14 Works of Art We’re Buying After We Make Our First Few Million

By Hillary Daniel

For us at least, purchasing even one of these works of art is a bit of a stretch at the moment. But there’s nothing wrong with a little daydreaming planning, right? Here are 14 works of art we’re purchasing as soon as our bank account gets into the seven- or eight- or nine-figure range.

1. Jenny Saville, “Red Stare Head,” 2007-2011
Because this artist, who showed her work alongside the likes of Damien Hirst and Tracy Emin in the Royal Academy’s 1997 Sensation show, is finally getting a bit more of the credit she deserves. At long last, this YBA has her first solo hang in a UK public gallery space (Modern Art Oxford), and you can mark our words that other locales will be following the sovereign state’s lead with retrospectives of their own.

2. Ryan McGinley, “Tracy” (Red, White & Blue), 2010
Because in 2003, at the ripe age of 25, McGinley was one of the youngest artists to grace the walls at the Whitney Biennial, and he hasn’t stopped to look back since. The photographer, who has an affinity for all that is naked, clearly dreams in film stills and even admittedly draws much inspiration the movies of Terrence Malick. Besides all that, who doesn’t want to run around naked in a field of sparklers?

3. Takeshi Murata, “The Heretic,” 2011
Because what other artist translates his video work so seamlessly into meticulously arranged photographs comprised of CGI rendered Coors Lite cans and strange, lumpy papier mache trombones, then creates perfect shadows for these digitally placed “objects?” What other artist then establishes far out, nostalgia-inducing names for his series that reference ’90s Schwarzenegger films? And, most importantly, what other artist creates entire digital acid trip videos about green slime?

4. Marlene Dumas, Jule-die Vrou, 1985
Because, we admit it — we still can’t seem to get over her dark and powerful travelling retrospective from 2008.

5. Sean Landers, “MacPhee,” 2009
Because Art in America called Sean Landers the “leading proponent in ‘slacker art’” last year and, though we’re still not really sure what that means, we’re down. He knows how to tangle words across a canvas in a way that simultaneously references Cy Twombly and classroom chalkboard repetition writing. He knows how to paint strange, sad clowns navigating boats that, some say, represents an allegorical Voyage of Life. He knows… he knows… oh screw it. This plaid deer is amazing.

6. Enoc Pérez, “Fontainebleau, Miami,” 2012
Because there is something haunting and beautifully eerie about these lithographs. Something that reminds us of the Overlook Hotel or the videos of the late Jeremy Blake. Something vaguely Pop Art-referencing about Pérez’s technique of applying paint to his canvases from a sheet of paper that makes them appear somewhat backwards, like ghosted versions of themselves. And certainly something about the way his neon paint shines through layers of thick grey-black so that the buildings that he depicts are immortalized in an almost iridescent glow.

7. Anna Betbeze, “Second Ocean,” 2011
Because this artist, who draws her inspiration from the texture of flokati rugs from the Pindus Mountains, is one of Jerry Saltz’s favorites from 2011. And we like her work because it looks like a neon lint sacrifice.

8. Martin Ramirez, “Untitled,” 1895-1963
Because, yes, he was born in the 19th Century. And yes, he died before the sixties even really got good. And yes, the man spent most of his life institutionalized for schizophrenia. But the drawings and collages that Ramirez pieced together on examining-table paper and taped up pages of books represents some of the most well respected Outsider Art there is.

9. Rosson Crow, “Koenig House,” 2007
Because the girl knows how to blend Rococo design, cowboys and architectural photography better than anyone out there right now. And because the girl who grew famous for her messy, supersized paintings has suddenly started going monochromatic in a big [and pleasantly surprising] way.

10. Erwin Wurm, “Fat Car,” 2001
Because in 2001 he made fat sports cars and in 2011 he made interactive “drinking sculptures.” Because in 2010 he made a pink suit so big that it may even rival David Byrne’s and in 2011 he dropped a colonial-style “slim house” on Venice during their Biennale. Because, really, we can’t wait to see what he’s going to fatten up next.

11. Jayson Musson, “Living Better Now,” 2012
Because the genius behind Art Thoughtz is now making wall pieces out of Coogi sweaters. Oh, and if you haven’t seen his porno-Powerpuff Girl mashup collages, consider yourself severely missing out.

12. Mat Collishaw, “Corona,” 2002
Because this British artist, yet another known for contributing to the general shock of the ’90s YBA’s, just struck an equally horrific note during Saatchi’s Out of Focus: Photography exhibition when he filled an entire gallery wall with tiles formed to recreate an early 20th Century image of a cat being tested upon.

13. Keegan McHargue, “Deep Squeeze,” 2007
Because the Museum of Modern Art had already owned four of his works by the time he was 23, and he never even went to art school. En garde!

14. Ryder Ripps, “Title Unknown,” Year Unknown
Because this belongs in a gallery.