Collecting Art The Smart Way – Collectors Responsibilities

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Being a collector comes with responsibilities. By acquiring a work from an artist you enable that same artist to further their vision and produce more works. In this day and time, when politics are uncertain, it absolutely matters to support socially conscious artists.

I strongly believe that the more we support egos and selfishness in the artistic and entertainment industries, the more we drive our current world to a very sad place. Alternatively, the more we strive to support people with a vision and a set of ideas which can engage and inspire everyone as we move forward, the more we can help the world to slowly get to a better place.

Yes: by acquiring an artwork you take a position on this discourse. You denote what kind of world you find most visually inspiring. And as we already know, visuals can impact people even more strongly than words. Artists and their art are a part of this visual sphere and what will be the art history of tomorrow for our children to understand our times.

I would like to give two examples from our side:

Leni Dothan: Leni is born in Israel, in the midst of the geopolitical conflicts that we know all too well. She studied the architecture of religious buildings and their respective artworks. When she became a mother, she thus expected to look like one of the religious icons she had studied for so long. Yet, the reality of being a mother was so different. She was tired, her body was feeling overwhelmed and she didn’t feel like she could reach the visual perfection which still influences our TV adverts. Her motherhood and the relationship she grew with her son became the everything of her artistic practice, from the subject to the process to the making. She talks openly about everything: Even the mother’ fears of her son leaving to join the Israeli army at age 18 with this work: Crude Ashes. Her son is now seven and you can follow their evolution with the works below:

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Scarlett Bowman: Scarlett is passionate about making works from recycled and waste materials. It all started with an essay called ‘I, Pencil’ (Leonard Read), which describes the complexity of the industrial chain to make a simple pencil. It highlights the limits and absurdity of our consuming society. This is why, using materials you would normally put to waste, she wants you to reflect about what your world is made of, what you waste and disregard and how you attach the value of the materials you use everyday. It works. I never thought about it and I now think twice before wasting anything. It’s also the best way, while having a work of hers hanging in your living room, to engage the conversation on sustainability, which is something I am truly passionate about.

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That’s what artists are for – to make you engage, reflect and question the world around you. By collecting their art, you do so for yourself, but also for others. One collector I was very impressed by recently was Valeria Napoleone, as she decided to mainly support women artists in an art world where their pricing and ranks are still low in comparison of male artists. This may sound extreme but while she shows her art collection to many people like myself, she enables us to reflect on this current issue. And it matters.

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