How's this for conceptual? What, to the untrained eye, could just be a couple of packing boxes left in a hallway is actually an artwork by the noted artist Walead Beshty. This piece could sell for £20,000 ($31,573) when it auctions in New York on February 16.
"FedEx® Kraft Box© 2005" is one of many art pieces which have won London-born and LA-based Beshty international acclaim. Beshty's conceptual artworks aim to explore the boundaries between value and meaning, and politics and aesthetics.
This artwork really has been through airport holding bays with a glass cube inside the FedEx box. The latter bears the marks of its transit. As shown here, Beshty's method of exhibiting the box is to use the cardboard FedEx box as a pedestal with the shatterproof glass cube on top.
As you can see, the box is ironically cracked and shattered. These cracks and the FedEx box's outer labels symbolise the corporeal marks of its journey - and also make "FedEx® Kraft Box© 2005" utterly unique as a collectible.
This box's prior journey was key to its creation and its value as a piece of art, which Beshty calls "invisible labour". As the artist himself once said: "The object itself isn't significant on its own... You can't separate the thing in front of you from this notion of contextual dependence."
Beshty's "FedEx® Kraft Box© 2005" is expected to bring £15,000 - £20,000 when it auctions this Thursday. The work will no doubt attract attention, being a unique and iconic addition to the conceptual art canon pioneered by such artists as Marcel Duchamp.