Earlier today, I responded to an artist who asked me what kind of art I collect and from which artists.
Needless to say, this isn’t the first time I’ve answered this question, but this time, I answered differently. Rather than naming the art, the artists or what they do, I REALLY wanted to address this question.
I think many artists ultimately want to know what’s appealing to collectors so that they can perhaps try to fill the demand. While this does make good business sense, it’s horrible for art. I want nothing more than for emerging artists to make big money, but not at the expense of integrity. Of course, integrity is subjective. We live in a free society, so I won’t question YOUR personal standards. That’s your business.
I have a collection of nearly 400 paintings, drawings, photographs and more from living artists all over the world. I think I have ascended from being a collector and consumer of art to becoming a patron and promoter of contemporary art. I am no longer only an art collector, which is fine in itself, but I'm most intrigued by advancing the cause of art in the world through various venues ... books, blogs, my website, public appearances, etc.
Through the years, I’ve found collecting to be ultimately about pleasing only MYSELF by buying things that I like. I love doing it because I get something I love and I also get the pleasure of supporting and encouraging artists.
However, my current efforts feel even more substantial. These days, I think I’m helping everyday people who might be intimidated by art by introducing them to it in a warm, approachable and non-judgmental way. I didn’t have this. I stumbled around on my own – like many collectors – and bumped into many unfriendly people who are determined to keep art locked away for their own personal pecking order. But that’s a story I’ve already told. Such is life.
In addition, I think I’m helping artists by giving them meaningful exposure through my tiny efforts. I LOVE finding artists who are “new” to me, interviewing them and putting them “out there” for others to learn about. In a nutshell, I feel like I’m bridging a gap of urgent needs; potential art collectors meet struggling artists. My role is to take fear out of the equation and do it free of charge.
I know. I know. You’re still wondering what kind of art I collect and from which artists. To put it simply, I really collect everything from artists I stumble upon; lovely still-lifes, BIG, BOLD abstracts, edgy photography, small sculptural works and everything in between and beyond those genres. I have no cultural boundaries when it comes to collecting. Life is short. Don’t put boundaries on yourself ... others will happily do THAT for you.
Do you see how easy it is to go off on a tangent? One little, seemingly innocent question in search of an answer can leave you banging your head against the wall.
But hey, don’t blame me. YOU asked.