A Fictional Account of an Art Collector’s Diary: Saatchi

February 27th:

09.00hrs: Hosted the mandatory weekly board meeting. Frustratingly trying to get the team on board with my latest vision. Where’s their forward thinking, their chutzpah? It’s like trying to persuade a group of luddites of the merits of the wheel. An emerging artist I have been tracking since his degree show was the main thrust this morning – the meeting dragged on interminably. I regularly find myself waking up to art I passed by or simply ignored, I want to avoid this happening this month. I emphasise this to the board who are procrastinating, and I eventually convince them to take my point of view.

19.00hrs: Dinner at Scott’s with Nigella. Usually the staff are more than attentive but the wretched Paps from the Daily Mail slipped through and caught us mid-meal. Nigella was so embarrassed with the clam tagliatelle dribbling down her chin, I immediately called my lawyer – when the Paps saw what I was doing they legged it. Because I prefer not to have a high profile in terms of appearances the media hound us even when I’m out for a relaxing dinner; I fail to understand how utterly stirring and newsworthy this must be.

February 28th:

19.00hrs: Private view of Art13. Art fairs have become less about the art itself, and more about the social hierarchy surrounding contemporary artistic practice; this includes those social-climbers and name-droppers always present at the private views’ of someoneoranother – relevant this month and forgotten in the next. Hence, why I no longer have any interest in attending such frivolous, canapé-champagne fuelled events. Instead I remain stubborn in an attempt to avoid the mediocre; as today more than ever, artistic talent is in short supply. In any case, I consider myself an art dealer not a celebrity.

March 1st:

09.00hrs: Today was filled with meetings; first and foremost with my gallery director Rebecca Wilson. She is one of the few people whose opinion I listen to and value. We discussed the upcoming exhibition programme and its approach toward establishing new artists regardless of their pre-existent credibility and pedigree – of which is habitually non-existent. You have to be innovative and courageous in this industry, take risks on emerging students. I make it my business to invest in graduating students work – I like the idea that I may be pivotal in making or breaking a career. I don’t like being told or advised what or what not to buy for the gallery – the works reflect my taste absolutely – I don’t do half measures.

15.00hrs: In the afternoon I participated in curatorial policies for an upcoming exhibition. Myself and Rebecca worked on plans for hanging strategies, positioning of works and sequence of works. When I see something special, something inspired, I realise the debt I owe great curators and their unforgettable shows – literally unforgettable, because I remember every picture, every wall and every juxtaposition due to their skill and foresight.

March 2nd:

20.00hrs: We had dinner with Marc this evening and thought I’d humour him by playing a silly game with art. I suspended a life-size rubber cast of Marc’s figure upside down in our guest lavatory. Dangling by its feet, the figure’s head intended to rest beside yours as you sat. I believe Marc was appreciative of my connoisseurship and my curatorial inspiration on a domestic level, whilst a little startled to see his own work displayed in my family home’s bathroom.

March 3rd:

18.00hrs: Sunday – the one day a week I attempt to spend solely with my wife and children. The kids think it’s very uncool to have anything to do with my gallery, but they quite like the gallery shop. We spent the day as a family at home in Chelsea, sitting down to a lunch made by my wife – the only things I can cook are eggs and cornflakes.

March 4th:

17.00hrs: The start of an incredibly busy week; preparing for summer 2013 exhibition install and 2014 exhibition programming. As an art dealer, super collector – whatever it is that the media label me as – my concern is always in the art. And being able to show it off of course; after all I am known for being a self-serving egotistical boaster, something which I don’t deny. Nonetheless, the way in which I exhibit my new collections is crucial to the value I intend these works to gain. This value is monumentally based on the public eye and their observation of previously unseen work on the walls of my gallery.

March 5th:

14.00hrs: Today I have been making arrangements to invest in a collection by the artist I mentioned in my diary notes last Wednesday. By a recent Central St Martins graduate, the works are irrationally hip. I hope they will be received by the public and commercial art world in the same way that I received them, with a worth of pleasure. I always remind myself that art is no investment unless you get very, very lucky, and can beat the professionals at their own game. I pride myself on investments that I take pleasure in looking at, the value of those works rely on art market luck rather than the collector’s eye.

March 6th:

22.00hrs: Disaster in the gallery today as some imbecile managed to drop their digital camera in Richard’s 20:50 installation. I had to deal with numerous technicians and officials to recover the now-broken item which undoubtedly dirtied the depth of recycled oil. I contacted Richard to let him know, he immediately came over to the gallery to see the reality of issue. This no doubt led to the closure of the lower gallery space which was very disappointing due to the site-specific nature of this installation, and its permanent display in the space.

Suggestions are made to increase barrier control between the artwork and the public. This is something I would hope to avoid in my gallery; however these precautions may be necessary for the safety and security of the installation. Just imagine the catastrophe if the camera has been a small child? I would have to of rung my lawyer again to assess the damage limitation…

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