Pictured at top: Hitch-hiker (Splattered Blue), John Baldessari, Color Xerox print.
Pictured at bottom: Watching, Jim Dingilian, pencil on wooden school desktop.
Owned by Katie Hauser, Associate Professor of Art History, and Joel Reed, Saratoga Arts Executive Director.
KH: I think, overall, what drives our interest is work that’s conceptually interesting, and well-crafted.…. When we started, we were in England, looking at a show at the Serpentine Gallery, and they had prints for sale. That’s when we bought the Baldessari - it was the first thing we bought. It was like, ‘Oh, this is actually affordable!’ And then when we were back in LA, we just started going to galleries because we liked to look at art, and it occurred to us that we could buy stuff, but we never really thought, ‘Oh, we’re gonna be collectors.’
JR: And aside from that Baldessari, we didn’t go the route of editions of prints by known 20th Century or contemporary artists. That’s another way to buy art affordably - but less interestingly. Because at that point everything’s already been stamped with some historical or critical approval. …Then probably a few pieces into it, we started saying, ‘What are we doing, and what kind of thing are we looking for?’ And we talked about the values behind it - of supporting emerging artists, and that it’s as much to support the artist as to acquire the art. And as time went on we noticed - though it wasn’t a goal or intention - we noticed that most of our work was by women, or black artists, or gay artists - artists who were underrepresented in large collections. But that still hasn’t guided us, before the art itself. It just ends up that the art we find interesting is by those artists.
Katie Hauser and Joel Reed, 2012