UPPER EAST SIDE — As the controversial Whitney Museum of American Art: 2012 Biennial draws to a close, art aficianados may have a chance to purchase some of the hotly debated work created by this year's Biennial artists.
The Whitney Art Party Auction, a sale held both online and in person at a party in SoHo, is open for bidding until June 6 and offers works by contemporary Biennial artists K8 Hardy, Andrew Masullo, and LaToya Ruby Frazier.
The auction will also offer the works of renowned artists Max Snow, E.V. Day and Liz Magic Lazer, among others who were not in this year's show at the Whitney but who are well known in postmodern art circles.
The auction comes just as the Whitney's 76th annual Biennial, which was scheduled to close on May 27, prepares to wrap up its final performances for a last hurrah on June 5.
For his part in the Biennial, New York-based artist K8 Hardy held a fashion runway show on May 20. For the auction, K8 Hardy is selling a fashion-inspired piece entitled "Collage P2," created in 2009.
K8 Hardy's "Collage P2" has a current bid of $900, and the bidding goes up online in increments of $100. Art enthusiasts may also buy the painting and stop the bidding for $3,000.
The piece shows a small picture of a scantily clad model with her back facing the camera, a nod to Italian American printmaker Frank Stella.
"K8 Hardy’s palette draws on the tropes of fashion advertising, combining some of its most recognizable modes — product close-ups, meticulous styling and staging, eye-catching colors — into an abstraction of the genre," the auction's website says about the piece.
"Juxtaposing a variety of aesthetics from different spheres of fashion, her photographs and sculptures employ layering to confuse and undermine assumptions about race, class, economics and gender."
Liz Magic Lazer is selling a color photograph entitled "I Feel Your Pain at the 7 pm showing of Contagion on September 10, 2011" with a buy price of $2,500, and Andrew Masullo has a postmodern painting entitled "4504" for sale, created in 2005, for a whopping buy price of $6,000.
Other works include "Suspense," a collage made with a photograph of two boxers, by Duncan Hannah, with a current bid of $600 and a buy price of $2,000.
A photograph of a radio in a field of snow by Joanna Malinowska, entitled "In Search of the Miraculous, Continued...Part III" is only $1,500 away from being sold at its buy price of $2,500.
Although the art auction is focused on paintings and other visual art, this year's Whitney Biennial turned a few heads — and feet — because of its heavy focus on performance art.
For the first time in the biennial’s history, nearly the entire fourth floor of the museum was dedicated to a changing roster of music, dance and theater performances and other events.
"Taking the pulse of the time through the immediate experience of art is what the Whitney Biennial is all about," said Elisabeth Sussman, the Whitney’s photo curator, and Jay Sanders, a freelance curator and writer, DNAinfo reported.
Protestors wrote an open letter, saying “the biennial perpetuates the myth that art functions like other professional careers and that selection and participation in the exhibition, for which artists themselves are not compensated, will secure a sustainable vocation.”
Tickets for the Art Party Auction, held on June 6 at the Skylight SoHo, cost $350 for the Art Party and $500 for a private reception and preview, and proceeds go directly to the Whitney Museum of American Art.
The online auction, which is open to the public, concludes at 9 pm on June 5, but the bidding will continue in person at the party.
The Art Party Auction proceeds benefit the Independent Study Program and other education initiatives held by the Whitney Museum of American Art.
The auction will conclude at the Art Party at the Skylight SoHo at 275 Hudson Street on June 6, from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m.