How does one become a collector? I suppose there are as many answers as individuals asked there and that destiny is there doubtless for something. In my case, several factors intervene: first my capacity or ability to do it ;then a strong interest for the world of art, the explicit desire to share that is for me the beauty and, finally, a certain sense of the community involvement with the desire to transmit for the future something of myself or something I shall have made myself.
As an art collector, why I did choose engravings? Probably for a pragmatic reason. If you are not very wealthy, if you have not won any lottery, if you live on your only salary, it is necessary to stick to your financial capacities if you want to satisfy a passion without collateral damages. So, in my particular case, engravings, which are not unique pieces, were for me the accessible path to the art market.
Which logic did I decide to follow for my collection? Really, I decided to follow my own taste and criteria, that is to say collecting art pieces which seduced me and which I wished to hang on the walls of my house. But it is also true that beyond this first stage of constitution of my collection, during which I was lucky to be advised by great professionals, who became my friends, I am probably going to turn to a more thematic collection, without giving up for all that that I like.
Why this exhibition in this museum? First of all, for the warm reception that I enjoyed from the beginning of this project, from the persons working at the Museu d’ Art Jaume Morera de Lleida. Then, I am enthusiastic at the idea of being able to make something in my home town, maybe because I tend, because of a long expatriation in time and in space, to overvalue the local reality. Thirdly, I think this should contribute to stimulate the existing cultural structures. As well as I believe more in individual contributions than in the individualisms, I consider more effective to collaborate in what exists, rather than setting up something from scratch by myself.
Finally, how would I wish this project of collaboration to continue? I would like to continue to work with the great professionals of the museum ; I would like to see the new building finished and in service. I intend to contribute to create and to revitalize Associació d’Amics del Museu d’ Art de Lleida [Association of the friends of the Museum of art of Lleida]; and I have in heart to be part of numerous individual initiatives to facilitate access to the culture, access to art, because it seems to me that it is one of the best manners to make live the city and the country.
Anyway, I am happy to greet the willingness and the constant work of the executives and of the staff of Paeria ( city hall) as well as of the Museu d’ Art de Lleida. I am convinced that my contribution will be among those it is advisable to look for. And I shall be very happy if the exhibition arouses the interest of the visitors, small and big, so that the taste for art can enlighten our lives and makes them richer and fuller.
Antoni Gelonch Viladegut,
París, in March of 2010