THE SPIRIT OF A COLLECTION: Guy Ludovissy
The figure of the collector has traditionally been linked to the highest and most inaccessible social status. However, with the democratization of art and the gradual access to culture by the people, collecting has gradually enchanted the bourgeoisie, and fueled the proliferation of critics, art dealers, authenticators and, more recently, gallery owners. With globalization and the effervescence of art trade fairs around the world, art galleries have crossed borders, gaining recognition and providing access to collecting art for a socio-economic sector that could never have imagined the possibility of acquiring a unique work of art in the past.But let's delve into the essence of the collector, because it is not only an activity deeply marked by drive, but rather, far from being pure hobby or passion, has also evolved in terms of its management and professionalisation.
The collector supports the creator, committing themselves not only to the artist, but also to the public's awareness of art. Those who cultivate such passion for pure pleasure in private are a minority. And although they do exist, most seek to share, as that is one of the essences of collecting: it is more a patron than a speculator, and their hobby stimulates the dynamics of the framework of art.
The Luxembourg lawyer Guy Ludovissy has an impressive collection of photographs, engravings and ceramics by Pablo Picasso, part of which has been exhibited in the rooms of the Reial Cercle Artistic during August and September 2018. The magnificent photographs show a Picasso in his later period and are the work of the Irishman Edward Quinn -who maintained close, friendly ties with the artist from 1951 until his death -and the Frenchman André Villers, with whom the Spaniard even came to publish a folderof engravings –'Diurnes'– that recreate Picasso's overflowing imaginary. Throughout the years that their friendship lasted, both came to portray an intimate and unknown Picasso.
Beyond the work, it is the person of Picasso that really seduced me
You have got yourself with a fabulous collection of photographs, engravings and ceramics that cause admiration wherever it goes. What is it about Picasso's work that so captivated you?
Actually, it is much more than a mere attraction to Picasso's work. I understand that the figure of Picasso, always so enigmatic, transcends his work. He was a man with an obstinate and positive character whose magnetic production is very faithful to his position and his charisma.
Being able to show the collection in different countries and see how many people are enjoying the exhibition must be very satisfying...
Of course it is. It is especially attractive to see a Picasso who isn't posing and is shown with absolute naturalness, joking and totally at ease before the camera, which he seduces with his spontaneity. The public is seduced by access to images that reveal interesting details about Picasso's enigmatic persona, much more seductive than his own art.
The collection includes little-known ceramic pieces, doesn't it?
Precisely. Picasso came into contact with ceramics by chance and, after that, he became obsessed with it, managing to create a huge amount of pieces in a relatively short period of time. They are little-known works that demonstrate Picasso's creative vehemence and the obsessive and intoxicating nature. I am much more seduced by the person than the artist.
Do you think collecting is an activity that should be enjoyed privately or in company?
It is especially interesting to share the reflections that one develops privately with others. Trying out interesting topics with your group of contacts and friends is very rewarding.
Of all the images in your collection, is there any one that you are particularly interested in?
This is an easy question to answer. Picasso, his back to us, sitting on a chair and contemplating a blank canvas. It is symbolic and grandiloquent, the artist in front of the project and nothing else, a magnificent photograph.