Sara on Sarah: Day 3 The Fair

In my blog series Sara on Sarah, day 3 of Sarah Thornton’s week in the art world is spent at the famous art fair in Basel, Switzerland. Sarah chats with art collectors who get to attend the preview session of the fair before the throngs of art lovers fill the halls.


Come with me, acrylic on canvas, 48×36

What I found really interesting about this chapter was gaining an understanding of art and the creation of it from a collector’s point of view. For example, one of the collectors Sarah interviewed pointed out that although others might prefer to collect seasoned artists’ work, he seeks out emerging artists as he feels he finds in their work the greatest purity! “When you buy from the first or second show, you’re inside the confidence-building, the identity-building of an artist. It’s a mutual commitment”.

When Sarah asked: Why do you collect? Another man replied: “It helps me understand the way I live”.

Here is a rather humorous clip by Robert Hughes addressing the similar question of why some collectors collect art…what they are trying to gain, whose work do they collect and why?

At the fair, yet another collector pointed out to Sarah the reciprocal influence between collectors and artists… “artists reputations are enhanced or contaminated by the people who own their work”.

Finally, the ever present circular dilemna of creating to sell was addressed: “in a world that has jettisoned craftsmanship as the dominant criterion by which to judge art, a higher premium is put on the character of the artist. If artists are seen to be creating art simply to cater to the market, it compromises their integrity and the market loses confidence in their work”!

My questions for today are:

Do you have repeat collectors of your work and if so how do they influence your creations?

What do you look for in works you collect?

Does your art collection have a driving force?


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