Representing the Collector – How an Artist is Connects to Audience

I recently visited the home of an art collector who had purchased one of my paintings.  The collector had contacted me regarding some of my work and after finding out that I lived near by, he invited me to see his collection.  The collection, involving not just paintings, but highly imaginative sculpture, rare reproductions, and eclectic furniture, was an eye-opening experience for me.

The fine art and furniture was each showcased with pride and yet it all culminated into one grand experience.

As an artist, I am constantly wrapped up in pursuing and fulfilling my vision.  To express myself in my art is, and always has been, my chief aim, every single day.  It is so normal to me, that I typically assume that every person also expresses their own selves through some creative output.  It’s rather self-obsessed to assume that every person must think the same way I do, but I am an artist after all, and we artists will always be guilty of being self-obsessed, no matter how altruistic we may be.

So, when walking into the home of the collector, I hadn’t thought about what it will be like to see my art hang in a personal collection.  My only expectation was to see his great stereo system (he runs a business dedicated to high quality sound systems here in Denver: ApexAudioDenver.com).  As he showed my wife and I through his gorgeous home (which is on the market by the way:  http://www.milehimodern.com/2536glenarm.php, I was increasingly struck by the care with which this man has gathered his possessions.   The fine art and furniture was each showcased with pride and yet it all culminated into one grand experience.

When a piece of art is brought into a new home, it was an expression from the artist, but it becomes a piece of someone else, it plays a role in the expression of somebody.

I have painted portraits that currently hang in some exceptional collections, but this was the first time I saw one of my own paintings, one that was painted because I had an image in my mind that I needed to see on canvas, play its part in someone else’s vision.  My painting was no longer mine.  I saw it on his wall, and it was now part of something bigger than my cluttered studio or the gallery market space.  My painting is now part of a larger event that is an ongoing expression of an individual.

As an artist, I attempt to create through my art that which expresses me.  My paintings hang in collections on several continents, but I have never considered what this means to the people who create those collections.  When a piece of art is brought into a new home, it was an expression from the artist, but it becomes a piece of someone else, it plays a role in the expression of somebody.

I am in awe of the honor, and yet I don’t feel very egotistical about the idea of it all.  I feel detached from it because the collector’s expression is not my expression, we only have found an element to share.  My painting was finished.  I’ve moved on.  The painting went out to find a new home.  That’s how it has always worked, and yet I am just now realizing it.

Art is an event that is made complete when an audience receives what the artist has expressed.  This event is made paramount when the audience can use the art to create again, to create his or her own expression that involves the art.

The painting, Le Collier, is part of a private collection.  A print of this artwork can take part in your own collection, though.  Buy one here http://www.redbubble.com/people/mattabraxas/works/9932527-le-collier

Le Collier, Oil on Linen, 16x20 - Private Collection

Le Collier, Oil on Linen, 16×20 – Private Collection

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