Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Artist Collecting Art

Collecting Art

Cari Amici (Dear Friends),

Canadian painter and one of the art world’s mentors and avid supporters Robert Genn recently wrote on the topic of laughter in art. I had to laugh … in recognition.

You see, part of the reason that I went to visit my friend Dilya in Chicago was to pick up the sculpture I had been making payments on for a while. I bought one of her late husband Vasily Fedorouk’s ceramic sculptures that you see here.

Dilya was surprised by my choice, thinking that I would want one of Vasily’s stone works. And I do… trust me… I do. I have several of his stone carvings on my wish list, but I explained to her that right now, even with payment plans, I was not just able to afford a work in stone. Also, I have fond memories of this particular work in ceramic. Many years ago, some members of my family and I were visiting Vasily (Dilya was in New York at the time) and we had quite a fun afternoon, including us laughing together about several of Vasily’s more erotic artworks. Fun and playful. And absolutely art. Naturally, I have photos of us all goofing around in Vasily’s home gallery, but I am not ready to unleash those upon the world.

Anton, son and sometimes model for his artist father, took this image of Dilya and me with my new sculpture. [Airport security personnel and I had some good laughs over this piece as well after I was pulled aside for a more thorough check.]

I tend to purchase art that gives me an emotional feel, even at times when it was one that I was not expecting. Another such surprise was Jane Dedecker’s bronze sculpture “Swinging” depicting a child flying at the end of his mother’s arms. Like Norman Rockwell, Jane Dedecker’s family-oriented compositions manage to avoid kitsch and instead seem only charmingly nostalgic. I like her looser style, which means the smaller works. And I love the energy of the sculpture I bought.

The funny thing about me is that many of the artworks (paintings and sculptures) that I have collected were purchased when my bank account was almost empty. When I bought one of my friend Marc Silva’s paintings from his “In-SPIRE-ed” series, I asked the gallery owner if he would “wait to charge my card until after the 14th of the month to save me a month’s finance charge.” The exhibit would not be over by that date anyway. I somehow manage to pay everything off. I have never regretted any of those purchases because I look around my studio and home and I love the works that surround me. And love really is what it is all about, right?