One of the primary joys of Netflix is being able to see films that you wouldn't get a chance to see in local movie
theaters. One of those is director Megumi Sasaki's extraordinary 2009 documentary
Herb & Dorothy, now available on
DVD, iTunes and Netflix's streaming video. I saw it a few days ago and can't recommend it highly
Herb and Dorothy Vogel–a postal clerk
and a librarian–started collecting art in the early 1960s, living on her paycheck
while using his to buy art. They lived for their passion–visiting studios and becoming patrons to several artists
early in their careers, making a second home of galleries and museums–slowly amassing what is considered to be one of
the finest Minimalist and Conceptual Art collections ever seen.
Dorothy's collecting advice? “We buy what we like, what we can afford and what
we can fit into our one-bedroom Manhattan apartment.”
In 1992, the National Gallery of Art
in Washington, DC asked the Vogels if
they could do an inventory of the couple's collection that was stored
stacked and cubby-holed) in their tiny, rent-controlled apartment. The
final inventory of the diminutive couple's priceless collection was
pieces and includes work from such art-world luminaries as Warhol, Schnabel, Christo, Chagall, Duchamp and Oldenburg, as well as former Orange County resident Mark
The Vogels ended up donating their collection to the National, receiving
a small annuity in the bargain, which they then turned around and spent to
re-fill their apartment with even more art.
“Art is not limited to the elite few,” says director Sasaki. “You don't have to be wealthy or an art-school graduate to enjoy art. If you are interested in
collecting art, you don't have to follow trends or others' advice. Just listen
to your own voice. Trust your eyes and instinct. Simply take the time to look,
look and look.”
Inspired by the Vogels, I went out and purchased a ceramic
sculpture called Bond from Placentia artist Anthony Foo.
Peter, had a stroke last August, and the experience brought us together so
that when I saw the sculpture, I felt like I could see my entire life
with him encapsulated in the two fragile paperclay towers bound with
My agenda for this column is that by interviewing curators, artists and gallery
owners, I'll offer some insight into the thoughts and theories of those producing
art locally. That by reviewing shows of
interest, I can encourage people to get up and out to galleries and exhibitions. That you'll invest in art and take it home.
Live with it.
Make it a part of your life.
If you buy art, write me at Rudegrrlla@aol.com
and tell me what attracted you to the work and who you bought it from.
I'll post your stories and pictures of the art you cherish in Art Whore.