An art collector’s role in society

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What is an Art Collector’s role in society?

In Malcolm Gladwell’s book, ‘David and Goliath, Underdogs, Misfits and the Art of Battling Giants,’  the book starts with the story about the conventional interpretation of the familiar biblical tale of David and Goliath.  Gladwell explains that in his interpretation of the story, David is the symbol of the underdog. The story made me think about the art collectors role in a society searching for a ‘David’.  The underdog is often a unique and very capable individual that is often underestimated.

In Gladwell’s book, David’s sling is a devastating weapon.  It was one of the most feared weapons in the ancient world. The stone that comes from David’s sling and has the equivalent power to that of a bullet from a 45 calibre pistol.  It also sounds like Goliath is a guy who can’t see as there are many suggestions in the story that Goliath is suffering from acromegaly. Which is a benign tumour on the pituitary gland.  The side effect of the cyst is that it can cause restricted sight.
Gladwell explains the story is really about a big lumbering guy weighed down with armour. Additionally, Goliath can’t see much more than a few feet in front of himself.  He is going up against a courageous boy, running towards him with a destructive weapon which has the power of 45 calibre handgun.  That is not the story of a so-called underdog.
This story for me relates to being an artist.  As an artist, you have to have the courage to stand and say, “I have a new way of doing things, and I don’t care if you think I’m crazy.”  As an art collector; they have to look for that idiosyncrasy if they want to find a David.
On the face of it, every artist could be a David.  But by choosing carefully and looking for what is not apparent, the art collectors role in society is to recognise their peculiarity and singularity.  Eventually taking them under their wing and building a mutually beneficial relationship.  Which leads to becoming their benefactor and supporter.
“Always remember… Goliath was a 40 point favourite over David” – Ralph Jordan

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