The Collectible Characters of Pop and Street Art
Property from the Collection of Sirje Helder Gold and Michael O. Gold
This work is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity issued by Rabbit Hills.
From the Catalogue:
For Michael and Sirje Gold, collecting art is both a passion and a way of life. After meeting in the advertising industry in New York City where they both worked and then marrying in 1968, the two began collecting almost immediately. The birth of their special collection began with works by Sirje’s fellow students at the Pratt Institute, transforming later into a diverse collection of sculpture, painting and photography that “talked to each one of us”, as Sirje explained. In fact, it was their rapidly growing art collection that informed many of the architectural decisions the couple made as they built beautiful homes in Connecticut and Los Angeles, structures which were not only homes, but tribute spaces to the artists whom they collected and loved.
Having resided on both coasts, the Golds have lived in the art capitals of America, acquiring works ranging from the crafts and designs of local artists in Connecticut to those by emerging Contemporary artists in Los Angeles, where Michael and Sirje became most involved with the art scene. As Michael recalls of his initial move to the West Coast, to California, it was only within a matter of the first year that he filled his Southern California cottage from floor to ceiling with new acquisitions. Sirje joined Michael long-term seven years after his arrival, and the two remained in Los Angeles for 10 more years, where they lived in their renovated Spanish colonial house. During this time, the Golds became some of the most active members of the Los Angeles art community, serving on the advisory and founding boards of a number of non-profit art organisations including Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (LACE), LAXArt and Fellows of Contemporary Art (FOCA).
The following two lots by Yoshitomo Nara and Takashi Murakami were acquired in the early 2000s, during these Los Angeles years. As Michael recalls, he first saw the works of Nara and Murakami at Blum & Poe back when the gallery was located in Santa Monica. Blum & Poe had just acquired one of the 10 sets of Pilgrims that Nara had completed in five different sets of colours. Only two of these 10 sets were broken up into their individual components, and Michael felt very lucky when he acquired one of these works. A couple of years later, the Golds added Murakami’s Kumo-Kun (Mr. Cloud), a sculpture that had already been on the couple’s wish list for a few years, the result of a fortunate conversation with gallery owner Tomio Koyama at his Art Basel booth in Miami Beach. When discussing both Nara and Murakami, the Golds say they were drawn to these artists for their innovation. Both “solid” artists, as Sirje called them, Nara and Murakami are each pioneers in their craft, and their sculptural works showcase a commitment to both their individual creative processes and their intentions. Having purchased both of these works well over a decade ago, the Golds sought out these pieces long before the artists achieved critical acclaim. Indeed, Michael recalls his visit to Nara’s recent solo exhibition at Pace Gallery in New York this past spring with a smile, where he saw that the artist’s paintings and sculptures were selling for upwards of a million dollars.
Phillips is thrilled to have the opportunity to offer works from the collection of Michael and Sirje Gold across our upcoming sales of 20th Century & Contemporary art in Hong Kong and New York, a collection as unique in its personality and passion as the Golds themselves.
—Courtesy of Phillips
Long Beach, California State University, University Art Museum, GOLDMINE: Contemporary Works from the Collection of Sirje and Michael Gold, 5 February - 10 April 2011, p. 55 (illustrated)
Bijutsu Techo Monthly Art Magazine, vol.52, no.790, July 2000, pp. 21-23 (another example illustrated)
Bijutsu Techo Monthly Art Magazine, vol.53, no.813, December 2001, p.77 (another example illustrated)
I Don’t Mind, if You Forget Me, exh. cat., Yokohama Museum of Art, Yokohama, 2001, no. 38, p. 132 (another example illustrated)
Yoshitomo Nara: Lullaby Supermarket, exh. cat., Institut für Kunst Nürnberg, Nürnberg, 2002, pp. 13, 77, 140-141, 146, 197-198 (another example illustrated)
CREAM 3: Contemporary Art in Culture: 10 Curators, 100 Contemporary Artists, 10 Source Artists, London, 2003, p. 242 (another example illustrated)
Mark Coetzee, Not Afraid: Rubell Family Collection, New York, 2004, p. 87 (another example illustrated)
Plastic Culture, Tokyo, 2006, p. 88 (another example illustrated)
Noriko Miyamura and Shinko Suzuki, eds., Yoshimoto Nara: the Complete Works, Volume 1: Paintings, Sculptures, Editions, Photographs 1984-2010, Tokyo, 2011, no. S-1999-009 and S-2000-002, p.270 (another example illustrated)
NARA Yoshitomo: a bit like you and me…, exh. cat., Yokohama Museum of Art, Yokohama; Aomori Museum of Art, Aomori; Contemporary Art Museum, Kumamoto, 2012, p. 55 (another example illustrated)
Yoshimoto Nara: The Complete BT Archives 1991-2013, Tokyo, 2013, pp. 95-97 (another example illustrated)
Blum & Poe Gallery, Los Angeles
Acquired from the above by the present owner
Influenced by elements of popular culture such as anime, manga, Walt Disney cartoons, and punk rock, Yoshitomo Nara creates paintings, sculptures, and drawings of adorable-yet-sinister childlike characters. Painted with simple bold lines, primary colors, and set against empty backgrounds, these small children and animals often share the canvas with text, knives, plants, and cardboard boxes, among other recurring elements. As one of the fathers and central figures of the Japanese neo-Pop movement, Nara’s work expresses the struggle to find an identity fractured by war, rapid modernization, and an omnipresent visual culture. Nara’s sculptures, made primarily from fiberglass, and his drawings on postcards, envelopes, and scraps of paper, further this exploration using the same elegance of line and simple palette as his paintings.
Japanese, b. 1959, Hirosaki, Japan
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