I’ve known of friendships between collectors and the artists they collect, where everything is simpatico. There’s a meeting of the minds whenever they talk and the collectors get first dibs on the artists’ new work.
But that’s not the tale of this reporter, no. More often what I’ve seen resembles the ongoing turf war between mothers and teenage daughters. Here’s a peek into these rich and often adversarial-by-nature territories.
It starts out:
“I’m interested in your new work and can’t wait to see it, “ says the collector to the artist. (”I’m excited that you found a college you like and hope you get accepted,” says the mother to the daughter.)
That turns into: “When are you finally going to finish that new work?” (“When did you say that admission application deadline is?”)
And ends up: “I can’t believe it’s taking you so long; how hard can it be to complete? (“I can’t believe it’s taking you so long; how hard can it be to complete?”)
In any relationship where somebody wants something from you, you’re probably going to resent being told how quickly to do it. And whether it’s an artist or teenager pressed into service, the response is likely to be a major eye roll coupled with colorful unprintable responses that signal “don’t push me.”
In the case of an artwork, a personal, complicated act of unique invention has occurred that can’t be punched out on a time sheet for an impatient collector. (The teenager parallel stops here, however. If you’re reading this high school seniors, punch the damn timesheet; the admissions office could care less about your aversion to deadlines.)
When the artwork is finally done, the artist and collector meet again. They exchange pleasantries, but their true heated feelings float above their heads like visible thought bubbles. The collector expects the artist to miraculously distill the abstract process of creation into explanations that will enlighten the collector and rationalize the purchase of this long awaited work of art.
But by this time, the artist, protective of the art and irritated by the collector, would rather donate the work to an overseas children’s orphanage or at least, find a more sophisticated collector. The collector, at this point, often feels the artist is acting entitled or suffers from delusions of grandeur. And what’s more, the collector thinks, the artist should take less money. After all, the artist gets to paint all day, and in comfortable clothes too. What’s to complain about?
But then, they both eye the artwork. The artist sees that the collector really does like it and can buy it on the spot. The collector sees the artist may have a Napoleon complex but the work is really good, so who cares? The artwork wins. It gets sold and all is good until the next round begins again.
Mothers and teens, artists and collectors, this is their story: inextricably connected, eternally annoyed.
For more information on Pamela, visit http://srxq.blogspot.com