11/19/2021 to 12/19/2021

Tax Box
Shevaun Wright

November 19, 7-9 PM

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.


Shevaun Wright is a lawyer and artist engaged in the growing field of legal aesthetics. Her
practice is interdisciplinary and research based, utilizing the contractual medium and the notion of the
‘social contract,’ as well as re-contextualized dialogues as a tool for engaging in institutional legal and
artistic critique. Informed by her Aboriginal heritage, she aims to extrapolate feminist and post-colonial
critiques of the law and art as a means to access and reveal similarities in their discursive practices. She
practiced as a commercial lawyer in Australia for six and a half years and is currently studying for the
California bar. She has undertaken numerous residencies, including the Whitney Independent Study
Program (Studio) and most recently was an artist fellow of the Banff International Curatorial Institute.
She has masters degrees in art and law including a Master of Fine Arts from UCLA’s Interdisciplinary
Studio program.