Rolando Jimenez and Ednita Colon founded the Jimenez – Colon Collection in Puerto Rico, which contains 850 works of art by 250 different artists.
What draws you to contemporary art today?
In terms of art trends now, we are fascinated by process-driven work and abstract minimalism. Over the last five years, we have shifted our interests from primarily aesthetic to a more conceptual standpoint. For us, the experience of being surrounded by art should provoke thought and emotion. Of course, since contemporary art has proved to be a sound investment in recent years, collecting presents us with the opportunity to enhance our cultural and financial legacy. Having our daughters grow and be involved in our collecting ‘adventure’ has proved to be a powerful force in how we approach the ever-changing world as a family unit.
What was the first work of art you purchased?
In 2006, we started our collection mostly with Puerto Rican art. Our first piece was from Olga Albizu, considered among the most important women of American Abstract Expressionism and probably the movement’s most outstanding representative from Puerto Rico. By 2011, we shifted our focus towards international contemporary art, namely, figurative works. The first legitimate work in our international collection was a large work by Romanian artist Mircea Suciu, titled The Good Catholic. We added Julie Heffernan shortly thereafter, along with Ruby Neri and some of the artists featured in Phaidon’s Vitamin P2 book. In retrospect, we’ve had a rather intense experience over the last 45 months!
Is it important for the works you’ve purchased to have been exhibited before? Do you loan your works to exhibitions?
We do our best to collect contemporary works that are representative of an artist’s style. We also like to collect artists in depth when we feel moved by their conceptual approach. That being said, the exhibition curriculum and documentation of a specific work definitely creates added value. That alone can tilt the balance when presented with a tough choice between two works.
We’ve had several works acquired for museum exhibitions. Our Mickalene Thomas works were shown at the Brooklyn Museum and in Santa Monica. Two of our Ruby Neri sculptural works were shown in Los Angeles at different museum exhibitions before coming home to Puerto Rico. Similar opportunities happened with Allison Schulnik and a few others. We are certainly open to loaning our works and are hopeful that the future will bring more inquiries from institutional exhibitions as our collection grows and matures.
We learned about Exhibition A while researching Art Basel Miami Beach and NADA Miami Beach 2011. You presented a Nate Lowman print in your NADA 2011 booth. That was a great introduction and I knew right away that Exhibition A meant serious business and would continue to present our art community with very collectible editions from top artists. There have been varied reasons for us to move forward and collect your editions. We love Kasper Sonne and Chris Succo, who are both emerging forces in process driven abstraction. We have always experienced a very positive vibe towards Eddie Martinez and his work. It’s also very likely that the Bruce High Quality Foundation represents our favorite collective in the whole world. There will always be a very valid reason for us to indulge…
We officially add a good portion of the acquired Exhibition A editions to our collection, but some have been presented as great gifts to a group of friends that we have initiated in this contemporary art collecting adventure. These special works have certainly triggered their curiosity and have enriched several aspects of our group experience.
What artists would you like to see create an edition with Exhibition A?
Which artist’s work are you pursuing for your collection currently?
We have recently added work by Christian Rosa, Nick Darmstaedter, Lucien Smith, David Ostrowski and Alex Hubbard, among others. We are now after Wyatt Kahn and Jonas Wood. We are also always on the lookout for Andy Warhol Polaroids and 8 x 10 format photographs to add to our collection. We have been very active in collecting those Polaroids since 2011.