Young Art Collectors: William and Ashley Behrendt
Collecting art was always something in the back of William Behrendt’s mind, as his uncle and former art professor Nick Clapp often painted and shared his work with his family. William’s friend Brian Swarts is also in the art industry, and the two would often talk about art. As a wedding present, Swarts gifted Last Mona Lisa, to William and his wife Ashley, beginning the couple’s art collection.
“Brian works in the art industry as the VP of Taglialatella Galleries in New York City,” says William. “We always talked about art and he also steers me toward pieces he thinks Ashley and I might enjoy.”
Swarts also recommends pieces he thinks can be useful investments.
“Although everything we buy, we like,” says William.
William and Ashley enjoy collecting contemporary and pop art pieces. That style mixes well with the more traditional and Japanese art styles created by Clapp.
“My favorite works are done by my uncle because of the strong personal connection,” says William, “but they are also funny.”
For quite awhile, Clapp would produce a new print during the holidays and gift it to his relatives. “The art pieces became somewhat of a collector’s item among our family,” says William.
When Clapp took a break from painting, their values of the art pieces increased immensely. There are some that William hopes one day to have in his collection. He has a painting Clapp did of his mother (and Clapp’s sister), on loan from his mom.
“Every day in the summer, she’d sit there, in that chair,” says Ashley. “She didn’t pose for the painting, yet he [Clapp] was really able to capture her essence,” says Ashley.
“He has the ability to capture people so well,” says William.
One of the couple’s other favorite artists is FAILE, a Brooklyn-based artistic collaboration between Patrick McNeil and Patrick Miller. FAILE’s Sweet Sins is Ashley’s favorite piece in her and William’s collection.
“FAILE is harder to get because they do not sell directly to consumers,” says William. “You have to enter a contest to be allowed an opportunity to purchase a print. I’ve been entering for months and months, even asking all of my family members to enter, so we could get a chance to purchase a piece.”
Unbeknownst to William, one time Ashley did win. Since it was close to William’s birthday, she decided to keep it a surprise.
“It was hard to keep the secret,” she says. “William got the email that he didn’t win, and I had gotten the email that I had, so it was a little hard to keep quiet. Luckily it came within a couple of weeks for his birthday.”
Ashley and William enjoy the art exhibits that Columbus has to offer, having recently visited the Pizzuti Collection, and often stopping in the Columbus Museum of Art. They also enjoy the art sales that CCAD students participate in, as well as the Columbus Arts Festival and Urban Scrawl.
They especially enjoyed the exhibit Art? Show of Vinchen’s work that Rivet curated in 2012, purchasing the piece IOU. They have loved satirical street art and would have loved to have been in Central Park the day Bansky was selling small works there.
“It was frustrating when news broke that Bansky was selling pieces in Central Park,” says Ashley, “although I don’t know if we would have thought it was legit.”
Although they are about out of wall space in their Downtown apartment, William and Ashley plan to continue adding pieces to their collection.
Their dream collection pieces include FAILE’s Star Spangled Banner for Ashley, while William would love to own a piece by Andy Warhol.
And now, the art:
Do you have an art collection you would like to share? Please contact me at Anne@columbusunderground.com.