Collecting is a passion

  • PhD
  • Bernard AUBERTIN
  • Sonia DELAUNAY
  • Simon HANTAÏ
  • Carmen CHARPIN

I have always surrounded myself by artists, mostly young. I help them gain recognition for their work outside their studios. I show their work in my home and organize exhibitions for them in galleries and museums. For me, a collector, this adventure captures me in the deepest way. My pleasure is to please the artists and I try to create spaces for their work that are opportunities for them to be seen outside the confining climate currently open to artists. Besides the pleasure that working with artists and their work brings, the collector also enjoys the process of choosing. With a work of art before him there are many choices, many possibilities. At first there is the power of the blind unknown. That which has never been experienced before. After that we consider the limitless paths the artist may take to create a work of art. We give thought to the past that informs the present and gives us a place from which to think forward. The past prepares us for the shock of the new moment. With each new work we can feel a new force emerging in line with nature. That is, if we feel that the artist’s body is in his work, that he lives it, then we can feel our own adventure inside ourselves. More precisely, in front of ourself, so as to touch the nearly-nothing. Paradoxically, one must possess a certain madness and at the same time be fully conscious in order to plunge into the great adventure that is Art.

Collecting is sharing

Art is dynamic; a constant physical communication, the emergence of very precise forces that we feel intuitively. And the more we are open to it the more we give ourselves over to a destiny. I am in love with my acquisitions. I buy with my gut because we must bypass surface eye impressions and the need for reference points. We must be vigilant in order to discover a new, innovative work of art; a work that reflects its time, a work that falls in the “never-seen.” It’s a sickness, a virus that induces this adventure. Because to live art as a human being requires an attempt to merge with the vibrations of one’s time and to open up one’s perceptions. There are risks, doubts. But we have to dive right in to find exhilaration! The path of creation requires two things: to push oneself to find the limits and to forget oneself. Jean-Paul Sartre wrote: “An issue invents itself. And each one who invents his own issue, invents himself.” (Cited by Max Dora in “Lutte des Rêves et Interprétaion des Classes.”)

Collecting is to live the magical mystery of creation

Works that bring forth messages sink into my sensibilities bit by bit by virtue of “living with them.” Often, it is believed, change in our perceptions occur when the work has given everything it has to give. It is then replaced by some other work: perhaps a former acquisition I want to look at again or a recent acquisition ready to reveal itself. Placing the works in their moment in time and interacting with them for more than thirty years has been a continuous process. I relish the tension that emerges. For many years I have been in a feverish artistic state of mind; on the alert for the beckoning hand, the encounters. It has to do with a need to possess and to benefit daily from my garden. I freely commit myself to this path without speculations beforehand, without the strict confines of a harem mentality or of fashion. I just care for my need for renewal in order to continue to give birth to my sensibilities. Tastes change and what I have found is that discoveries can bring about change in ourselves. Thus, art is a true mirror of emotions or rather an awesome multiplying of sensations that point the way towards fantastic, playful and perfect pleasures. All this is beyond a world that is often out of balance, mediocre, and distorted by lies and where our essential values have been lost. Art is a savior.

Collecting is living in the opening between dreams and reality

Awhile ago, after a series of incidents with certain artists, I wanted to strip my walls clean of my collection and leave them naked. But after ten days I found I must fill them up again so that I could go on living! Still, to open up a part of my intimate life to others during a flow of forty years—I am talking about my works of art—is something that distresses me because the works themselves have become such a part of me. To paraphrase a reflection of Nietzche, “Without art life is hardly worth living.” It’s clear to me that I need this heavy silence that my eyes try to touch. It’s what allows me to remain standing. And so, the adventure continues...