Projects – Meetings – Deadlines – New Contacts – airports – hotels – diners, the life of an art-collector can be quite busy. Especially when you are ambitious to support your artists. It is very interesting to develop careers of new and young talents. Of course it improves the value of the own collection, when the ones you discovered are growing as well. But this is speculation. Mainly I am driven by the idea to make the world with art more beautiful and by the challenge to reach a goal, to see the artist I discovered in a museum in a solo-show or in an important group-exhibition and to see the artist reaching another level.
Sometimes people ask me, if this is the same fever like hunting? Collecting and hunting are belonging together in an archaic understanding of life. I am not a gambler, but maybe a hard worker, who likes to achieve the impossible.
And then comes Corona-Virus and stops everything. It reminds me, about 15 years ago, I had a health problem and had to stay in hospital. I thought for one night for observation, but it had been for two weeks because of a complicated surgery. The State of Emergency now in times of Corona stopped everyone very abrupt. No more meetings, no more travelling, just, staying at home, almost like Christmas. I am not the one sitting now on the couch and checking all my social media accounts. I prefer to sit down at my desk and write for my blog or – coming back to an old passion finally, watching the artworks in my collection.
Some people might prefer watching one film after the other, to avoid silence, some people might listen to music or look in a photo-book about gardens. I prefer to go to my living room and take a work from the wall or bring it from my storage room, where I have them all in shelves. I free them from their destiny to be decoration or just something to store. I take a glass of tea. Just this atmosphere is amazing peaceful, to slow down, enjoy the tea and look at the work, where someone put his or her hand into it. Just this moment is amazing, when I smell the tea, holding a work in my hand, sometimes it is difficult because of the size, put it in sight and then starts the encounter with the creation of a master.
Initially I started collecting art, especially contemporary art, because I love to look at the work, with all I know about its author. I love to read about the artist, to understand more about the personality, his struggles, his joys, what lead the artist to this movement of the brush, to this stroke of the tools?
And then I wait, I am listening to the artwork, I wait until it begins to tell its story. Every artwork has a story to tell. And now I mean a deeper story then exhibition places, auction results and so on. Every artwork has its own story to tell. It is the story about the relation between the artist and the work and the work and us who look at it and listen to it. Sometimes the story is reflected in the title. I don’t like works named “Untitled”, because it doesn’t allow the work to protest against its title. The artist just wants to escape from the discussions with the work. Yes it can happen that the artist doesn’t understand the work, like parents don’t understand their own children. Yes it is happening that artworks are bigger than their creator. With the work, the creator is growing over himself, like the creator is growing with every work. I love to listen to artworks when they tell about their discussions with the artist. I love this silent dialog with the piece. The dialog with minimalistic art gives me the freedom to ask questions. Every time I talk with the work, new aspects appearing, new questions arising, new stories have to be told.
Listening and watching are creating an own symbiosis, which describes the state of being open, that the artworks possesses you. It is a silent and seductive way, how the beloved artwork possesses the collector, and makes the collector to surrender.
I love to visit museums, the friendly and honorable atmosphere, where you greet important works of great masters, but they are hiding in the loudness of the daily business, they reject the intimate dialog, which only a personal collection allows.
In situation like this, of course I escape from my daily life, and quite often I decide to cut off more time for celebrating this private dialog, where every time I learn something new. This makes the art-world so exciting, it is never boring, every-time you learn something new, when you are ready to listen and watch.
Painting: *Guinevere* by Birgit Reiner, Bonn, Germany, 2010, ca. 40 x 60 cm, oil on canvas
The original article bv Thomas Emmerling was published on March 14th, 2020 on https://thomasemmerling.blogspot.com/2020/03/thanks-corona-time-to-look-at-my-art.html