Art buyers thinking outside the box


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What do you see in the image to the left? It appears to be an average cardboard box, the kind used for shipping and storage. But look again -- it’s actually a prized work of art that it is currently valued at as much as $30,000.

Gavin Turk’s ‘Brillo 5’ (2003) is a bronze sculpture painted to look like a cardboard box. The work, which is less than 2 feet tall, goes on sale Sept. 23 at Christie’s in New York as part of a postwar and contemporary art auction, according to Art Daily.


Turk belongs to an informal cohort known as the YBAs, or Young British Artists. The group includes such not-so-young-anymore provocateurs as Damien Hirst, Tracey Emin, Sarah Lucas and Mark Wallinger.

According to Christie’s, ‘Brillo 5’ has an estimated value of $20,000 to $30,000. The words ‘Gavin Turk 2003 Brillo 5’ can be found on the underside of the sculpture.

A report in the New York Post said that the auction will also include the sale of a discarded shutter by New York conceptual artist Lawrence Weiner. The artist found the shutter in 1961 among trash on Canal Street.

The auction will also feature work by Jean-Michel Basquiat, Gerhard Richter, John Baldessari, Sol LeWitt, Andy Warhol and other contemporary luminaries.

Christie’s hasn’t said whether it will deliver ‘Brillo 5’ to its new owner in a box or what the shipping charges will be.

-- David Ng