Kim Hastreiter is the co-founder and editor of Paper Magazine. She recently received the Eugenia Shepard Award, which recognizes fashion journalists “whose exceptional creativity has shaped fashion visually.”
What is the first artwork you ever remember seeing?
A George Rickey sculpture that my mom bought from the artist in the early 1960’s. Our dog kept knocking it over so it kept falling on the floor and all the propellers kept falling off and we would have to schlep to Connecticut to Rickey’s compound to get him to put it back together again. I’m sure he was sick of us because it happened at least six times
What was the first piece of art you ever purchased?
I bought three Keith Haring works the day after his first show in the basement of a church on St. Marks Place. We were using the basement as a fun, crazy club called Club 57. Keith had just graduated from Parsons and told me to come to his house to get a drawing because he had hundreds to choose from. They were $150 dollars each, but I was so mesmerized going thru every one of those piles of hundreds of drawings on the floor that I ended up asking my mother for a $300 dollar loan to buy two more because after three hours of looking (Keith just ended up leaving me there because I was taking so long) I picked out three that I could not live without. Then Keith gave me a fourth one that wasn’t as good – I guess I was an editor even back then. It taught me that you can’t just buy anything from an artist, but you have to look for the best pieces. The pieces I bought that day are seminal pieces – truly exceptional ones.
What can you tell about a person from their art collection?
You can tell if they have a good eye or not. However, my collection also tells the story of my life so far. Most of my art is by people that I know, or got to know, because I admired their work so much. Collections speak of people’s confidence and conviction because art has to speak to you.
Lesser-known artists everyone should check out?
William Scott and William Tyler from Creative Growth Art Center, an amazing art program in Oakland, California for mentally disabled adults. I have a huge collection of both of these artists work. Amazing.
How do you know when you’ve crossed the line from collecting to hoarding?
When quantity becomes more important than quality you’ve crossed the line.
Tips for people new to collecting art?
Only buy GREAT pieces from an artist. Don’t just buy a piece because it was done by a certain artist. If it’s not great don’t buy it. NO MEDIOCRITY only excellence! ONLY BUY super amazing pieces by artists you love.