The latest craze in art collecting? Objets, of course!
Ken Price, Ming, 1998. Fired and painted clay, 7” x 8.5” x 5.25”. $18,000. Limited edition of 25.
Attention, art lovers! Object-based editions are taking over as the hot new trend in the luxury art world. From Jeff Koons’s Balloon Dog sold at the MOCA museum store (with net profits benefiting the museum’s endowment fund) to Allen Ruppersberg’s Great Speckled Bird player piano scroll in collaboration with Gemini G.E.L., as well as Ken Price’s Bolivar and Ming geometric pieces, take-home art is part of an on-going trend of object-based editions becoming collector’s items. The main draw? “The answer is actually quite easy,” says MOCA Director Philippe Vergne. “It’s a very different price point [versus the actual piece]!” The work (Balloon Dog, for instance, retails for $8,000 to $9,000 at The MOCA Store—the original, in orange, sold at auction in 2013 for $58.4 million) is more readily accessible to a wider fan base. “Take someone like Takashi Murakami—he does multiples that are broadly available. For him, it’s part of the way he wants to think of his work and the perception of it as something more about general culture,” says Vergne. As a collectible, objects in multiple editions also serve as a steppingstone to starting a full-fledged collection. And for the artist, adds Vergne, “It’s a way to experiment with intimacy and something that plays a different role in [a collector’s] life than a large painting or sculpture.” Mass appeal… of the higher order.