Women Living with Art Today
[blockquote custom_class=”” txt_color=”#222222″ size=”25″ line_height=”32″ ]“Art is the thinking side of the brain getting in touch with the feeling side of the brain.” [/blockquote]
[dropcap custom_class=”whbr”]Sometimes an art collection starts way before a single work of art is purchased. Looking at great art and dreaming about living with it is the gateway to investing in your first piece. And at forty, a woman has enough shoes and bags to want something deeper. More lasting and more soulful. Some people confuse art collecting with amassing status symbols but most collections start with an emotion. Art is not an extension of consumerism but instead is an antidote to it. I grew up in a house full of paintings, sculpture and drawings. I am aware that many did not but even the smallest space starts to glow when a hand made art object enters the picture. This is what punches a hole in the wall of reality and delivers you to another dimension.[/dropcap]
[blockquote custom_class=”” txt_color=”#222222″ size=”25″ line_height=”32″]Art adds substance to our homes, our minds and our souls. It reflects our concern for not only aesthetics but also our humility in being interested in how others feel and think. It reveals that there is more to life than just making money.[/blockquote]
In fact it is the ultimate defiance of all things that can be quantified by cost. Like poetry, it is an extension of looking at life and the world in a way that holds more truth. Life experience enhances our ability to understand art, and living with art is an integral part of a more meaningful life.
To surround yourself with talismans that are completely personal and to mark important milestones in life with specific artworks is the sign of mature taste and a bold self confidence. From an early age I always looked for what a woman was hanging on her walls to glean an understanding of her private self. Walking into a small apartment and seeing one great artwork (and it can be a print or even a very small work on paper) tells me more about that person than anything else in the room.
[dropcap custom_class=”bl”]Cultivating a strong sense of self and building a rich inner life are the rewards that stand outside of everyday survival. The art of life is incomplete without art itself. In some ways it’s like a window to another more elevated possibility away from the grind of work or the obligations of myriad relationships. It sounds comic but living with art also generates great stress relief because more than anything, art builds a sanctuary. Art is your sacred space, marking out your personal zone from the demands of public life. Quite literally it’s the space you make for yourself.[/dropcap]
No one understands the complexity of life better than a woman over forty.
By the fifth decade they have attained wisdom and are more attuned to embrace art if they haven’t already. Women of this age are certainly more open than their usual hunter-gatherer corporate male counterparts. In some ways they are up for the adventure of building a visual world around them, possibly because women make aesthetic choices every day that communicate with the world, especially in the realm of fashion. It’s not a coincidence that the best dressed in the world have also been the greatest art collectors: Peggy Guggenheim and Miuccia Prada spring to mind.
However getting dressed and curating your home differ. Good art does not have a season, it endures for decades. A masterpiece for centuries. That said, women who live with art often “change it up” or find the moment to let early works go as their tastes evolve and mature. There are no fixed rules because this is your collection, your show. My female clients are the active seekers. They do the research. They educate themselves. They have committed to the journey and they have fun. Nothing beats the rush of taking a new artwork home and feeling the energy ripple through your world.
[dropcap custom_class=”bl”]Art celebrates the feminine and the masculine; it is the liberation of the human spirit to understand itself. [/dropcap]
All that said, it is usually the women who make the final call on what hangs in the home. My first hand experience as a dealer is that nothing leaves my gallery until the woman of the house says yes. Many a great collection with a single patron’s name on it, simply wasn’t chosen by just him. Women, in the way they live, are natural curators. It starts with the way they style themselves, to to the way they build a home, to ultimately the art they collect. Beauty matters because what we see is who we become. There is definitely a little positive osmosis at play when you live with a vibrant work of art. Or even a very challenging one. Ideas matter and every artwork that makes you think naturally deepens your perspective. To be more basic: colour and light and elegant line enrich your health and, ultimately, a house is just a property until it contains some artwork.
I hope, in my regular contribution, to be able to not only cover important artists and exhibitions that are happening, but also to reveal what it is that makes contemporary art interesting. Our appreciation of art and our interaction with it is a form of self-discovery. Often through our interaction with art we learn that it is not what is in the art that is important, but rather what is within us that holds the key to how we appreciate art. This is the key to how we see the world.
BLOG CONTRIBUTOR: Tim Olsen
Tim Olsen is one of Australia’s most recognised and respected art identities and successful gallery owners. Son of Australia’s national living treasure, artist Dr John Olsen, A.O. O.B.E., Olsen was born into a life of modern and contemporary art, and through fortitude and adversity has forged his own path, successful career and has become a highly recognised Australian over the past three decades. He is considered an eminent Australian in his own right, aside of his father John Olsen and his sister Louise, who is a leading designer and owner of Dinosaur Designs. Despite being a member of the Olsen dynasty, he has embraced the art world in his own individual and unique way, which has contributed and influenced directly and indirectly, the many lives that surround him and in turn he is recognised as being an important part of Australian culture for now and in the future.