Art Collectors has interesting little feature on their site where they profile art collectors. A recent profile was of the Los Angeles based art collector Stavros Merjos. He collects artists like Jeff Koons, Roy Lichtenstein, Claes Oldenburg, Takashi Murakami, James Rosenquist, Andy Warhol, and a bunch of emerging artists.

I like what Stavros says about money, happiness, & art..
“They say money doesn’t buy happiness, but there is one way I’ve found that working hard and having wealth does change your life: Coming home to a house full of art truly is a way to enhance one’s happiness. I can be in a [terrible] mood, but if I walk around my house, the artwork cheers me up. I absolutely love living with museum-quality art.” Artinfo

I guess it could have the opposite effect if you were collecting artists like Francis Bacon or Ken Currie.

I’ve heard of some artists that don’t collect art because they would be tempted to change them, and others that have rooms filled with the art of others. I have found that I can’t have the art of others in important places like the bedroom or the studio unless I want to steal something from the artist or the painting. They’re both places that you drop your guard.. so if it’s a bad painting it gets absorbed.. just as it does if it’s a good painting.

I also dislike staying in a hotel if it has bad art in it. And I almost run through exhibitions that I don’t like. Perhaps it’s an over-reaction.. but it’s something I can’t control :-O

About Dion

Australian artist and observer of things.. all kinds of things. I like a wide variety of art, from the weird and wonderful to the bold and beautiful.. and everything in between.


  1. Art News Blog,

    What a personal blog you write today! How sensitive you are!

    I agree with your views about art in the bedroom. And bad art in a restaurant or hotel can be unpleasant. I was once in a beautiful house. They had some abstract paintings hanging there that were so bad (not shocking, not objectionable, just downright bad) that, for me, it took away much of the charm of the rest of the house. It is powerful.

  2. Yeah, I sometimes go further than just report the news Karl ;-)


  3. I like the personal angle.

  4. I have a couple of rooms with lots of art but the rest of the house is minimal. I found that my eyes and thoughts needed a relief from the stimulation (having been in my studio most of the day).

    Bad art or badly placed art, or bland prints can ruin a place. Mind a francis bacon hanging in the local coffee house would be wonderful ;)

  5. It’s impossible to hang art anywhere without someone finding it “bad”.

    Personally I can appreciate all art, even if it suits my taste or not, and would never run through an exhibition or feel uncomfortable in a hotelroom or restaurant. I appreciate that someone else might appreciate it and there’s always something in everything that I can appreciate or find beautiful in different ways.

  6. Sure, I can appreciate a lot of different styles too. It’s more about just bad art though, whether it is by Michelangelo, Jean Dubuffet, or Claude Monet (all artists that I like).

    A lot of it is subjective, but some things are just bad, period.

    It’s less about taste, more about things that shouldnt leave an artist’s studio.

    I have come out of some exhibitions and felt like washing my eyes! I also think I’m very open minded, if the work is done well.

    I probably sound like a picture nazi now :-P

  7. Art News Blog, I’m happy for Nathalie that she can appreciate all are. I understand your viewpoint, however, and I don’t think there is anything wrong with it or a need to refer to 20th century history in the context that you do.

  8. -A lot of it is subjective, but some things are just bad, period.-
    That’s a quote, of course.
    I’m afraid that the logic of stratification (ranking by qualities) in the contemporary art world, requires one to reject entirely any objective standard for judging any piece of artwork as bad or good on other than subjective grounds. Think of what Degas, for one example, did to the early 19th Century criteria associated with the concepts of composition. Think of the death blow that Harold Rosenberg and the practitionars he espoused did to the criteria of invisible brush strokes as a criterion for good and bad art
    In essence the Spirit of our democratic age increasingly puts on the defensive anyone claiming to distinguish good or bad on the basis of any universalistic(applying equally to all) criterion.
    Like it or Lump it! When composition, drawing, compatible colors, recognizable human figures,and other features of what I have often seen stigmatized as Reactionary Art (and bad), has had as an unforeseen consequence (to the engaged artist), of depriving him or her of any way to claim legitimacy for any criterion of good on any ground (when closely examined logically or empirically) other than I ( or we) like it that way, so that makes it the best way.
    I suppose each artist among us who has nothing better to do can try to construct a system of judgment which would achieve anything like universal acceptance even within one much less numerous national art capitals.

  9. “some things are just bad, period.”

    See I don’t agree that that isn’t about taste ;)

    It’s something evolving into the discussion about what art is. I don’t think there are such things that shouldn’t leave the studio, it’s all subjective in my world. But we can agree to disagree. You don’t have to defend your opinion, but yes you do sound like a picture nazi, just a lil’ bit :D
    Have a great Weekend!

  10. I’m getting confused who is talking to whom here. But these faces are neat. I think NW’s comment is a pretty amazing use of language: e.g., “I don’t think there are such things that shouldn’t leave the studio, it’s all subjective in my world.” Huh?

    Now as to what is art?…

    Just kidding.

    Nathalie, it seems you are out-voted here. So you can have all the art that we don’t like, as long as you keep it in a bedroom in Sweden where we don’t go. Enjoy!

    Art News Blog, if you are so visually sensitive (really, it’s great to read about it) how on Earth can you stand surfing the web each day looking for neat art stuff to put on your site? I mean, that’s why I read your blog instead of going out there myself, so I don’t have the feeling I need to “wash my eyes.” It’s not so much a matter of good or bad — I’m being serious here — but rather, a question of what I’m working on at the moment. If I’m doing one sort of artwork, I just don’t want to see something that will distract and confuse me. Looking at art is a bit like being able to read a book in a few seconds. If you could do that, going into a library could be very confusing. That’s my problem with the web, too many pictures. I often surf with image-loading turned off. Is that unusual, do you think?

  11. I think art is a matter of personal taste … I’ve seen huge abstract works at the local museum that personally I believe my 9 year old grandson would have done much better with when he was 6 months old … but SOMEONE liked it well enough to call it art and hang it in a museum – I just look then walk on.

    But staying at a hotel with bad art is VERY hard for an artist – I’ve seen some I would like to just take down and stuff in a closet … I’ve never had the courage to ask if they could take it down for me while I was there … and it is probably bolted to the wall so they couldn’t even if they wanted to do so … yet I met someone once who insisted on buying a picture off the wall of their room at the hotel.

    Art means different things to different people.

  12. Art News Blog,

    Regarding surfing image-free, I’d like to add that your blog does very well without any images. You describe the work you show well, so I can choose if I want to view it. When I don’t, I do not get the feeling that I am missing the story altogether.

    Some blogs disintigrate without their images.

  13. Irv, that gives me a headache just thinking about trying to create a “system of judgement” to be used universally. It would be scary if art museums used such a system to acquire new work too.

    And yeah, I would hate to see a world where artists let everything leave their studio Nathalie. Some artists do it, I’m sure, but they shouldnt.

    I love Picasso, but I think he let a lot of work escape from the studio that shouldn’t have.

    And Karl, I’m probably such a picture nazi because I look at so much art. I’m not afraid of bad art, I just move onto the next website, or next book, or next exhibition. There’s just too much good art out there to be bothered by bad art.

    It’s not an issue I’m in therapy over either. I can stay in a hotel room that has bad art in it and still have a good time, even if I have to cover it with a towel (just kidding)

    Thanks for the compliment on the use of images too Karl. I don’t really put that much thought into them. If a picture seems appropriate it gets used, if not, that’s also fine.

    I’m off to do a cull in the studio ;-)


  14. I’m sorry you didn’t understand what I was saying Karl, but it was to Dion anyways so it doesn’t matter :)

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