QUOTATION # 79.

[On the value of collecting]

“One must then ask: How can collecting art — a personal passion and luxury — serve this world in turmoil, rather than become an emblem of excess in a stratified society of haves and have-nots? 

How might the art world play a more assertive role in what we see as the crisis in the culture? 

How should artists, collectors and gallerists grapple with this existential threat to the sustainability of the greater art world?”

EKUMFI HOUSE PARTY: Gideon Appah, acrylic on canvas, 220 x 226 cm, 2019. From afikaris.com

“……….Over the past two years, I’ve interviewed more than 25 collectors from all over the world for my podcast Collect Wisely. 

We don’t talk about the price of an artwork, and we don’t focus on artists we represent. 

Beyond that, everything is on the table. The conversations have focused on climate change and lamented the state of our world in crisis. 

One word, connoisseurship, has come up often. 

The collectors’ motivations vary greatly, but time and again, I’ve witnessed something that always seemed intuitive to me — that collecting is more than a desire to acquire.”

BAABA: Patrick Tagoe-Turkson, found flip flops and yarn on suede, 124 x 145 cm, 2019. Courtesy of the artist.

“It’s about educating, sharing and investing in artists who have something to say.

As another season of auctions and art fairs unfolds, all this is worth careful consideration. 

Certainly, there are reasons to be cynical about the art world, the price of art, and what can seem like the frivolity of it all against the backdrop of this moment. 

But know, too, that art can shape history and change minds.”

UNTITLED (preliminary sketch): Owusu-Ankomah, ink on paper, 2007. Private collection.

“Art can empower the powerless and hold the powerful to account. 

Art can educate, inspire, expose and elevate. 

Speaking personally, I can attest to the fact that art can nourish a young soul from a difficult and challenging childhood.

 I’m not naive enough to believe that collecting is a life raft, but in a world dark with fear and beset with uncertainty, art can most certainly be our North Star.”

SEAN KELLY.

MOM 001: Ghizlane Sahli, mixed media, 115/130/27 cm. 2019. Courtesy of the artist.

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