...claudine ko

High-End Steals (less than $100) From Hot, Young Artists
Jane, November 2006

Just after moving to New York, I visited a friend who was apartment-sitting for some rich people on the Upper East Side. Two things impressed the hell out of me -- they had central AC, and they owned a real Picasso. But you don't have to fork out a bajillion dollars for cool art. Nor must you resort to tapestries that reek stoner or magazine collages that say "I live in a dorm" -- even if you are, or do. Some of my favorite emerging artists cut their fans a break. Souther Salazar, whose whimsical paintings and sculptures sell for thousands, pins up little $1 drawings alongside the expensive works at his exhibits. "The art show is what I get most excited about, so I like having special opportunities for people who get there early and read the fine print," he says. And though it may seem tacky to score cheap art off young artists, so is charging 100 grand for canvas splattered with acrylic. -Claudine

1 Los Angeles art-scene darling Audrey Chihiro Kawasaki, 24, does Precious Moments meets lesbian-sex-fantasy paintings and sells limited-edition prints for $80 to $180 (audrey-kawsaki.com). 2 Good stuff from the ever generous Souther (southersalazar.net). 3 Marcel Dzama's 2,500-edition Saddest Ghost Lamp ($150, cerealart.com) is kind of like a sympathetic kitty that licks your face when you weep. Only it has no tongue or fur -- just a soft, comforting glow. 4 Evan Hecox is known for his skateboard-deck graphics, but I've always liked his quiet small-town landscapes, like this 100-edition Fish Market print ($95, arkitip.com). 5 I could spend years hanging out in one of Halsey Chait's meticulous ink drawings ($150-$250, halseychait.com). I also once said that about a bag of Cheetos...and that love has yet to wane, my friends. 6 White Cube Gallery (whitecube.com), which reps hotshot artists like Damien Hirst, is selling Gavin Turk's beautifully simple, numbered and signed 1,000-edition Tea Stain originals for $145 each. Yes, you could set a cup of Earl Grey on a blank sheet, but it's not the same. 7 I just bought one of Evah Fan's clever pieces for $24 from the 26-year-old's show at L.A.'s Giant Robot store. Sure, it's the size of a Post-it (and is, in fact, literally made on a Post-it), but that just means it'll be even harder to forget about important tasks (potatohavetoes.com). 8 Karina Puente, 22, is finishing up art school in Boston, and has been repped by a gallery in Los Olivos, Calif., since she was 16. I like to think this intesnse portrait shows a woman in deep introspection, or perhaps she's just meditating on what she wants to eat for dinner ($250, karinapuente.com).