Sculpture by Pablo Atchugarry in Dr. King´s private art collection
A treatise on life and art.
Whenever I buy a sculpture, a vintage car or a painting, I don't look at the artist. I actually avoid meeting him or her. It doesn't matter what I think of the artist. Not for me, not for the work of art.
The result is important to me, not the intention, not the indirect consequences.
Would I only buy a work of art because I like the artist?
Would I marry because I feel sorry for the person, because they deserve to be married?
These decisions are closely related.
The artist's idea and the collector's idea fall apart: actually they need to.
For the artist, the act of doing is important in order to show the truth in his personal thinking. That's greatness in an artist. That is the source of his personal pride.
For the collector, the result is important as the product of the original idea and skillful execution.
If the product of these two factors makes the collector feel, "I will be happier and more complete with you, with the result," then the artist has created something that is worthy and meaningful to the collector.
Whenever you see an art form that resonates with you for the first time, that first glimpse will be remembered where and when. Not necessarily the "I'm in love" glimpse, but the "Look at this, what's that?" .
It was december 2013 and I visited Art Basel Miami with my then girlfriend. Axa and HSBC invited me to a German tour of the fair. About 35 minutes later, this huge marble structure stood in front of me, about 3 meters high and glowing white. Still, it looked like it could fly away with the strength of a single breath.
Perhaps that's why I stopped breathing until I noticed the urge to breathe.
The guide asked if we could go on and I let him and the group move away without allowing myself to look away, too afraid I might not find this work again.
A lady from the booth came by and told me the name: Pablo Atchugarry, that he was from Uruguay and that he wanted to express with his work ...
Immediately I stopped her by holding my finger to my lips.
"I do not want to know".
Why should I let someone tell me what to feel? How dare you express perfect beauty in words? If it's there you know. Not because someone tells you, but because you see it.
Beauty is a result of personal history, of things you have seen, of those you want to feel again, of those you fear to see again.
For me, art has always been a way of looking for perfect beauty. Perfect beauty is a pleonasm, because perfection is always beautiful. Don't believe me, ask a mathematician.
Maybe that's why I'll never be a big or important collector.
I may like a piece, can't live without it, and maybe wonder what went wrong with all of the other pieces by the same artist.
I only buy art to appeal to my own taste. I buy what i love. Not to show something, to become part of a crowd, the crowd of collectors. Not to be admired or even known as a collector. To date there have been fewer than 30 people in my collection. All are my friends. No friend, no entry.
I don't even "admire" the artwork, just the artist's ability to pamper me with the result of his work. I enjoy the presence of the work of art.
I like to come to these works of art in my collection and say hello to them. I have a feeling that they are hugging me. We are happy to be together and to be with each other.
I look at them, I see how much love has been put into them by their creators. Perfect works of art are proud, they saw love when they were created, they convey love to those who are prone to sensitivity. I hear them whisper
"Look at me, I was loved."
After Art Basel Miami, I followed Ron Lauder's advice to collect art that he had once given me. So I started reading everything I could find about the artist.
Then, knowing this, I tried twice - both times without success - to bid for sculptures at Sotheby's London, realizing that I was definitely not the only one who saw the "astonishment" in Mr. Atchugarry's work.
And then luck played into my hands and it came in two steps: In 2018 I barely missed Piero Atchugarry, the artist's son, at his stand in Berlin and still wanted to contact him. My girlfriend at the time showed me his gallery on Instagram and that I could write to him. I tried.
He answered and we exchanged messages, very slowly at first.
Then in April 2019 I drove with my friend Florian and his girlfriend Natalia to the Lago di Como to the Corso d´Eleganza Villa d´Este.
I posted a few photos from the event and Piero immediately replied that we were near his father's workshop and that we should stop by the next day.
On a Sunday! But why not ?
And what a Sunday it would be: what beautiful works of art -
And more than that - what a family!
It is said that success goes into some people's head. Not so with the Atchugarry family.
Pablo Atchugarry actually asked us to excuse his appearance as he was covered in marble dust and had to complete a large sculpture for an upcoming exhibition in northern Italy. His son Piero - when he speaks you can feel the joy and pride he has when he shows his father's works.
If there were two words for Piero and Pablo Atchugarry and Pablo's wife: humble, capable, nice (ok, that's three, two wouldn't be enough and who counts?). If you meet Pablo and Piero and Ms. Atchugarry and don't make friends with them right away, something is wrong with YOU. Plain and simple.
Later that year, I asked Piero if I could join the waiting list for a new Atchugarry sculpture. We agreed on the price and finally, 7 years after my first glance, on Christmas morning 2019, it was delivered to my collection. Just to give you an idea: the sculpture is so heavy that I needed a friend to help me put it on the stand.
What does she look like to me?
Imagine white sheets of Japanese paper, folded, opened by a gentle breeze, flowing like butterflies in space, caught in a snapshot, frozen in time.
Perfection has many faces. There are 5 sides to this beautiful perfection that I keep looking at, and all of them are of course beautiful.
And sometimes, just sometimes, you can see that you even want one more work of art because you know the artist.
That is the surprising, perfect beauty in life when you express it as l´chaim החיים.
http://www.fundacionpabloatchugarry.org/en/pablo-atchugarry in Uruguay
http://www.pieroatchugarry.com/ in Miami