Tax Box

Tax Box, 2021

Aerosol and cardboard boxes, particle board crate and wooden crate. Dimensions variable.

About 25 years ago, out of curiosity, we took box cutter to tape and lo and behold, the box was empty. This specific shipment was booked through a third party. The broker that hired us explained, “it’s a tax box.”

Jonathan C. Schwartz, art handler

Art is a tool for tax avoidance. Its relative mobility, lack of market governance and legislative loopholes make it an ideal vehicle for parking wealth, borrowing against, and money and reputation laundering. Not only is the public purse deprived of significant tax dollars via trading on the art market -  at the point-of-sale, collectors, gallerists and brokers regularly conspire to defraud the public from sales and purchase tax. ‘Tax Box’ comprises a series of ‘dematerialized’ art works; empty crates, boxes and purchase contracts. Boxes and crates are offered for sale to be sent into circulation in accordance with their corresponding contracts. Contractual pricing accrues not only in accordance with art market value, but also the shadow savings its collector enjoys by using the object to avoid tax.