Saturday, July 20, 2013

Not just interested in the artworks...

The ARTnews has just released a list of the world’s 200 top art collectors. Sitting pretty at the top are Shelley Fox Aarons & Philip E. Aarons whose commitment to young, emerging artists and support of a myriad art projects, exhibitions and publications has earned them an undisputed reputation as wholehearted art philanthropists, an appellation that they tend to favor over the term ‘collector’.

The world’s top-notch collectors and counted among devoted supporters of contemporary art, they have loaned works from their rich collection to several exhibits in Museums and numerous alternative arts spaces around the world. The Aarons have actively supported the publication of a number of major artists’ publications and exhibition catalogs.

They are also involved in many nonprofit art organizations, including MoMA PS1, the High Line Art Program, and the New Museum, among others. An elaborate article, providing a peep into their passion for art, has mentioned: “At their residence in Connecticut, they’re building a whole new pavilion so as to display monumental works by the likes of Tom Burr and Aleksandra Mir. In Florida, their bedroom is furnished with Tom Sachs’s barricades.

According to Philip Aarons, their involvement with such programs and institutions is closely intertwined with their collecting; they, for instance, offered to MoMA a Christian Marclay video in support and promotion of work by Klaus Biesenbach there. They have helped the Whitney’s projects owing to their personal relationship with top people over there.

Shelley adds that they have often been drawn to projects even at institutions sans any previous affiliation, either because of urge to encourage a particular artist, or compelled by the project. However, the institutional context is not their primary focus, but just a way of implement their keenness to bring art to the public domain. Summing up the crux of collecting by the world’s most famous ‘art philanthropist’ duo, Shelley Fox Aarons & Philip E. Aarons, one can say that they are not just interested in the artworks but equally in how a particular artist comes to realize them.

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