$100 Jonathan Monk
Post Card posted from Post Box Pictured (2006; 4 by 6 inches)
Gallery: White Columns, New York
Why this one? The Berlin-based artist hand-addresses a postcard and mails it to White Columns, whose staff then resends it to you from the very mailbox pictured on the card. Clever little meta-work by an artist who was in a three-person show at MoMA last fall, and the price includes a year’s membership to the gallery.
$4,000 Katherine Bernhardt
Naomi Campbell Pleads Guilty on Assault (2007; 24 by 20 inches)
Gallery: CANADA, New York
Why this one? Bernhardt has drawn hugely enthusiastic reviews for making the worn-out turf of celebrity interesting yet again: She gives expressionistic makeovers to trend-bots like J.Lo and, here, the infamous cell-phone hurler. The 31-year-old artist works at a furious pace, with multiple exhibitions in Europe last year; her larger paintings go for $12,000 to $14,000, so this one is a bargain. Fun title, too.
$8,000 Ellen Berkenblit
Untitled (Icing) (2006; 30 by 24 inches)
Gallery: Anton Kern, New York
Why this one? Berkenblit’s Kewpie-eyed moll has long been the American answer to Takashi Murakami’s Japanese cuties. The painter has been pursuing her own blend of abstract figuration while trends churn around her for twenty-plus years—making her ripe for a mid-career retrospective, and the prestige-and-price bump that often follows.
$20,000 Hernan Bas
The Double Sunrise (2005; 13 by 15 inches)
Gallery: Fredric Snitzer, Miami
Why this one? The 28-year-old Bas is the star of the Miami art world, itself a scene that’s still on the rise. His oblique fairy-tale images of young men have lately sold at auction for far more than this (one for $168,000, another for $90,000), and a couple of those waifish boys—he’s described his scenes as “fleeting moments of beauty that quickly die”—have made their way into MoMA’s and SFMoMA’s collections.
Picnic (2007; 74 by 68 inches)
Gallery: Victoria Miro, London
Why this one? Essenhigh calls this a “painting of happiness”; the New York artist weaves together art history (think of the cavorting couples of Fragonard), satire (who are these blithe sybarites?), and wistfulness (would that it were us). Her paintings have been in demand on the secondary market since her late-nineties breakthrough, and her prices have more than doubled in five years. No wonder she’s happy.
Schwarzweiss (Remix) (2006; 95.3 by 63.8 inches)
Gallery: Thaddaeus Ropac, Paris and Salzburg
Why this one? Because so many younger artists (like Bernhardt and Bas) are drawing on his early work—as is Baselitz himself. Some of the “Remix” paintings, in which he repaints figures from his own canon, like this abject hero-soldier, are on view at the Albertina in Vienna now; save yourself the airfare.