Amber Berger, the profile of a young collector
AMBER BERGER, CO-FOUNDER OF SALTHAUS, AND HER HUSBAND CAME TO NEW YORK TO ENJOY THE ENERGY AND OPPORTUNITY THAT THE CITY CAN OFFER. ONE OF ITS GREAT DELIGHTS IS THE WEALTH OF ART THAT IS AVAILABLE TO VIEW AND TO ENJOY, ON EVERY LEVEL, FROM MASTERPIECES IN OUR NUMEROUS MUSEUMS TO ART FAIRS AND STREET FAIRS, ESTABLISHED GALLERIES AND EMERGING ONES. THE LRFA BLOG IS ALWAYS INTERESTED IN UNDERSTANDING WHAT AND WHY PEOPLE COLLECT AND AMBER HAS OFFERED TO SHARE HER PERSPECTIVE AND POINT OF VIEW IN TODAY’S LRFA BLOG.
AMBER, WELCOME BACK!
WHEN DID YOU FIRST DEVELOP AN INTEREST IN ART? DID YOU VISIT MUSEUMS AND/OR GALLERIES GROWING UP, WITH YOUR PARENTS? WERE THEY COLLECTORS?
My mother is a fine artist so art has been a big part of my life since I was young. I grew up biking with her around the neighborhood and watching her paint nature scenes. We always went to museums in our own city as well as any city we visited. I loved learning about the different techniques and have always admired oil on canvas, the texture just speaks to me.
WHAT PROMPTED YOUR FIRST PURCHASE AND WHAT WAS IT?
My husband and I bought an apartment together before we got married which began our personal interest in art. Living in the NYC there are so many incredible galleries, museums and art fairs to attend that helped us get a sense of what style we liked. Walking on the city streets, street art was our first love. My husband could not get this one artist out of his mind that he saw in Soho on the street years ago so when we were ready to purchase art for our apartment we tracked him down, named Daniel Dens, and went to his loft in Williamsburg. It was a memorable experience going through rolls of art in his studio until we found the perfect one. It was a blue painting of Bridget Bardot with bright yellow writing on top that said “Merci beau-coup, Ciao I’ll call you later.”
WHO ARE THE OTHER ARTISTS YOU COLLECT?
Craig Allen, Julien Vos Andres, Jonas Sunset, Jonathan Robles, Curtis Kulig, Tanc, Bob Taber, Ole Aakjaer
HOW IMPORTANT IS THE POTENTIAL INVESTMENT VALUE OF A WORK TO YOU AND YOUR HUSBAND?
We mainly go with our intuition, interested in pieces that move us and evoke a sense of emotion. Of course, we check with friends who are our advisors to make sure we are not making a poor investment but as young collectors we are not as concerned about the potential investment if it made us feel something.
HOW WOULD YOU CHARACTERIZE THE STYLE OR GENRE OF WORK THAT YOU HAVE ACQUIRED SO FAR AND WHAT DIRECTION ARE YOUR PURCHASES TAKING?
We love emerging artists usually in modern art and landscape photography. We have been into street art since the beginning and it has been amazing to watch how much that market has exploded over the last 10+ years.
DO YOU AND YOUR HUSBAND AGREE ON YOUR PURCHASES? DO YOU NEED TO OR IS IT COLLECTING DRIVEN BY ONE OF YOU MORE THAN ANOTHER?
My husband and I luckily have very similar tastes so it has not been an issue to date. He actually has a great eye for art and we bounce ideas off each other all the time. We never set out to purchase art, it usually just happens when we come across a piece we want to bring into our home.
HOW DO YOU FEEL THAT YOUR KNOWLEDGE AND LOVE OF THE CRAFT OF JEWELRY HAS INFLUENCED YOUR TASTE IN ART?
Both industries involve craftsmanship so I truly treasure the fine details and understand that even when something may appear easy and simple, it is usually just the opposite.
WHO ARE SOME OF THE ESTABLISHED ARTISTS THAT YOU PARTICULARLY ADMIRE AND WISH YOU COULD COLLECT?
I love color so Jackson Pollack always brightens my day and butterflies are symbolic for my family so I have a natural soft spot for Damien Hirst. As for more recent artist I have been watching RETNA for years and still kick myself for not purchasing it years ago when he first came on the scene.
DO YOU INTEND TO CONCENTRATE ON EMERGING ARTISTS AND HAVE THE FUN OF SEEING WHICH OF THE ARTISTS YOU’VE PICKED BECOME ESTABLISHED?
Yes I think that is my passion. We love watching people rise into stars so tracking the artists we have purchased or admire and watching where they land is a thrill.
THE THRILL OF THE CHASE AND OF THE HUNT AND THE REWARD OF HAVING A GOOD EYE ARE INTEGRAL TO THE HEART AND MIND OF EVERY COLLECTOR WITH WHOM I SPEAK. IT IS GREAT THAT YOU AND YOUR HUSBAND HAVE THIS SHARED PASSION AND CAN EXPLORE THE ART MARKET, GALLERIES AND MUSEUMS BOTH HERE IN NEW YORK AND WHEN YOU TRAVEL.
IN OUR NEXT LRFA BLOG POST, THE LRFA BLOG WILL FEATURE SALTHAUS, THE REMARKABLE HALOTHERAPY CENTER THAT AMBER FOUNDED JUST OVER A YEAR AGO. IT IS AN OASIS OF WELL-BEING AND THOUGHTFULLY DESIGNED, IMPECCABLY DETAILED AND AN UNEXPECTEDLY WONDERFUL EXPERIENCE. I WENT WHEN IT OPENED JUST AS A SIGN OF SUPPORT AND I WAS ASTONISHED AT HOW EFFECTIVE IT IS AND HOW RELAXING AND SEDUCTIVE AN EXPERIENCE!