CONTEMPORARY CURATED - 25 SEPTEMBER 2013 | NEW YORK

James Frey is originally from Cleveland. He has written four books, all of which have been international bestsellers. He was called “America’s most important writer” by Esquire, and ”the most notorious author in America” by Time Magazine. His work is published in 42 languages and 110 countries. He has written extensively about art, and published books with Richard Prince, Damien Hirst, Ed Ruscha,Terry Richardson, Richard Phillips, the Flag Foundation and Sotheby’s. 


1.

Lot 15
Adam McEwen
Untitled Text Msg (Steve)
signed with the artist's initials and dated 2009, incised
with the artist's signature adn date 2009 on the reverse 
pencil on graph paper in a graphite frame
Sheet: 11 by 8 1/2 in. 27.9 by 21. 6 cm.
Overall: 12 1/2 by 9 3/4 in. 31.6 by 24.8 cm.
Est. $18,000 - 22,000

I met Adam when he was installing a show of these pictures at John McWhinnie’s gallery in East Hampton. I dug them, and dug him. He’s smart and cool and funny, as is much of his work. We exchanged numbers and I told him I’d forward him any weird texts I got, with the hope that he would turn one of them into a picture. I probably sent him 30 texts, but never made the cut. We’re still friends, though, and I love and collect his work.  


2.

Lot 358
Roy Lichtenstein
Wallpaper with Blue Floor Interior
signed, dated '92, numbered 55/300 and stamped with 
the foundry mark on the fourth panel
Each Image: 102 by 30 1/2 in. 259.1 by 77.5 cm.
Executed in 1992, this work is published by Gemini
G.E.L, Los Angeles 
Est. $25,000 - 35,000

I grew up in Cleveland and in a small town in Michigan. The art I saw as a kid was always in museums. Never knew anyone who had art in their house, at least not beyond bad pictures painted by relatives. My roommate in college was from LA. The first time I saw real art in a residential setting was when I was visiting him, and we were at the home of one his friends from high school. It was around 1990. They had a Basquiat, a David Salle, a couple Warhols, a Keith Haring. It was kind of amazing for me. To see a house where people had the same art that hung, or could be hanging, in museums. This piece, Wallpaper with Blue Floor Interior, was in the master bedroom.  They had decorated the room in a manner similar to what was depicted in the picture. It sounds kind of cheesy, but it was actually amazing. And I’ve never forgotten it. Both that day and that room. In many ways, though I don’t like the word, it was inspiring. To live with art like that, and to show me that I could do it as well.


3.

Lot 52
Jeff Koons
Balloon Dog (Red)
porcelain
10 1/2 by 10 1/2 by 5 in. 26.7 by 26.7 by 12.7 cm.
Executed in 1995, this work is number 1344 from an
edition of 2300. 
Est. $5,000 - 7,000

One of the presents my wife ever gave me was one of these Balloon Dogs. The LA Moca store on Main St. in Santa Monica was selling them. It was 2002 or so. I love the large scale Balloon Dogs, and I joked that I should get one of these because there was no version of the future that would allow me to ever own one of them. For my next birthday, she got it for me. My wife is cool. I’m lucky. Woohoo!


4.

Lot 17
Dan Colen
I Can Go Steady With Any Girl I Please
signed and dated 2008-2009 on the reverse 
chewing gum and wrappers on canvas
24 by 18 in. 61 by 45.7 cm.
Est. $60,000 - 80,000

I love Dan’s work. I try to buy it whenever I find it and afford it. Considering his age, I think the number of bodies of work he has already made (gum, birdshit, word, flower, candle and stud paintings, multiple types of sculpture) is astounding. I love these pictures, which are part of his gum paintings. It’s hard to look them and not smile, not have the wrappers bring back some happy childhood memory. The large scale versions of these pictures have gotten incredibly expensive. If 600,000 to 800,000 dollars is beyond you, buy this picture. The reaction you’ll get from it is exactly the same.


5.

Lot 115
Jenny Holzer
When There Is No Place to Sleep
incised with the artist's signature and
number 2/20 on the underside
verde antique marble
17 1/8 by 29 1/4 by 16 5/8 in. 43.5 by 74.3 by 42.2 cm.
Executed in 1997.
Est. $40,000 - 60,000

I make my living with words. Stringing them together to tell stories and make people feel. I dig art that uses words. Some of the best of it has been made by Jenny Holzer. Holzer’s pieces always sort of creep me out. Make me think about bad shit. Kind of depress me. Which is good. It’s harder than one might think to actually do. As a writer I appreciate the skill with which she composes, the difficulty in doing what she does. As a writer, I always judge other writers by whether I wish I had done, or could do, what they did. With Holzer the answer is yes. The words, and the work, is badass.


CONTEMPORARY CURATED

25 SEPTEMBER 2013 | NEW YORK