In The Frame: Collectors on the Art of Collecting
- 10 March 2021
Ah, the world of art! Where everything seems to carry an air of both mystery and magic. After all, there’s no greater feeling than marveling at an artist’s work that we truly love— that pivotal and intimate connection that is formed between art and the viewer. Some say it could move mountains, and elicit pangs of emotion, even move a person to tears. That is the power of art.
But viewing art has another, just as intimate, side— collecting. It may be one thing to emotionally connect with a piece, but to have the opportunity to bring the piece home and see it everyday? It’s no wonder some people consider acquiring art ‘the greatest joy.’ As a special treat, we’ve gathered nuggets of wisdom from well-renowned art collectors to fuel the bidding battle at Salcedo Auctions’ forthcoming auctions.
1. Buy art that speaks to you
There are of course different philosophies to collecting, but these connoisseurs all agree that it starts with a spark between you and the piece. It’s simple— if you can answer the question “Will I enjoy seeing this in my home everyday?” with a resounding “Yes!” then go for it.
“Buy what you like.” (Cid Reyes)
“Collect what pleases your eye, not what the trend tells you to, personally I am deaf to axioms about what is fashionable in art, this is totally absurd, as art is not ephemeral.” (HE Antonis Alexandridis, Ambassador of Greece to the Philippines)
“What one collects says a lot about oneself. Artists will know if a collector is just following a bandwagon.” (Manuel Ocampo)
2. Stay curious about the art world
Learning never stops— not even for hobbies and passion projects— collecting art is no different! These collectors advocate learning as much as you can about the artists and/or art movements that you love. There’s something about knowing a bit more of the artist’s personal story or the historical context behind the piece that makes seeing an artwork even more enjoyable.
- “Take the time to look and learn, learn, learn. Visit exhibits, read up on art and artists, and ask questions.” (Trickie Lopa)
“Train your eye by visiting art houses and reading books on art, this will give you a privileged insight and will help appreciate in a more erudite manner.” (HE Antonis Alexandridis, Ambassador of Greece to the Philippines)
“Read books about artists.” (Manuel Ocampo)
3. Enjoy the process! Relish in the joy that comes with collecting
Some people think collecting ends once you’ve acquired a piece. But, this couldn’t be further from the truth! Adding a work to your collection opens new paths of exploration— keep an open mind and allow yourself to discover what truly excites and intrigues you. We all engage with art in different ways— find the way that works for you.
“Don’t look at investing in art as a way to make a fast buck but think of it as investing in one’s own legacy and the culture that the future generation can learn and appreciate. This, in the long run will be a lot more profitable.” (Manuel Ocampo)
“Collecting is a process not an objective, the joy is in the journey not the destination.” (HE Antonis Alexandridis)
When it comes to collecting, remember that you’re also purchasing a work of art with a unique history. Every work of art has a story, be it the hidden history of a piece of furniture or the life experience that inspired an artist to create. These are the stories you’ll want to seek out. Not only do they add to the provenance of a piece but it speaks greatly of the context, the issues, and even the fascinating details of your newly acquired work of art.