I will break this down into a subject to be revisited frequently because my list is far too long but here are a few that immediately come to mind and I will add more in future posts.
Jeffrey Milstein, Airliners
China Airlines Boeing 747-400
Milstein's series of airliners is the perfect combination of sleek, modern, sexy and manly. They come in several print sized editions so one would not have to commit to something quite so large.
Jeffrey Milstein's series Airliners series is also published in a book entitled "Aircraft: The Jet as Art." Another sign for collectors that the artwork you collect is by an established and recognized artist of value.
Julie Blackmon, Daytripping
Night Movie, 2011
One of my personal collecting themes is to collect artwork that features children. It is common for collectors, particularly of photography to choose themes such as artwork with hands in it, women, self portraits or in my case children.
Blackmon's artwork is excellent, accomplished and she is published as well in a beautiful book entitled "Domestic Vacations." It will not be long until her work is seen at major museums so I highly recommend her and If I had a million dollars.. I would probably buy out her entire series.
Julie Blackmon, Domestic Vacations
Hung Liu, 2010
Sister 1, oil on c
Hung's work is currently on exhibit at the MILLS College Art Museum, Hung Liu: Offerings. I have been attending her exhibitions for about ten years here in LA at the Walter Maciel Gallery and am always blown away by her mastery of craft and the powerful emotions her works evoke as well. Hung's themes deal with growing up as a child of the Chinese revolution. She had two impressive exhibitions during the Beijing Olympics both here and in Beijing. Hung Liu may not be as well known in Los Angeles as she is in the SF Bay Area but she is a painter that other artists look to when they want to learn about being a great painter.
Catherine Wagner, is another photographer I collect and have followed her career from the late 80's. Her new series, trans/literate is currently on exhibition at Gallery Luisotti, SM. Wagner has headed the photography department at MILLS for 20 + years has had residencies at UCLA and was commissioned at the LAPD Headquarters in downtown LA and was the inaugural artist in residence for the reopened De Young Museum in SF.
Ray was a graduate student when I attended MILLS and I have followed his career, been his mentee, his friend and colleague. Ray has sewn dollar bills together to form soft sculptures, has placed live finches in his sculptures, stolen objects from his friends homes which he later placed in found object/sculptures and produced a series which I have never gotten out of my head called 101 portraits. I think a litmus test on whether to buy or collect an artwork is if you forget about an artwork easily, don't buy it but there are those that stay with you in your mind and marinate. Those you should buy! Ray's "Conan" from this series is one I have never gotten out of my consciousness.
In this series Ray googled a celebrity's name such as Conan or Britney and captured the first 101 images that would pop up in his browser and layered all of them to form new"celebrity" portraits that are ghost like and play on themes of exploitation, the over abundance of media and our fascination with them. Ray also has his portrait of George Washington made out of sewn dollar bills in the permanent collection of the DeYoung Museum in SF. If I could I would get his giant mounted print of Conan and display it prominently in my home!
Catherine Wagner, trans/literate
The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald 2011
Ray Beldner, 101 Portraits
Conan, 05.21.10, 2010
Britney, 03.01.10, 2010
Ching Ching Cheng
(if you can't wait you can google them)