Art Bargains at Spring Parties


It’s charity benefit season, which sometimes means art collectors end up benefiting themselves. At upcoming galas (for the Bronx and Brooklyn Museums, Creative Time and Exit Art, among lots of others) buyers will have opportunities to bypass gallery waiting lists for hot artists or pay prices below what galleries charge.

Some of what’s offered is unspectacular, of course, but there’s also opportunities to buy works by famous names who may have hit a (temporary?) career lull. (See our slideshow here.)

The Bronx Museum of the Arts will offer works May 18 ranging from a Ryan Humphrey image of a boom box (suggested bids start at $500) to a colored pencil-and-marker sketch by perhaps the most famous living Russian artists, Ilya and Emilia Kabakov. Bidding for that starts at a suggested $15,000.

One tip: know whether the artwork has been donated by a dealer or by an artist  Insiders say artists tend to give away higher-quality works than their dealers do, but they also price them at less of a discount.