Throwing Shade—Literally—At the World’s Greatest Art

Artist Ana Prvački has made shadows of the art world’s most expensive works and is selling them for a fraction of their auction value as a form of commentary.

by Andrew Nunes
21 January 2016, 5:20pm

Stealing Shadows, Duchamp. Courtesy of the artist at 1301PE

In the increasingly stock market-esque culture that the art world and market have become, the work of a select few artists that entertain billionaire patrons cast shadows upon everyone else’s creations. Serbian born, LA-based artist Ana Prvački has opted to explore this metaphor in a literal fashion in her most recent exhibition, Stealing Shadows.

Prvački’s show, which opened at LA gallery 1301PE last weekend, consists of the silhouettes and shadows of incredibly familiar works of art. Through projection and in some cases a thin sculpting process, Prvački has created “shadow-artworks” of iconic and easily recognizable pieces, including Jeff Koons' Rabbit and Michelangelo’s David.

Stealing Shadows, Bourgeois. Courtesy of the artist at 1301PE

“I was thinking a lot about the tendency for appropriation and a kind of cleverness towards art history in the contemporary art practice,” tells Prvački. “I was intrigued at the possibility of a playful, humorous gesture of stealing shadows but at the same time with the question of value and a critique on pricing."

Stealing Shadows, Michelangelo. Courtesy of the artist at 1301PE

Pricing is a vital element of Stealing Shadows, serving a purpose that goes beyond determining profit margins for the gallery and artist. As intended by Prvački, the shadow-artworks are being sold at exactly 1% of the original work’s highest price at auction.

Stealing Shadows, Koons. Courtesy of the artist at 1301PE

The pricing strategy may seem initially modest, but a mental disparity quickly infiltrates the mind upon discovering that the projected shadow of Louise Bourgeois’ Spider is thusly priced at $281,650. Is nearly $300,000 for the shadow of a seminal artwork truly outlandish when the original recently sold for nearly $30M? Although the issue of the monetary value-versus-cultural value is a highly contested topic of debate, Stealing Shadows subliminally articulates the ever-present disparity between the two.

Stealing Shadows, McCarthy. Courtesy of the artist at 1301PE

Stealing Shadows is on display at 1301PE until February 5th. To see more of Prvački’s artwork, click here


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art market
Marcel Duchamp
art world
Jeff Koons
Louise Bourgeois
art auction
Ana Prvački