A Modest Sterling Ruby Proposal

Katya Kazakina reports on the market for Sterling Ruby’s artwork, how one series, his spray paintings, being more popular than anything else kind of force fed the market for the rest, and how his galleryhopping left collectors stuck with mid stuff they’d only bought to get the big one. But even when one comes up, it’s still the size that is a problem:

Ruby’s paintings are very large. Let’s face it, most collectors are not like Rosa de la Cruz, who bought SP113 from the Pace gallery in 2010 for $155,000 knowing that her specially built Miami  space could accommodate it (and plenty of other massive works). It’s more than 10 feet tall and 15 feet wide.

“It’s so large that it’s going to be a limiting factor,” Levin said of the work. “There’s no way this painting will fit into most apartment buildings.” Christie’s pre-sale estimates, $250,000 to $350,000, reflect this limitation, he added.

Sterling Ruby, SP113/1-4, 2010/2024, 60 x 90 in. each, just sayin’ image: christies.com

I was going to suggest a few collectors go in together and buy Rosa’s Ruby. But I have never been able to get excited about Ruby’s work, even if it was to chop it up. So just let it all go the way of the bullshit private museum bubble they were made for.

The rapture of this lot essay [christies]
Sterling Ruby’s New Paintings Sold for $550,000 Each at Frieze New York. Are They Worth That? [artnet]
Previously, related but better: A Domestic Proposal: At Home With Voice of Fire
Chop Shop, 2016