world. Artists are catching on.

Tauba Auerbach, whose work is crisp and wonderful, is working this model perfectly. She's appeared in shows around New York for the past few years (New Museum, The Journal Gallery, The Drawing Center), has a solo exhibition scheduled at Deitch this year, and has been involved in all sorts of great things. It would have been smart to start buying two years ago, but here's what's available now.

1. Advertisement. $0.00
The image at the top is an advertisement from October 2008's Vanity Fair. Dig up a back issue, slice out the page, and pin it up to your wall. If you want to disguise your new poster's origin, you can easily chop out the Comme des Garçons references.

Effi Briest's Mirror Rim 7" designed by Tauba Auerbach.

2. Record Covers. £3.50 ($5.75) or $15.00
Auerbach has a few nice record covers floating around. The Effi Briest (super dark and danceable, featuring a member of Psychic Ills) Mirror Rim 7" is sold out, but the Long Shadow record is still available and almost as cool. She also produced a beautiful three-layer silkscreen for Glasser's Apply (clear vinyl) record. There's a fun video of its elaborate construction. Bonus: If you get tired of the art, you'll own some nice songs.

3. Books. $30.00 $21.46 or $60.00 42.00
Take your pick. How to Spell the Alphabet and 50/50 are both published by Deitch, about 100 pages, and gorgeous. They're also relatively cheap at Amazon. A solid buy if you're getting more serious or don't have a ton of money to spend.

Badges for sale at Partners & Spade. Photo: 16 Miles

4. Badge. $25.00
These quirky little badges, released to commemorate the release of How to Spell the Alphabet, are available at Andy Spade's new pop-up store, Partners & Spade. It's a fun little trinket to pin to your wall or, if you're feeling especially bold, wear out to an opening: You're a winner.

5. T-Shirt. $100.00
I missed these when I stopped by Asia Song Society's pop-up store, Everything Must Out Going!, but Ms. Auerbach apparently had some shirts printed in partnership with Comme des Garçons. Like the records, you're getting two things for the price of one: a new shirt and a pleasant new picture to enjoy. You can't really do both at once, and you need to make the tough choice about whether to actually wear (and wash) the shirt, but it's still a solid deal.

6. Print. $1,200.00
[ has a great post about the mechanics of producing the Paulson Press series.]
Anyone, as Dave Hickey says, can be a looky-loo: "They paid their dollar at the door, but they contributed nothing to the occasion - afforded no confirmation or denial that you could work with or around or against." Buying a print, at least, you're throwing some more money at the issue, taking on some risk, and investing in the artist. Her very crisp aquatint at Park Life is sold out, but Paulson Press appears to have some available. There's some Ellsworth Kelly, Bridget Riley, and Tibor Kalman all thrown together and made really fresh.

7. Original. $8,000.00
There's a little bit of a digitized abstract-Richter feel in Static 11 (2009) from the Brooklyn Queens show at The Journal Gallery. Four figures for a nice, big photograph isn't a bad deal. They'll be more expensive after the Deitch show opens: buy in now.