Seriously, Who Buys This Stuff?

crap art

Coming from a person that thinks art is everything, everywhere.. who buys this crap? I probably have the most varied taste in art that I know of, but I still shake my head when I see some of the contemporary art auctions at Chris-theby’s. I can appreciate a Damien Hirst spot painting, a Jeff Koons balloon sculpture, and a Tracey Emin neon sign, but even I have my limits. I love ugly art, childish art, offensive art, and stupid art. I wouldn’t hang any of these on my wall though. 

From an upcoming “Contemporary Curated” auction at Sotheby’s which is curated by 4 so called taste makers: Jason Rubell, Tamara Mellon, James Frey and Adam Fields.

contemporary curated auction

Adam McEwen – UNTITLED TEXT MSG (STEVE) – Estimate $18,000 — 22,000.

fashion magazine

Sylvie Fleury – HOW TO SMUGGLE CAVIAR – Estimate $5,000 — 7,000

bad art

H.C. Westermann – DUST PAN, 30/3 (AMERICAN WALNUT) – Estimate $6,000 — 8,000. I would suggest checking the hardware store before bidding on this one. You might be able to pick up a dust pan AND brush for slightly less than 6 grand.

tom sachs art

Tom Sachs – BRILLO BOX – Estimate $15,000 — 20,000. I almost like this one, but Andy did it first. Boring.

ugly text art

McDermott and McDough – PLEASE DON’T STOP, 1965 – Estimate $15,000 — 20,000. Graphic designers everywhere would be stabbing their eyes looking at this one.

minimal art

Jacob Kassay – UNTITLED – Estimate $30,000 — 40,000. I had to throw a minimalist in. Let’s all agree to stop painting canvases in one plain color. It’s been done already.

israeli soldier

Rineke Dijkstra – GOLNI BRIGADE, ELYACIM, ISRAEL, MAY 26, 1999 – Estimate $18,000 — 25,000. Looks like a hard day at the office, out shooting at kids armed with rocks.

shit fetish art

Mike Kelley and Bob Flanagan – MORE LOVE THAN CAN EVER BE REPAID – Estimate $30,000 — 50,000. A lot of art collectors seem to have shit fetishes, so artists accommodate them. I wish they wouldn’t.

guitar amplifier

Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller – FEEDBACK – Estimate $15,000 — 20,000. I’m pretty sure you could pick up a cheaper version of this work at a music store.

Seriously, artists should stop taking advantage of rich folk. If they weren’t so rich I would almost feel sorry for some art collectors.

About Dion

Australian artist and observer of things.. all kinds of things. I like a wide variety of art, from the weird and wonderful to the bold and beautiful.. and everything in between.


  1. ps.. and update to this auction..
    “Our September Contemporary Curated sale brought a total of $13,776,188, the highest ever for a various owner mid-season Contemporary Art sale at Sotheby’s. The auction was led by Mark Bradford’s Curtis, 2007 which sold for $2,285,000, setting a new record for the artist at auction. Other highlights included Alice Neel’s Portrait of the Judge as a Young Activist, 1964 which sold for $437,000, nearly four times the estimate.”

    I’m just glad that the repulsive “don’t stop” picture above didn’t sell. The owner of that work should be burdened with it forever as punishment for buying it.

  2. john bligh says:

    it is good that the wealthy wish to spread their good fortune

    • Yeah, the only people being taken advantage of are those that can afford it. I just feel for the innocents that have to look at some of this art ;-)


  1. […] I sometimes wish there were laws against bad taste. I would join the bad taste police force and terrorize art galleries and auction houses everywhere! I would start with the Christie’s and Sotheby’s contemporary art auctions […]

  2. […] The first few hate mails bothered me years ago when I first received them but then I quickly realized it’s not me, it’s the idiot who wrote the email! My harshest critics used to be art scammers from Africa because I used to publish a list of their emails online, radical feminists when my quota of female artists being mentioned on the blog wasn’t adhered to, prudes that didn’t like nudity, and various religious bots defending their fairytales. There was the occasional unstable artist abuse me but that didn’t happen often as I try not to say too much about bad art. I try to mostly post art that I like, or am at least neutral about, unless it’s really bad and famous art. […]

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