Some people love first edition rare books. Some people squirrel away gems into safes or keep bottles of fine wine in cellars. Whatever your pursuit that gives you pleasure in life, you need to do it with passion. In the sphere of the creatively inclined, therein exists the ART LOVER.
One of these true blue art lovers is Steve Shane, He has been looking, loving and living with art. The love affair began in high school during a Humanities class when the teacher picked out Salvador Dali as the artist for him to do a class presentation on. Delving hours in the library to learn about the surrealist and other fascinating facets about art that it carried on to make him start acquiring contemporary art in the seventies, With his schedule inundated with gallery shows, studio visits, art fairs, museums and events – it was a rare privilege to be invited by Steve to sit in as he gives a talk about his passion for art. On that particular Monday night, MFA students from Pratt were there to take a master class and gleam nuggets of knowledge from the mind of an art lover.
Steve’s criteria on what resonates best for him are works with a “sense of place”, “art about art”, “sense of humor”, and the dynamics of “seduction and repulsion”. Throughout the night, Steve singled out works of art and gave the back story on why it attracted him and earned its place on his wall. Students were encouraged to ask questions and perhaps learn from the passionate pursuit of Steve. He considers himself more of an art historian and every piece of art made its own imprint on his personal history.
What did we take away and learn from this peek behind the curtain of someone with a passion for just loving art? Conformity to the status quo and following the prevailing trend are for speculators that treat art like commodity in the stock market. There is no rhyme and reason for acquiring art you want and to live with. A unique and special force draws you to it and once you are enchanted – you are hooked for life. You might say the art bug has bitten Steve Shane but on the contrary, it is him who is taking a big slice out of life. The pleasure of living with art is certainly not for the faint of heart. After all, falling in love requires your pulse to race and your heart to beat faster. It is that unrelenting crescendo that keeps anyone on their toes and dance with abandon to the beat of their own drum.
Article written by: Oscar A. Laluyan
Photography by: Olya Turcihin