In a recent interview for ArtNet News, the world famous actor Brad Pitt talked about his art collection. “The word ‘collection’ kind of bothers me,” says Pitt, implying that it sounds too formal. Nonetheless, the actor has amassed an impressive trove of works by artists such as Richard Serra, Marcel Dzama, and Bansky.
“The word ‘collection’ kind of bothers me” – Brad Pitt
What is “a collection”? Why do people collect?
One of the walls in my office is covered with hundreds of magnets. This cherished collection helps me preserve the memory of countless adventures – each one representing a special time and place. When I look at a particular magnet in my collection I think about the laughter, the moments of sharing, cherished moments spent with those I love. For me these magnets represent those memories, those feelings. I don’t collect because one magnet is more popular or more desirable – I collect to preserve that aesthetic moment in my life that I want to treasure always.
If someone were to label my magnets “a collection” I think I might react like Brad Pitt. Perhaps the actor feels about his art the way I do about my magnets. There is something more to my magnets the way there is something more to a wall full of paintings one has purchased. An individual chooses each work of art because it sparks something special for them. Each individual work of art should be valued by the lover of art as it reflects an individual moment for the collector and the creator. Calling it a formal “collection” loses something in the idea of buying a specific artist because they are popular right now.
A true collector has many cherished individual works – something different than a formal collection.
When you choose art, be an individual. Let each work of art be individual. Collect every work of art that you love. Don’t worry about “your collection”. Each choice is individual to you, the creator, and the moment they came together. Each is unique in their own wonderful ways.