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The Collectors

Woman in Front of Abraham Rattner's "Lott's Wife" - 2009
photo by Cristina Querrer

I am going to do something a little unusual in this blog post and take a short break from my poetry to focus on a topic that has been on my mind and that is collecting fine art. Why do some of us do it and how does one start off collecting?

Well, collecting anything starts off with a passion whether it is to collect the rarest of finds or of a particular thing.  I know I have a penchant for anything dragonflies, owls and now my latest and greatest, elephants!  I collect these things with many representations and varieties because it makes me happy.  

My daughter, Mia, at Leepa Rattner Museum - 2009
photo taken by Cristina Querrer

The same thing can apply to collecting fine art.  You have to choose what speaks to you, I suppose, and depends at what level you want to take this passion to.

One of Pablo Picasso's famous quote goes "The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls."  So, let that marinate in your mind for a little bit and see where does that concept fit in your life?  Can you see yourself investing on some "daily life dusting" pieces to brighten your daily living space?  In a world with manufactured-everything, you certainly can buy a decorative painting or framed artwork at Ross or a department store to make your living quarters look and feel a certain way. So you've arranged your décor quite nicely with artwork that compliments the ensemble; however, that's just decorating because collecting fine art involves a solid aesthetics and knowledge such as the art genre and the artist's history and background.

"Fissures" - acrylic painting
by Cristina Querrer

An artist (and I can speak for myself) will have a vision, and he/she will take that vision and create a collection or variation to that theme, for example, Picasso's Blue Period.  

If you follow an artist long enough they may have several of these periods that reflect their aesthetic evolution, if you will.

But collecting fine art, to my understanding is like playing the stock market, if you are in it to have a substantial investment for your time and money.  You would have to kind of guess if this artist might be credible in the "art world".  But who or what determines that? Usually their track record. If they have shown in very high end, reputable galleries around the world, chances are they might be worth something, but the trick is buying his/her art before notoriety and acclaim happens, otherwise the price factor goes up.

"Epiphany" mixed media
by Cristina Querrer

Another way to gain some traction collecting valuable pieces from notable artists is attend gallery showings and events, get acquainted with the art scene, artists gathering places and studios, get to know where they create and congregate. Heck, become friends and lifetime supporters, and that is what artists need more of. Artists give away work all the time when they are just starting off.

The best litmus test that can withstand the test of time is collecting fine art that simply moves your soul. Start reading fine art magazines. Get in the know. Surround yourself with that kind of art. Embrace the artistic lifestyle of these artists.  Support them and their work. If you think this is not possible and will not make any impact, think again.  Check out Herb and Dorothy.

They were an ordinary couple who collected more than 4,000 pieces of art in their small one-bedroom New York apartment. They have made great contributions to the artists of their time.  Whether you are an Herb or a Dorothy, you can be an artist by collecting art -- although Herb and Dorothy didn't create art -- they were creators, too, in a sense.  They created a supportive atmosphere and symbiotic relationships with those artists and inevitably donated/transferred their multi-million collection to the National Gallery of Art.  We definitely need more Herbs and Dorothys. Here is an interesting link to get you going if you are interested in learning more about collecting fine art:  How to Start a Fine Art Collection

Mia creating her own artwork - 2009
photo by Cristina Querrer

Of course, there is nothing better than supporting those people you already know (like me, hee hee), whether they are visual artists or writers or poets or singer/song-writers. Help them continue to create, even just for the love it. Who knows, you might one day hit the jackpot for supporting them!  Most of all, artists need to keep supporting other artists. How else can we keep creating beautiful artwork in such unloving, sweatshop conditions?

If you'd like to know me and my artwork, writing and creative ventures, feel free to drop me a line!

Love, Your Artsy Girl,

Cristina Querrer


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