The glasses full fashion that Barbara and Aaron Levine used, and that serve to give the stroke end to his perennial portrayal, it's not enough to print in the observer, a surface image of these two protagonists of the contemporary art. This is the first rarity of a partner to which the passage of time has not diminished his passion primal. And when passion sends, trips to Europe, in searches mutely, and the purchases unexpected knock on the door, without which nothing can alter them.
With such a curiosity for a type of art that has to be contemporary chronologically and conceptually and, therefore, often difficult to digest at first glance, the Levine have been recognized for their professionalism and for their consistency by newspapers such as The Washington Post, and now you are ready to talk with THE COUNTRY with kindness.
Not because of seeking to renege on, what is going on, what has made them unique. “Our criterion tends to favor the conceptual, the idea about what is objective and what we consider to be thought, following the principle of Marcel Duchamp in which the artist goes up to half way and the observer must do the rest to complete each piece. The intellectual challenge behind the work: that is what we are excited about truly”, says Aaron, the voice avejentada, the tone is assertive but affable. And he adds: “it is Not a bowl of roses or a lovely picture, but there we tend to go”.
What is happening today in the world with this issue of the records in the auctions and the successes resonant will end up killing the artist
With a fragility that is only apparent and nuances of voice that move in a broader range, Barbara contradict that, accomplice: “Not everything you see here is conceptual, as you can see in the work of artists such as William Kentridge. What we really support is what excited us. That's why, sometimes we buy unconsciously: beyond that the author is known or unknown, we simply love it. And, do you know? It is curious, then, when you get home, hang up a new piece on the wall and begins to dialogue with the work that is to the side, which, at the same time, you start to say things which I had told you before. However, there is something that Aaron and I are in agreement, and that is that many collectors buy only what is theoretically the best, without mistakes and in a way cold, while to us the value of the market influence us unless the true passion for the art.”
Not in vain David Hume argued that “reason is, and only ought to be, the slave of the passions, and can not claim another office than to serve and obey them”, a apotegma that Savoybetting these collectors of elite –always present in the ránkings of rigor– they are present.
“it is better to be overly-passionate and cold, if you make a mistake, then what?”, says Barbara, at the time, which explains the curious metamorphosis that Aaron and she did it from the German expressionism and the minimalism without flags to conceptual art. A style, add, that the addition of an old gem of Raphael Soyer not only not hurt, but will enrich. The art of hierarchy, you know, not go out of fashion.
what Has killed the painting?
But, how do these Cristiano Ronaldo of collectors have fallen in love Duchamp? “Very simple: after you have purchased our first piece, about fifteen years ago, I was obsessed and did not stop to buy,” he confesses between laughs. And explicit: “art, like music, and unlike the language, you can be moved profoundly and to act on it in every way. And the idea that Duchamp truly aprehendiera the artistic universe, would be as revolutionary since the Renaissance and to show the irrelevance of the painting, I bewitched”.
Yikes! Perhaps you would say Duchamp today that painting is dead? “I think that man is able to take objects of everyday life, such as a urinal, and proclaim them works of art, I would answer that yes, that has been killed without a doubt. The idea of beauty, which existed in the NINETEENTH century, has evaporated. In the end, what matters, more than the art, is the artist”.
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it Will be a long while before that, between rigors, pranks and controversies, the conversation ends. And, in the meantime, Aaron, who admires and collects Warhol and On Kawara but he loves to Duchamp to the point of considering it a part of your family, be granted: “Ok, not I will tell you that Matisse is not art, but yes that looks ageing”.
As you can see, in the Levine live the humor and the kindness with the more plain political incorrectness. Only thing you need to know how they have gone to these wanderers on the last trip around the globe that have been made to expand the particular and rich vision that has enriched the world of collecting. Sincere to the end, they will say: “We bought a giant picture of a chinese artist that has us fascinated, but although there are people out there that tell us that it is not so, we do not find a pattern in our way of collecting”.
Fans unexpected monk, poet and theologian, Dom Sylvester Houédard and the curator and current director of SFMOMA Neal Benezra, the Levine are big readers that pickle his collecting and his philanthropy –such as the recent donation of a large part of his library to the Chicago Art Institute, and the future donation of all his Duchamp to the Hirshhorn Museum of Washington– with magnetic words.
For example, the button final, courtesy of Barbara: “What is happening today in the world with this issue of the records in the auctions and the successes resonant will end by killing artists, especially if they are young. That pace and the pressure are not normal. Because let's not forget: there are many people who buy art of fashion as if they were bonds, and then flees. And that bubble, in addition to being harmful, is not sustainable in the long term.”
To us the value of the market influence us unless the true passion for the art
what I have written “end button”? I had to write “almost”. Because the end is for Aaron, who demonstrates that to be bold don't always have to use complicated words: “For us, first of all, collecting is a passion.”