The 50 Most Exciting Art Collectors Under 50 (Part 2): Page 3 of 6
The 50 Most Exciting Art Collectors Under 50 (Part 2)
Curator of art at the Paisley Museum since 1996, Kusel is also chairman of the board of Street Level Photoworks, a nonprofit organization in Glasgow committed to fostering public interest and participation in photography. Her academic training in film and television studies, museum studies, and art history has enabled her to bring a modern perspective to the museum’s historical collection, as well as to her own purchases.
Dean and Mara Landis
CEO of Entrepreneur Growth Capital, Dean is a third-generation financial manager. Along with his wife, Mara, Dean actively contributes to a number of children’s charities when not buying works by contemporary artists such as Julianne Swartz.
Suzanna Lee and Manish Vora
Lee, a member of the Whitney Contemporaries steering committee and the Creative Time creative council, lives with her boyfriend, Vora, cofounder of Artlog and Grey Area, and their burgeoning collection. “It seems that portraits have been dominating our collection and that many of the artists we love live in Brooklyn,” Vora says. “Most recently we have acquired a beautiful portrait from Sarah Kurz, a Jackie O portrait on a Vogue magazine cover by Andrea Mary Marshall, and a Peggy Guggenheim portrait by Rachel Kaye. We also have two large, full-body portrait canvases from Panamanian artist Miky Fábrega that we have decided to loan to friends, as we could not fit the works in our East Village apartment.” Lee and Vora are anticipating the arrival of newly acquired works from Natalie Frank, Nic Rad, and Nir Hod.
Miyatsu lives in what he terms his “dream house,” still under construction and conceived in collaboration with the artist Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster, who had never before undertaken an architectural project. Inside, one finds a commissioned work by Yoshitomo Nara, an ink-and-wash work on a sliding screen, made as a personal favor for his longtime collector and friend; bathroom wallpaper by Japanese conceptual artist Shimabuku; a trompe l’oeil ceiling in the main bedroom by young Japanese artist Teppei Kaneuji, in which strange creatures fashioned from paper peek out from knots in the wood. On the landing stands a mirror whose frame was created for him by Yayoi Kusama. Meanwhile, Miyatsu’s formal collection — the one that was celebrated in a special exhibition at MOCA Taipei last year — is miles away in a temperature-controlled, earthquake-proof Tokyo warehouse.
Miyatsu happily calls collecting an addiction, and he has fed his habit for the past 18 years, even though he has nothing like the money that most connoisseurs bring to the endeavor. In fact he is widely known in Asia as the “salaryman collector,” having financed his impressive collection of international contemporary art with the paycheck from his job as a Tokyo office worker. Miyatsu’s passion was sparked while he was still at school, when he came across the work of Andy Warhol. But it was Japan’s eccentric genius Yayoi Kusama who transformed him into a collector. “Do you know how the astronaut feels in '2001: A Space Odyssey' when he encounters space?” Miyatsu asks. “That’s how I felt when I first stood in front of her work.” A few years later, when he had a steady job, he launched his collection with a small Kusama drawing from 1953. In the years that followed, Miyatsu’s Kusama collection grew, and he also began collecting works by the likes of Nara and Olafur Eliasson. “There is something egotistical about being a collector,” he says. “And that is why it is my responsibility to keep the collection safe in storage so that one day it can be passed on.” — Madeleine O’Dea