Sculpture by Pablo Atchugarry at Dr. King´s private collection
A treatise on life and art.
Whenever I buy a sculpture, vintage car or painting I do not look at the artist. Actually, I avoid meeting them. It is of no importance what I think of the artist. Not to me, not to the artwork.
The result is important, not the intention, not the indirect consequences, in my mind.
Would I buy a piece of art only because I like the artist ?
Would I marry because I feel sorry for the person, because she deserves to be married ?
These decisions are linked intrinsically.
The artist´s idea and the collector´s idea fall apart: They must, actually.
For the artist the deed, the doing is important as a way to show the truth in his personal thinking. That is greatness in an artist. That is the source of his personal pride.
For the collector, the result as a product of original idea times skillful execution is important.
If the product of these two factors give the collector the feeling - "I will be happier, more com-plete with you, with the result" then the artist has created something worthy and meaningful for the collector.
Whenever you see an art form that resonates with you for the first time, you´ll remember where and when, this first look. Not the "I fell in love look" necessarily, but the "look at this, what is this?" look.
It was December 2013, and I was at Art Basel Miami with my then girlfriend. I was invited by Axa and HSBC for a german tour of the show. Around 35 minutes into it, there was this huge marble structure, abut 7 feet high, shining white, looking as if it could fly away by the power of one single breath.
Perhaps that´s why I stopped breathing until I realised the urge to breathe in.
The guide asked if we could go on and I let him and the group move away, not allowing myself to look away, too afraid I might not find it again.
A lady from the booth came ove and told me the Name : Pablo Atchugarry, that he was from Uruguay and that he wanted to exprees...
There and then I stopped her by holding my finger on my lips.
"I do not want to know".
Why would I allow someone to tell me what I should feel ? How would you dare to express perfect beauty in words ? When it is there, you know. Not because some-body tells you, but because you see it.
Beauty is a result of personal history, of things you saw, those you want to feel again, those you fear to see again.
Art for me was always a way to seek perfect beauty. Perfect beauty is an pleonasm, as perfection is always beautiful. Don´t believe me, ask a mathematician.
That´s perhaps why I will never be a great or important collector.
I may like one piece, cannot live without it, and may wonder what went wrong with all other pieces of that very same artist.
I will buy only to appeal to my own taste. I buy what I love. Not to show. Not to be admired or even known as a collector. To this day, less than 30 people were in my collection. All are my friends.
I do not even "admire" the artwork, only the artist´s ability to indulge me with the result of his work. I enjoy the presence of the artwork.
I like to come to these pieces of art in my collection and greet them, I feel they embrace me, we are happy to be arond and with each other.
I look at them, I see how much love was put in them by their creator. Perfect artowrks are proud, they have seen love when they were created, they instill love in those who are susceptible to sensibility. I hear them whisper "look at me, I have been loved."
After Art Basel Miami I followed Ron Lauder´s advice to collecting art he once gave me. So I started reading everything about the artist I could find.
Then, with this knowledge, I tried twice - both time unsuccesfully - to bid on sculptures at Sotheby´s London, realising I was definitely not the only one to see the "amazingness" in Mr. Atchugarry´s work.
And then luck played in my hands, and it took two steps : In 2018 I narrowly missed Piero Atchugarry at his booth in Berlin and yet wanted desperately to contact him. My then girlfriend showed me his gallery on instagram and that I could write to him. I tried. He replied and we exchanged, ever so slowly at first, messages.
Then in April 2019 I drove with friend Florian and his girlfriend Natalia to lago di Como, for the Corso d´Eleganza at the Villa d´Este.
I posted a few photos of the event and Piero promptly replied to say that we are 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 become : What beautiful pieces of art -
And more than that - what a family !
They say being successful goes to some people´s heads. Not family Atchugarry. Pablo Atchugarry actually asked us to excuse his appearance as he was covered in marble stone and needed to finish a big sculpture for an upcoming show in Northern Italy. His son Piero - when he talks you feel the joy and pride he has showing his father´s works.
If there are two words for Piero and Pablo Atchugarry and Pablo´s wife : Humble, able, nice (ok, that´s three, two would not be enough and who´s counting ?). If you meet Pablo and Piero and Ms Atchugarry and you do not become friends with them on the spot, there is something 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 glimpse, on Christmas morning 2019 it was delivered to my collection. Just to give you an idea : the sculpture is so heavy I needed a friend to help me put it on the stand.
How does it look like to me ?
Imagine white japanese paper sheets, folded, opening up by a light breeze, flowing like butterflies in space, caught in a snapshot, frozen in time.
Perfection has many faces. This beautiful perfection has 5 sides I look at, again and again, and all are, of course, beautiful.
And sometimes, only sometimes, you may see that you would even like a piece of art more, because you know the artist.
That´s the suprising, perfect beauty in life when expressed as l´chaim החיים.
http://www.fundacionpabloatchugarry.org/en/pablo-atchugarry in Uruguay
http://www.pieroatchugarry.com/ in Miami