Hayley Miner has worked as an interior designer at her firm, Hayley Miner Design and is currently a partner of WLM Advisors art consulting (wlmadvisors.com). She splits her time between Los Angeles, CA and Sun Valley, ID.
How did you first get interested in contemporary art?
I’ve always been moved by art so I started to go to art fairs around the world. The contemporary art fairs were the most stimulating. The main draw of contemporary art is the accessibility of living artists’ works. As an art consultant, having the chance to talk with them about their work, attend their lectures and see them in their work environment is a plus. As I was looking for art for clients’ homes, it was evident that unless they have heirlooms to display, most of them were interested in collecting vibrant and more accessible works that have significance yet feel current. It’s also hugely inspiring to be in L.A. as it has become the hot center for contemporary art. With its numerous prestigious art schools exploding with talent as well as the impressive number of gallery districts, collecting contemporary art has never been more enjoyable and enriching.
As a contemporary art consultant with an interior designer background, how do you balance “matching art to the couch” with your interest in cutting-edge art?
I don’t! I started my design education at Michael S. Smith Inc. where I was lucky to work with the most talented and celebrated boss as well as the best resources. We would never source art to match anything! The clients I worked with typically had their own impressive collection that we would mine from. If they didn’t, we would scour auctions, art fairs and established galleries to compile collection-worthy pieces. To set the right mood and style for a room, sometimes we do select a piece of work with that in mind, but never because it goes nicely with the sofa or that it has the right colors for the room. That’s objectionable in my design book!! Quality design deserves important art, regardless of color scheme.
What are some of the most important pointers you give to neophyte collectors?
I’m sure most of them have heard the art collecting adage: buy what you love within your budget. I always remind collectors that they have to live with the piece and look at it daily so put your money into a piece that brings you immense joy, lifts your spirits and/or ones that you feel represent your philosophical & social beliefs. Something you would like your children to keep one day would be a bonus. If budget is a main concern, instead of allowing that to stop you, look into photography, prints or works on paper. They are typically more affordable than paintings or sculptures.
Any artists more people should know about?
El Anatsui, Vik Muniz, Katy Moran, Mona Hatoum, Annie Lapin, Alexandra Grant, Alison Van Pelt.
What kind of work are you drawn to?
Difficult work, works that expose the human condition and ones that makes us think or feel deeply. Labor intensive work. Works that require an emotional investment. (I loathe lazy works by artists who give us flimsy slap-ups or works that are intentionally bad).
Who are you personally most interested in collecting now?
Louise Bourgeois, William Wiley, Eric Fishl, Peter Doig, Mark Bradford, Alex Prager, Cecily Brown, Kelly Kleinschrodt.
If there were no constraints (money, availability, access etc.), what piece of art would you most like to own?
It is pure torture to allow only one piece of art! Forgive me if I cheat slightly but…Here are my top 5:
1. Louise Bourgeois’s “Cell (Choisy”) 1990-1993 (a marble house with a guillotine above)
2. A self-portrait by Lucien Freud
3. Cecily Brown’s “Girls eating birds” 2004
4. Gerhard Richter’s painting he did in Japan of bamboo fields (exhibited at Documenta 1992)
5. Andy Warhol’s “Orange Marilyn”
Favorite Ketchum spot for people watching?
A toss up: Outdoor summer concerts and our monthly art walks. At the Avett Brothers concert at the Sun Valley Pavilion this summer, the grooviest bunch of fun loving and impressive dancers were spotted.
Favorite LA spot for people watching?
Culver City gallery opening nights, especially the ones during the September art storm. The most outrageous sartorial choices, dogs in strollers, the most touted L.A. food trucks, celebrities, hipsters and groovy art collectors abound. Besides that, I would say the stretch of Silverlake where Intelligentsia cafe is located. Total hipster central. Joan’s On Third is popular among the fashion and film industry crowds. Oh, and of course, Gjelina resto in Venice.
Favorite Ochi Gallery show?
Young collectors show. I look forward to more of these types of well-curated, fresh and exciting shows. Also, I am obsessed with the newly launched Ochi Shop.
We appreciate that!
Favorite artist quote?
Louise Bourgeois often spoke of pain as the subject of her art, and fear. Her work expresses themes of anxiety and loneliness. About the spiritual and emotional energy that she poured into her work she said, “I’m afraid of power. It makes me nervous. In real life, I identify with the victim. That’s why I went into art.”
Fall shows you’re looking forward to?
Pacific Standard Time – the art event starts in October celebrating the birth of L.A. art scene.
“De Kooning: A Retrospective” at MOMA, opening Sept 18, 2011
Kelly Kleinschrodt’s solo show at Carter & Citizen unveils Sept 10
Frieze Art Fair in London
Art Platform L.A. – Oct 1
Ai Weiwei’s installation of “Circle of Animals/ Zodiac heads” at LACMA
Maurizio Cattelan at the Guggenheim Nov 4
Hayley with a Marilyn Minter