A gallery collection is equivalent to the shelves of a bookstore, on a smaller scale. We all have, at home, a bookcase or a wall with paintings. It is certain that these objects will be on the place intended for them and that somewhere in us should be a sense of ownership over them.

Most of the times we don’t even take those books, but we recognize in them the cover, they belong to us, we already handled them. Sometimes we don’t even add one centimeter to the rack before the interior has been covered. These two types of book collectors that Walter Benjamin describes in “Unpacking my library” are the basis of this reflection on art collecting.

The history and formation of a collection will always have the idea of possession as a feature. The relationship of a collector with his artworks consists, in part, on the way the pieces were acquired and, also, on what life will the pieces have, from the time of their purchase. By principle, when an artist completes an artwork, and it is presented to the public, it should have a life of its own and be an object of reflection. When at the scoop of the audience, materially or conceptually, acquire an object like these, the motivations may be a strong connection to the own aesthetic experience or intuition, as a reaction to the aesthetic experience of others on the same object.

Art objects are things thought, they think on themselves. They are the target of criticism, observations, interpretations and even handling. They are materials that have lost all of its purpose on behalf of the lack of utility, they are things that have turned our guts inside out and make us not like them. The collector may have a collection of accumulation and it is this cumulative process that makes a person a collector of disorder; disorder that has the ability to become order to the consumer interlocutor. “Thus, the collector’s existence is a dialectic tension between the poles of order and disorder”, said Walter Benjamin about collectors of books.

Now I will talk a little about the collector who acquires from his intuition on the others aesthetic experience. This collector has generally good market vision, he seeks to value all of his assets. For him, the artwork is a commercial product that is acquired in order to be sold for a higher price. He is a kind of intermediary between artist and final collector. This intermediate collector has a rotative collection and never the same set of parts. He acquires, releases and enriches. There are artworks that, by its scientific value, deserve a position at viewable and not merely private collections, without social spirit.

For every collector it will be important, in the process of acquiring, an accurate flair. Dates, places names, previous owners, formats and materials are things to find out before purchasing an artwork. Needless to say, that in order for the acquisition to be fortunate, the art history and the knowledge of materials should be study factors.

Art fairs and biennials happen all over the world. Platforms, articles and news travel fast online, weighing more and more as a thinking machine. From home, we travel and acquire art objects, just by figuring out what is wanted and, by a click of a button, in a few moments, is is obtained. However, it is indispensable to go a long way to study the creators, how they create and what their value is, in order to acquire something that is beloved by us, that provides a reflection and enrich our daily spirit. However, Walter Benjamin tells us, and I make his words on books my own words on artworks: “Of all the ways to obtain books, writing them is considered the most commendable”. Well, acquiring artworks, by the expedient of working them, demonstrates a great dissatisfaction with what there is to acquire from other artists. To do is to acquire what is wanted without knowing if it is wanted. To do is to look for your collection a sense of its own.

Certamente que, na demora em frente à imagem e no cansaço dessa observação, a obra se irá manifestar olhando-nos também. É na forma clara e evidente que quando o que adquirimos nos olha que apreendemos que todos os olhares das obras que obtivemos traçam o palco e o cenário do destino enquanto colecionadores que nos tornamos.

The human being is a collector quintessentially. The number of objects that we accumulate in our homes, so we do not lack anything, it’s its endowment. We are collectors by excess: we may have thirty cups of coffee and only need a maximum of twenty. But we have the other ones just because, since cups of coffee can break and in case someone comes by, they are stored and ready to be filled with coffee and emptied because the coffee was drunk. Well, the art also fulfills its function, it is stored without being looked at and when observed in an attempt to figure out a direction, a mental function, becomes clear and latent for those who don’t observe and see them just as decorative product.

Certainly, on the delay in front of the image and the weariness of its observation, the artwork will manifest itself by looking back at us. It is in the clear and evident way that when what we acquire looks at us that we apprehend that all the artworks’ looks that we got set the stage and the destiny’s scenario as collectors that we become.


Curatorial Assistant