If this New York Times story on the Marciano Brothers’ private museum is to be believed, the jeans magnates got back into art collecting in relative hurray amassing a trove of a thousand or so art works, the bulk of which seem to have been bought in five years since the Murakami show in Los Angeles which sparked something within the brothers:
Maurice and Paul began collecting art around 1990. They started with Impressionist pieces but soon moved to the contemporary art market and sold the older works.
“If we had collected only Impressionists, today we would have only a few pieces, instead of hundreds of pieces,” Maurice Marciano said.
[…] Paul Schimmel, the vice president of the Hauser & Wirth gallery here and the former chief curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art, said Maurice Marciano’s interest in art was revived when he toured a Takashi Murakami show at the museum in 2008.
“For Maurice, I know that show really reignited his interest,” Mr. Schimmel said. “He feels a very deep connection to the art being made now.”
After that, Maurice began buying pieces from Mr. Murakami and other giants of contemporary art, as well as investing in emerging local artists, like Analia Saban. He also began taking on a more public role in the city’s art community. He joined the Museum of Contemporary Art’s board last year, and has donated work to the museum, including one of Mr. Ruby’s stalagmites. (Another one juts up from the floor at Guess.)
Several people noted his strong rapport with artists. He frequently stops by local studios, and Thomas Houseago, a British sculptor based in Los Angeles, recently visited Mr. Marciano’s home to pick out the right spot for one of sculptures. (They decided the front yard would be best.)
“Twenty years ago, they were collectors,” Mr. Schimmel said of Maurice and Paul Marciano. “Now they are real patrons. I think they see their role as more civic and comprehensive now.”
A Bigger Closet for Their Art (NYTimes)