Kevin Bourgeois vs Singapore

Kevin Bourgeois called me yesterday and was telling me a funny story that I want to share with everyone.

Collectors Contemporary Gallery are collectors and dealers of Kevin’s work in Singapore. The gallery owns the work or Warhol, Damien Hirst, and a slew of other renowned contemporary artists. Collectors Contemporary came to Miami last winter for the Bridge Art Fair. After seeing Kevin’s work they decided to buy three pieces. One of the three works was “Process of Elimination.” Like most of Kevin’s work the piece was rendered out of pencil on paper- but more importantly, the piece contains 3,769 pills of generic ibuprofen.

After the collectors viewed the work Kevin Bourgeois came very close to selling the piece. The problem? Collectors Contemporary was concerned that customs would suspect the pills may be illegal and possibly part of a drug smuggling ring. Apparently, Singapore has strict laws on outside drugs coming into the country. After consulting with the right people in Singapore, the gallery basically concluded that they would have to pull the work apart and test each pill for content, which would destroy the art before it could be crated and sent back to Asia. Tracy of Ch’i Contemporary in Brooklyn, who represents Kevin Bourgeois here in the States of course agreed it would destroy the work so Kevin lost a sale… out of a concern for drug trafficking in Asia of all things.

The Collectors though, made up for it by later buying another piece from Kevin’s solo exhibition at Ch’i Gallery. I also want to add that Kevin’s work was recently part of a group show titled “Confabulation” at Collectors Contemporary and will be spotlighted in Asian Art News magazine and Time Out Singapore. One of Kevin’s pieces even appears in the article…

Kudos to Kevin!


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