For my third piece as part of my ‘Collecting Art The Smart Way,’ series for Haute Living, I will delve into how to start collecting artworks and which artists one should begin with. When speaking to a collector, this is always the first question: What kind of artwork should I look for? Are there trends that I should follow when collecting?
People are currently discussing the hype around video art works. I seem to see digital and video pieces everywhere – from the last exhibition at Pace Gallery, London by Team Lab ‘Transcending Boundaries’ to various collectors’ homes – and it makes sense to wonder if video artworks are currently the right kind of art to collect.
My big video art revelation came when I was just 23 years old and in Los Angeles. I welcomed Bill Viola to my gallery on Melrose Avenue, as I’ve always loved his works because they are so emotional – painterly.
Aside from Bill Viola, and despite the fact that I love video works for their experiential effect – they definitely set the tone of an interior – I have to admit that I still adore the medium of paint more than anything else.
I find it amazing that, after so many centuries of paintings and painters, we still find young artists innovating with merely a few brushes and tubes. I also find it wonderful that this medium somehow still feels relevant to all generations because it is capable of engaging us emotionally and that’s why today we will escape the digital discussion to entirely concentrate on brushes and paint.
3 reasons to love paintings:
1. The direct hand-to-eye connection with the maker – We can close one eye and imagine the artist in his studio. We know that every brushstroke defines the journey that he/she had to go through to create the painting. We can take a part of this emotion and imagination away with us, to hang it in our interiors.
2. The very limited possibilities that the canvas represents – There is something rather magical about this piece of linen, at first worth barely anything at all, but potentially worth millions in a few decades. There is no artifice – just a surface and paint.
3. A painting often tells the truth – Just look at the late portraits of Rembrandt and think of our OCD behaviors today. While a selfie may tell the reality of a day, it doesn’t engage you as a person. Paintings still do. They capture the deepest human truths of our time. The painter, just like a distant friend, took the time to capture it. Truthfully, how many times do you actually sit in front of someone and think about the genuine nature of what you are depicting?
Let’s materialize this thinking with the two latest works of our artist Will Thomson.
The first painting is the capture of an advert the artist saw while on a tube carriage, which explains the resulting shape: One that the tube window would allow onto a poster while stopping at a station. That’s what I love about this painting – that such a banal moment, a fleeting view out of a window, becomes so permanent and tangible in the details of the paint itself – especially the lips. Spontaneity here is sealed into the painting and the empty canvas highlights the unique viewpoint of the tube viewer.
The second painting is an exploration. A door has been open or shut – you decide – and a stream of lighting is coming in. Optimistic souls would see here the expression ‘a foot in the door’ leading to exciting opportunities, while the cynical may see an opportunity closing. The depressive darkness balances out the light canvas. The light is the canvas and thus unpainted, raw at its core.
These two works highlight the magic of paint and paintings. They crystalize a moment in time and this moment becomes an open door to many thoughts or connected moments we may relate to as viewers.
An advocate for artists since a young age, Marine managed her first gallery at age 21, opened her first art gallery in Los Angeles at age 23 and finally created her current business, MTArt, to promote the artists she believed in across the globe.