Here‘s a reminder of what it means to live with art–and the benefits of having a good idea and a keen interest in painting. Mary Ann Monforton and Morris Shuman bought a new apartment and renovated it with the proceeds from the sale of one of the several Jean-Michel Basquiat paintings she bought directly from the artist at the beginning of his career.
“God bless Jean-Michel,” said Ms. Monforton, who became a friend of the artist when, at about age 17, he used to sit on her stoop in the East Village, across the street from a “Flat’s Fixed” sign. The motif later appeared in many of his paintings.
“We thank him all the time,” Mr. Shuman said.
The couple still buy art, often at charity auctions. Last year, Ms. Monforton bought a work by Kara Walker at a Bomb magazine benefit.
“This is my I.R.A. — Individual Retirement Art,” she said.
What’s funny about the story is that we generally hear so many negative comments about people who buy art as an investment. Something about their story, the exchange of opportunity between owning art that is meaningful to them and having a nice home, gets to the heart of what has been happening in the art market up until recently.
Bankrolled by a Basquait (New York Times)