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ArtByNumbers: Sea Craft

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You could say that Vanessa Beecroft works like a film director when creating "live event" projects like VB42, which she staged on the Intrepid this spring. That makes her gallery, Deitch Projects, something like her film producer -- Deitch paid roughly $200,000 for the sailors of a submarine corps to be videotaped and photographed onboard as Beecroft's project for the Whitney Biennial. The resulting works, as well as those from Beecroft's VB39 (with Navy seals inside the Museum of Contemporary Art in San Diego) went up for sale at Deitch Projects in SoHo earlier this month (the show runs through September 16). Already 40 photographs, from editions of three to six shot not by Beecroft but by her hired hands Todd Eberle and Armin Linke, have been sold for $12,000 to $25,000. Since Beecroft's earlier works resold at auction this spring at prices up to $92,000 and often around $40,000, the current figures look like a deal. Who are some of the bargain-hunters who've bought at the new show? New York law firm Skadden Arps, Colombian megacollector Alberto Mugrabi, and young Israeli collector Doron Sebbag, plus unnamed New York museum trustees.

More art-world news can be found online at baerfaxt.com.


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