All I wanted to do Wednesday afternoon was run out to grab a coffee during a long day at the gallery. Unfortunately, Madison Ave was being heavily patrolled by police, and I felt like a salmon swimming upstream toward my delicious caffeine fix. Why? Obama was in town and headed to a dinner on the Upper East Side. The highly choreographed police presence reminded me of a sophisticated, composed video AD Projects displayed last year to a very limited audience.
Becca Albee, video stills
Before our show Piles last summer, we held a dinner to thank our supporters in my old loft space and staged a small-scale solo show of works, many still in progress, by the fantastic artist Becca Albee. Becca generously lent us a variety of her works, spanning from highly personal photographs, to a communal newspaper giveaway piece, to a research project about a fugitive, to the video mentioned previously.
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I am interested in how individual collectors begin buying contemporary art. Living in New York is one huge advantage for me, due to easy access to galleries, young artists, many studio programs, art schools, and even major auction houses. However, I believe that a collector can begin in many ways, starting with figuring out what you like. In this post, I’ll explain a bit about how I got into collecting and later give what I hope can be useful resources in collecting.
Gary Simmons, Untitled #1 (Study For Marnie's Room), 2006
Personally, I was given my first major piece of art as a birthday gift. It is this 4 panel painting by Gary Simmons entitled “Study for Marnie’s Room” and it has traveled with me to my apartment in Durham, NC, and four – count them – FOUR New York apartments. The painting shows a swooping white chandelier in chalk over red acrylic paint, inspired by Hitchcock’s 1964 film Marnie in which the title character’s mentally unstable mother swings from their chandelier. It has served as a keystone of my collection ever since, because it is both aesthetically beautiful but also seems a little out of control. Read more »