What makes a good collector?

Posted on January - 19 - 2017

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What is it about an artwork or any other object that makes it intensely desirable? In a world driven by consumerism where items are interchangeable and disposed at a fast pace, some people´s desires thrive to transcend the ephemeral to a more tangible pursuit. Charged by a combination of nostalgia, fascination and a need for belonging, to collect something that is close to the heart for whatever reason, is an activity that has been practiced since the dawn of men.

Collecting is not just a weekend event or something that appears and fades as a fast as any other whim, rather, it´s a commitment that can turn into a life’s work. Back in the day collecting took time, it was an act of humility and patience, of searching through every dark corner for that one piece that would make the rest resonate in congruence and shine as a whole. The collector became a connoisseur, a person whose deep knowledge, keen eye and passion led him down the path of fashioning a collective masterpiece on its own. Some connoisseur’s collections became the envy of many, and others were hidden treasures to be seen in silent and personal contemplation. Either way, the connoisseur is becoming somewhat of an antique as well, nowadays pieces are bought faster, and decisions are made quicker, art and other works are commodities that are intended to astound by their immediate recognition or to just to sit around until its market price rises to a sufficient sum. There is no better collector. Either one is more attached to a timeless past, nose deep in books and files, or just rolling with the punches and keeping track of changes in the market, looking for an advantageous social or economic investment.

On both and many other cases of collecting, there is one phrase that can accompany either intention better and can prove to be food for thought as “Ars longa, vita brevis”: life is short, art is lasting.

By: Gabriela Martínez de la Hoz

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