…Budding collectors can also consider the real-life case studies of contemporary art collectors who have ventured into the nascent new-media field. Gary Simons, a Los Angeles real estate developer and his wife Gilena, are two of Sacks’ newest clients. They primarily collect photography by such artists as Andreas Gursky, Candida Hofer and Richard Misrach. Last year, at an auction sponsored by the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, the couple bought their first new-media work, a computer-based sculptural piece by Casey Reas, simply because it was “so beautiful to see the machine’s components,” says Gilena.

The Simons’ recent purchases include a new multipart work by Lincoln Schatz, Shift, which is programmed to take continuous digital photographs and superimpose them on top of one another on a plasma screen over the course of eight years. Such sculptural pieces reflect the same areas of collecting—photography and design—that the Simons were already engaged in. “I’ve realized that collecting new-media art is just like buying any other art,” explains Gilena. “Buy what you love, and don’t worry about whether it will get outdated.”

By Reena Jana
Art + Auction | June, 2006
© 2006 by Art + Auction