To be a collector one has to take risks that are different from those taken in daily life. These risks are not the kind that typically come to mind, whether those be skydiving or refinancing a home to build that dream addition. The risk that we see consume our clients, especially couples, is the fear of developing, or worse yet, not having a voice in what art moves them. Collecting art has that way of making us vulnerable. Or making the other more powerful. And just like that, the landscape of the relationship is put into sharp relief.
Couples who collect art frequently face questions of compatibility, and if compromise is something they are willing to reach. In many relationships, one half comes to the table with a more vocal opinion on aesthetics. As they go about building home, the other unwittingly takes a backseat to the expression of the other, which can ultimately lead to the other feeling consumed or unrecognized.
A thoughtful art advisor knows that collecting art is often a proxy for discussing larger themes in a marriage or partnership, and that part of our job is to properly mediate the discussion so that both sides are heard. At Art Style, we are reminded by a poignant insight that Jennifer Aniston made after she and Brad Pitt split. Couched within celebrity gossip was Aniston’s revelation into the dynamics of their partnership, and that she had felt boxed out by Pitt’s obsession with “cold,” minimalist design and his love for architecture. He saw her aesthetic as “matronly.”
Collecting is as much about unveiling the self and and reinforcing interpersonal bonds as it is about the appreciation of art. The beauty of being a collector is that there are many chances to bridge the divide, and that through many acquisitions both collectors are given the opportunity to discover their voice.