ARTCOLLECTORNEWS: What inspired you to start collecting art?
My grandparents have always shared a mutual love for collecting art. I spent a lot of time at their house as a child, so I was surrounded by colorful sculptures and prints from a very young age. Personally, I collected everything as a kid, from Beanie Babies to Pokémon cards to baseball memorabilia. When my wife and I moved into our first apartment together, decorating and design became a new area of interest for us. It was then that art sparked something in me, combining the influence of my grandparents and my love of collecting.
ARTCOLLECTORNEWS: How long have you been collecting art?
I made my first art purchase by cold messaging Jordy Kerwick on Instagram in 2017. My wife and I stumbled upon his page one night and immediately loved his work. Buying a painting can feel unapproachable to young collectors, but Jordy made it as easy as texting with a friend.
We'll never buy a piece if it doesn't speak to both of us, the intersection of our aesthetics makes our collection so special.
ARTCOLLECTORNEWS: Tell us a bit about your collection. What artists or types of art do you gravitate towards?
I've always been drawn to a style that I've dubbed Cuteism. There's currently a generation of young artists – from Szabolcs Bozó to Felix Treadwell – who seek the aesthetics of images made by, or for, children, and for some reason, they really speak to me. I love bright, bold colours paired with a nostalgic narrative. My wife is typically drawn to more timeless, and finely detailed pieces, particularly modern takes on classic masterworks. For example, she spearheaded the purchases of work by Ben Sledsens and Jannson Stegner. And since we'll never buy a piece if it doesn't speak to both of us, the intersection of our aesthetics makes our collection so special.
ARTCOLLECTORNEWS: Tell us about a few of your favourite or recent acquisitions/additions to your collection. Or artists whose work you have collected.
In addition to the works mentioned above (by Kerwick, Bozó, Treadwell, Sledsens, and Stegner), we own pieces by Anna Weyant, Vojtěch Kovařík, Mònica Subidé, Paige Turner-Uribe, and Charlotte Keates, among others. Our collection's most memorable pieces are always those acquired through a personal relationship with the artist.
ARTCOLLECTORNEWS: So you have relationships with the artists whose work you collect?
I always try to establish one. The art world is a relationship-driven industry, so I always prioritize messaging artists on Instagram. At first, to introduce myself, and eventually, to share photos of any work we've purchased.
At the end of the day, we really collect what we love.
ARTCOLLECTORNEWS: What are your criteria for selecting a work of art?
When selecting a work of art, my wife and I always look for pieces that speak to us. If we connect with the artists and their stories on an emotional level and envision bringing their work into our life and our home, that's an added bonus.
ARTCOLLECTORNEWS: Is an artist's professional trajectory or career an important factor, or would you collect a piece simply because you love it?
An artist's career has nothing to do with what we look for. You'll never be satisfied with your collection if you base it solely on artists' professional trajectories. At the end of the day, we really collect what we love. If we can't see ourselves living with a piece for a long time, we'd never consider buying it. I enjoy living with art that excites and inspires me.
ARTCOLLECTORNEWS: Are there any artists whose work you have collected multiple pieces of? If so, why?
Yes! We own multiple pieces by Jordy Kerwick, Szabolcs Bozó, and Paige Turner-Uribe. Mainly because we're such big fans of their work but also because they were each extremely instrumental to the early days of our collection. It's been rewarding to keep supporting their careers as our collection grows.
Meeting an artist whose work you've collected is such a special moment.
ARTCOLLECTORNEWS: How did you first become aware of the artists whose work you've collected?
After that first purchase in 2017, I continued to use Instagram to discover and connect with any artist whose work caught my eye. In addition to posting their work, many artists will share the work of other emerging artists. That's actually how I first came across the work of Szabolcs Bozó and Paige Turner-Uribe – through Instagram posts of Jordy's.
ARTCOLLECTORNEWS: Where do you discover artists?
Nearly six years later, Instagram is still my primary tool for art discoverability. It's an excellent platform for connecting with artists, galleries, and like-minded collectors worldwide. Additionally, my wife and I attend as many art fairs as possible, particularly those that feature new galleries and emerging artists.
ARTCOLLECTORNEWS: What has been the most rewarding experience of collecting art?
My wife and I just did our first studio visit, and it was a rewarding way to connect with an artist. Meeting an artist whose work you've collected is such a special moment, so I'd love to do more of those whenever we get the chance.
Whenever I get asked by friends for advice on collecting, the only response I give is to buy what you love.
ARTCOLLECTORNEWS: Who are some of the artists you have your eye on and are looking forward to seeing more work from? Or looking to collect in the near future.
I was recently blown away by the work of Jean Nipon. After seeing his incredible coloured pencil pieces at Galerie PACT's NADA New York booth last year, I haven't stopped thinking about them. Other than that, I'd love to eventually acquire works by Jess Valice, Sara Anstis, Claire Tabouret, Henni Alftan, and André Butzer.
ARTCOLLECTORNEWS: What advice would you give to someone just starting an art collection?
Whenever I get asked by friends for advice on collecting, the only response I give is to buy what you love. You'll never be happy if you're buying a piece because you think it will do well on the secondary market one day or if you're collecting art for the wrong reasons.