Kate Moss is our very own Eternal Feminine, or at least the art market thinks so. Portraits of the supermodel, by painters and photographers, routinely sell for high prices at auction. Some fine-art results in the "Kate Moss Art" category: Lucian Freud ($7.32 million), Alex Katz ($180,000), Chuck Close ($166,500), Julian Opie ($98,000), Banksy ($86,000), Mr Brainwash ($67,000), Gary Hume ($42,000), Sam Taylor-Wood ($39,000), Olga Tobreluts ($30,000), Marc Quinn ($28,000) and Wolfgang Tillmans ($22,000).
On the fashion photography front, the high prices for photos of Kate are perhaps even more remarkable: Albert Watson ($107,000), Irving Penn ($97,000), Mario Testino ($56,000), Peter Lindbergh ($55,000), Inez van Lamsweerde ($32,000), Paul Rusconi ($30,000), Glen Luchford ($25,000), Rankin ($21,000), Steven Klein ($21,500), Sante D’Orazio ($18,000) and Corinne Day ($13,000).
A wanderer can always find some sign of Kate in the galleries. She’s there in Anton Corbijn’s "Inwards and Onwards," a show of large black-and-white portraits that just opened at Stellan Holm Gallery. The director of over 25 music videos as well as the George Clooney starrer The American (2010), Corbijn places Kate in the company of Anselm Kiefer, Alexander McQueen and Tom Waits, among others. The price: $21,000 in an edition of six with two APs.
Meanwhile, conceptual artist Jonathan Horowitz stresses Kate’s outlaw image in Daily Mirror (2006), a real mirror silkscreened in white with the headline, "Cocaine Kate," but with no picture -- you see yourself reflected in her woes. On view in "Re-Dressing," the sprawling group show that inaugurates the new quarters of the Bortolami gallery on West 20th Street, the artwork is the last example in an edition of five, and it’s yours for $10,000. The sub-head says Kate "snorts line after line" -- watch out for that nose, girl!
But the apotheosis of Kate-love came last weekend at the Adamson Gallery booth at the E/AB Fair in Manhattan, where striking pigment print portrait of Kate by Chuck Close (edition of 25, 2005/09, $12,000) faced down the same artist’s triptych of Brad Pitt portraits (edition of 25, 2009, $8,500). Who was winning? Kate, of course, even at the higher price.
Meanwhile, Kate herself has cooperated with Manhattan photo dealer James Danziger in selecting images by 11 photographers to be included in a new portfolio devoted to pics of her, some clothed but many in the nude. "Kate is very comfortable with her body," Danziger noted. Participating photographers range from Close to Terry Richardson, with the shots dating from 1993 to 2008, giving a 15-year span of her career. The edition size is 30, and the price $75,000. The portfolio debuts at the Pulse Art Fair in Miami Beach.
As long as we’re making beauty our subject, we can’t overlook actress Bryce Dallas Howard, at least in the hands of Los Angeles artist Alex Prager (b. 1979) for her project "Despair," now on view at Yancey Richardson Gallery, as well as in "New Photography 2010" at the Museum of Modern Art.
The accomplished young film star -- daughter of director Ron Howard (who has three more children, according to Wikipedia) -- has had major parts in M. Knight Shyamalan’s Lady in the Water, Kenneth Branagh’s As You Like It, Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 3 and even Terminator Salvation.
In Prager’s vision, she plays a melancholy, pulp-fiction-style red-head, and the suite of five color photos is already all but sold out (done in editions of five, the one remaining image -- not a Howard close-up -- is $5,500). †
We do love Hollywood. A recent lunchtime visit to the John Currin show at Gagosian Gallery on Madison Avenue found the scant handful of visitors generally in close-up communion with the 13 paintings, as if to plumb the depths of their impressive technique, rather than savor their goofy if salacious subject matter. In the center of the space, briefly, was movie star Jonah Hill, he of so many Judd Apatow comedies, looking rather bewildered -- don’t worry Jonah, everybody feels that way at Gagosian sometimes -- though he was accompanied by two excited blonde art consultants.
No word on the prices for the Currin works, but with his auction record at $5.5 million, one wonders if a mere movie star can afford one.
Our Artnet Magazine colleague Tony Fitzpatrick inaugurates his new Chicago gallery, named Firecat Projects (at 2124 N. Damen Avenue), on Nov. 19, 2010, with "The Night Parade," a show of his own collage-poems. Artists in the lineup for future shows include Joe Amrhein, Duncan Robert Anderson, Jenny Scobel and others.
Fitzpatrick has also established Firecat Press, which is publishing a big book of collage and assemblage, John Schulian’s noir boxing novel A Better Yesterday, Fitzpatrick’s own This Train and several other things.
Before we sign off, let’s give our regards to tall theatricalist Tommy Tune, whose contribution to the recent Artwalk NY benefit for the Coalition for the Homeless at Skylight Studios in Manhattan was itself theatrically tall, a 5 x 3 ft. portrait of a giraffe, amusingly and self-referentially titled Long Neck. Its eventual price, however, was a bargain basement $2,300. The benefit raised almost $850,000.
ROSETTA STONE lives in London, for now.