531 West 24th St. between Tenth & Eleventh Aves.
January 24 preview party: $50 (includes two raffle tickets), 5:00 – 8:00
January 25-26, suggested admission $5 (all works $85)
On your mark, get set . . . The sixteenth annual Visual AIDS Postcards from the Edge benefit sale takes place this weekend, offering art connoisseurs, beginning collectors, and just about anyone else the opportunity to purchase an original piece of art by a major, internationally renowned artist — for a mere eighty-five dineros. On Saturday from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm and Sunday from 12 noon to 4:00, folks will be lining up to get into Luhring Augustine in Chelsea, where upwards of 1,500 postcard-size works of art are expected to be available. The only catch is that you find out who the artist is after you buy the 4x6 drawing, painting, photograph, collage, sculpture, print, etc., as the creator signs the back, not the front, and you need to pay for it before seeing which artist you got. On Saturday, if you buy four, you get a fifth free; on Sunday, every two purchases gain you a free third postcard. Admission is a suggested five dollars on Saturday and Sunday; you can get a sneak peek at the art on Friday night at the VIP Preview, where for fifty bucks you can check out the works on display, write down the numbers of the ones you want, and make a beeline straight to the cashier on Saturday while everyone else is surveying the merchandise and making their choices. (Stay away from #1000, as that one’s ours.) You also get raffle tickets that could get you first pick or allow you to ask one question about any work of art on the wall. (There’s a silent online auction going on right now as well.) Of course, it’s hard to go wrong when the participating artists include Vito Acconci, Catherine Opie, Glenn Ligon, Justin Vivian Bond, Ed Ruscha, Zarina Hashmi, Lorraine O’Grady, Trevor Winkfield, Fred Wilson, Sarah McEneaney, Robert Longo, Penelope Umbrico, Joel Shapiro, Julie Mehretu, John Baldessari, Roger Hiorns, Rob Wynne, Lesley Dill, John Kelly, Kerry James Marshall, William Wegman, Guido Van Der Werve, Matthew Buckingham, Donald Baechler, Jim Hodges, John Waters, Maria Elena Gonzalez, Marcel Dzama, Kiki Smith, Ernesto Pujol, Milton Glaser, Kay Rosen, Lawrence Weiner, Rirkrit Tiravanija, Harmony Hammond, Danh Vo, and Barbara Takenaga. All proceeds go to Visual AIDS, whose mission for more than twenty-five years has been to “utilize art to fight AIDS by provoking dialogue, supporting HIV+ artists, and preserving a legacy, because AIDS is not over.”