A shadow of Duchamp's Bicycle Wheel.

A shadow of Duchamp’s Bicycle Wheel | Ana Prvacki

You’ve probably never considered that shadows could be stolen. They belong exclusively to some person or some form, someone else, not you. But artist Ana Prvacki wants to show you that not only can shadows be stolen, they’re art, too. Her new art series, aptly titled Stealing Shadows, will display the shadows of famous sculptures on gallery walls and floors.

The shadows are of popular, recognizable sculptures like Brancusi’s Endless Column, Duchamp’s Bicycle Wheel, and Michelangelo’s David, among others. Most shadows will be projections, but the shadow of Jeff Koons’ Rabbit will be made of felt. Prvacki said she is still experimenting with the right materials.

Prvacki’s work is an interesting contribution to a popular saying about art, that all of it is stolen. But with a shadow, what’s left are impressions, the suggestion that something exists without proof of its existence. The Los Angeles-based artist says she was drawn to the shadows because they are “poetic and perform the aura of a sculpture in a certain way.” Additionally, they offer “an extremely sustainable and minimal” alternative to other kinds of art appropriation, like replicas or prints, costing only 1% of the price fetched by the original piece.

As innovative and curious as Prvacki’s project is, art galleries aren’t jumping at the chance to host it. Though they do like the lack of charges involved in exhibiting her work, they believe the price should be lower still, at .1% of the total price of the sculpture instead of 1%. And as Duchamp’s Bicycle Wheel sold for $1.6 million at Phillips Auction House in 2002, things could quickly get expensive: 1% of that would mean $16,000 for a shadow of the original.

For her part, Prvacki believes that the value of her work should remain set at 1%. “Even though it’s a very simple idea, I think it’s a valuable one,” she said. “Ideas are extremely valuable…If you can get something to be super thin and really poetic, that should be really valuable. We have to stop thinking in a Costco way.”

The “Stealing Shadows” series will run from January 16th to February 3rd at 1301PE.