In this new series put together by art advisor and curator Daria Borisova we are speaking to knowledgeable collectors in the art world. Through personal anecdotes and in-depth interviews, we’ll be educating women about the cryptic art of collecting. Beth Redmond is a bi-coastal art director with a growing and impressive collection between New York and Los Angeles. With a passion for contemporary design, she has a unique and collaborative approach to working with artists. With a new art space set to open in New York in the near future, she is also working on something to promote diversity in the design field. We spoke to Beth about how she was first introduced to art, her approach to collecting and her upcoming plans.
How did you get into art?
I came through the fashion world. I’ve always loved fashion since I was very young. Obviously, fashion is a form of art, so it was a natural progression for me to make that shift.
What specifically about the fashion world allowed you to discover the art world?
From a young age, I’ve always seen fashion and art as interchangeable. Both are essential to express who we are and the world we live in. It’s hard to say which came first for me because it was all so pure. There was no permission to it, it was innate and inevitable in my story. I arrived at moments in my life where I found beauty in truth, in the aesthetic and feeling. Fashion and art are blood and bone in the same body.
Are there certain objects you prefer to collect over others?
Design is really my true passion and is the focus of my collection. Great design is art, but it also must serve a function for the most part. The whole process of making something, whether it be a sofa, chair or sculpture, really fascinates me.
I have a major obsession with chairs, and they are by far my favorite thing to collect. I think a good chair is one of the most iconic and important pieces of design. The chair has endless aesthetic possibilities without compromising its core function. Everything about a chair can influence the way it makes you feel. From form, materials, textures, colors and dimensions. Chairs are important for so many different settings and can stand alone without the need to be complemented by anything else.
The latest chair I’ve added to my collection is the Doggy Caddy Chair by artist duo OrtaMiklos from their new show at Friedman Benda Gallery in New York City.
So what about art as an investment right now?
I think even more people are investing in art right now because they are becoming more conscious of their sanctuary and their surroundings.
So how do you personally buy art?
Having such close relationships with certain galleries and artists, it’s very rare that I do buy from a fair. A lot of the time, particularly in design, it’s a collaborative effort between me and the artist to create one-of-a-kind-pieces. It’s fun to create works together and bring our visions to life.
Who are your favourite artists right now?
I just did a virtual studio visit with Hank Willis Thomas last week and was blown away. His work, often addressing key issues like racial injustices and gun violence, encourage the viewer to not only think differently, but also have conversations about race, identity, history and advertising.
Misha Khan is one of my favorite artists to create things with. Our visions and creativity are really in sync, and we are in the process of creating some really exciting works.
Another favorite right now is Jose Parla, who has an incredible show at The Bronx Museum up now until January 2021. I went to the opening in February, and there was so much love, energy and music in the museum. No one can bring people together like Jose can. I also love British artist Sarah Lucas. Her exhibition at Gladstone Gallery in New York City earlier this year was perfection, and I was so happy to add one of her sculptures from the show to my collection.
Can you tell us about any exciting projects you’re currently working on with artists?
I recently designed a sofa with the Campana Brothers. It will be called the “Beth Sofa” and is currently in the final stages of production. We designed it when I visited their studio last fall in Brazil, and I am very excited to see it in person soon. The sofa will be going to Redmond Studio, a space I am creating in New York City. I had a vision to create an intimate artistic space where I can collaborate with artists and galleries for unique projects and exhibitions, host artist talks and intimate gatherings and really bring the industries of art, fashion and design together in many different ways.
What is in your collection?
I have a New York collection that I’m slowly building, and I have an Los Angeles one too. In New York, I have a big Harland Miller that says “luv.” I also have a new Marilyn Minter painting, a huge Timothy Curtis painting, work by Jose Parla, Ruby Neri… I have the Daniel Arsham New York Times sculpture. I also just got a new Tracey Emin neon for New York, which I’m really excited about.
My LA collection is very design focused, with several pieces by Chris Shank, Misha Kahn, the Campana brothers, Thomas Barger and several paintings by Todd James, Kenny Scharf, Gregory Siff and David Shrigley.
What would you recommend to a new collector?
Everyone buys art for different reasons. For me, it has to be something that I want to live with on a daily basis, and I feel an emotional connection to. You should research the artist and find out the story behind them.
I do think advisors are helpful, especially if you’re just starting out as a collector. You’re not going to get access to see many works that are available so [an advisor] will definitely help you. They can also offer advice, but at the end of the day, you’re the one who’s going to have to live with it.
Everyone’s collecting for different reasons. Especially nowadays. Art has such a social aspect to it. But first and foremost, you should understand what you want to collect, and what your niche is going to be. I do think that every good collection should have some sort of focus.
And what about the future?
I’m really excited to be working on something very special to promote diversity in the design industry, and I hope to be able to announce it very soon. I would also really love to have a design museum one day.
Interview conducted by Daria Borisova, a Russian-born, London-based, curator and art advisor. Her work focuses on young and emerging, as well as established artists who inspire progressive understanding and promote lasting change. With an emphasis on transparency and education, Borisova has built collections for prominent private and corporate clients. She maintains relationships with philanthropists, organizations and art industry luminaries.
In her curatorial work, Borisova seeks to utilize non-traditional spaces to create immersive exhibitions and present emerging artists that often work in new media. Her most recent curatorial work includes: Global Call for Artists in partnership with W1 Curates x Amplifier – a digital public art installation in London, Winter Show at Harlesden High Street Gallery in London, House of Togetherness in London and Alla Gorka: Heroine presented by White Ribbon in Ukrainian Parliament and America House Kyiv.