I was visiting recently with an art collector. Those words should probably be entered Art Collector, since she made it quite clear to me and anyone else within earshot that she owned enough art to fill every room in her house. Plus the garage, and I am not kidding. She was preparing to anoint me the next artist in her "collection". So why am I not thrilled?
Years ago she explained to me that she had so much artwork some of it ended up in her garage. She was wealthy beyond reason, and decided to become an art collector. Guess that beat collecting salt and pepper shakers. To help her regain her home she hired a "stager", a person who sort of re-decorates your house with stuff you already own. Along with rearranging some furniture, Stager Person pulled a ton of artwork off the walls and stored it away. The house is magazine ready, but stacks of collected art lay under beds, in the laundry room and yes, out in the garage. What got left matched the furniture.
So here's how she announces her intention: " I'm going to buy a small piece, it'll be easier to find a place to squeeze it in". Squeeze it in? Where is she going to put it? Behind the cereal boxes and left of the condiments in the kitchen cupboard? Between the fridge and the wall? Or out in the shed just behind the weed whacker? I mean, I'm honored that she wants the painting, and the money will be nice. But what of her feelings toward the painting. Does she love it as much as I do or is she a serial collector who has no feelings for what she collects, and just wants more. Maybe for her, buying art beats collecting china dolls with big creepy eyes.
I don't want to let her have this painting. She doesn't really love it, she just wants it because she can. The dilemna is: am I painting to sell, or painting to show? Do I give every potential buyer a personality test so that I know they're worthy of owning a painting of mine? How does any artist know how their artwork will be treated once it leaves their possession?
Should it matter?