ArtInfo, reporting from the tents of Frieze Art Fair in London, delivers the news that blue chip gallery Hauser & Wirth is offering up a curious piece of artwork by the irreverent Christoph Büchel . Yes, dear reader, those are socks. Black athletic socks worn by the artist himself, to be specific. Taking Duchamp’s urinal down an even more lowbrow path, the Büchel is more likely an exercise in conceptualism than a serious contender for Best in Show. Anyone have €20,000 lying around?
According to the gallery, “Büchel doesn’t mind if his socks get stepped on or kicked around the booth a bit,” and on the first day of open selling two buyers had already placed reserves on the piece.
Jonathan Monk’s neon text piece, displayed right next door at the Lisson Gallery booth, offers an alternate mentality for art fair retail strategy. Which, if you take into consideration the exchange rate, would afford you approximately one used black sock. (Monk’s work, by comparison, had a “flexible” pricing structure and sold at Frieze for around $10,000, with the stipulation that a resell wouldn’t cost more than $20K.)