In 2020, 66 of Katz’s prints and multiples have already come up for auction, compared to just 13 paintings. Yet Hockney, too, has maintained a robust printing practice, and his market has fared quite differently. This year, just two of Hockney’s paintings have hit the auction block, while over 120 of the artist’s prints and multiples reached auction. (Twenty-six Thiebaud prints have arrived at auction in 2020, and just four paintings—none of cakes.)
Hockney may not be an entirely apt market foil for Katz. Excitement about queer art and theory has pervaded the academy and museums in recent decades, and Hockney’s lush, nostalgia-inducing paintings of his own queer community are part of that narrative. Unlike Katz, he’s enjoyed more distinct phases in his career, which has perhaps spurred demand for the limited numbers of paintings in specific series—of pool scenes or double portraits, for example. Meanwhile, specialists could merely divide Katz’s work into “portraits” and “landscapes.” Even further broken down to “pictures of Ada,” there’s significant supply across categories.