Yesterday, at a small show, I encountered two uniquely different people who buy art.
One, someone I've known for some 20+ years.
Another, I have known for only a few years.
Both collect art.
This is where the similarity ends.
Credentials of the other work he owns.
What prestigious shows these artists have been in.
The artists whose homes he's been in.
Not what fun he had, but
how good was their collection.
He does this with such memory and bravado,
scratching his head to recall.
He doesn't listen.
He doesn't smile.
He doesn't really even seem happy.He only wants to be heard.
Tedious one way conversation.
As if these veils make large his small stature.
All the while I feel certain I'm being judged on the back stories he knows that I don't.
I don't seem to care but listen nonetheless.
I wonder how many others do this as well.
My mind wanders as he drones on.
I want to sit down.
I want to scream or be interrupted.Yes, it's clearly his choice to buy and collect in this manner.
A misplaced set of social skills are part of his collection.
Then later, I had the pleasure of speaking with another collector of art.
Not a quick hug, but one that places one heart opposite another heart.
No name dropping or boasting of how she has acquired the 'best work' of an artist.
She quietly goes about getting to really know an artist and hear their voice.
Find their soul in the work.
This is someone I can understand.Her eyes a reflection of a life passion -
one that bears witness to her love of the people
and create what she enjoys collecting.
A woman who tells you that she
touches your work
in her home
and thinks of you
-praying for your life
I would have had to have been dead to not notice -
the vast difference.
In their eyes,
their body language,
their not listening,
their inner joy,
As an artist who is trying to carve out a living making art,
I always hope the person who opens their wallet for my work
will be someone I want to have 'own' my work.
This has always been my hope.
It always will be, no matter how much I need a sale.
One walks away.
Hat in hand, his critical self
in credentials -
in finding more'stuff'.
and leaves you feeling
that despite anything that
is happening to you-
that you are strong enough
and reminds you just how much
your work means to her and how much she enjoys owning your work.
How people make you feel
Like I said, people have different reasons for buying art.