Each collector featured in our exhibition, Collector’s Choice, collects art for his or her own reasons; while some may collect within a certain movement or stylistic era, others may collect in order to enrich the community, facilitate learning, preserve history, etc. Jordan Bock, however, collects based on his relationship to various art pieces, and their ability to communicate a story to their audience. Each of the five pieces exhibited from Bock’s collection, though all created within the last century, each present different cultures, ideas, aesthetics, and media. Yet, what ties each of these pieces together is the way they have created a dialogue with Bock, intrigued him with the story each of them tell. He states, “Every time I see a painting, I think of it as a conversation, a story. What happens before this moment? What happens after? You have to be willing to think about another point of view.”
Each of the featured pieces in Bock’s collection have their own story to tell, be it in their subject matter or their relationship to the artist. Since the age of six, Bock has sought out pieces that intrigued him, each serving as mere snapshots meant to allude to larger narratives. When speaking about the first time he saw an etching of a pond in East Hampton done by Mary Nimmo Moran at an auction he attended with his parents, Bock stated, “It was mysterious, it told some sort of story, but I wasn’t sure what. I was a big reader as a child, and it intrigued me.” This same interest has fueled his passion for collecting art pieces over the years, seeking out works that speak their own language and tell a story past that of the obvious, that beg for a second look and deeper investigation.
Tim O’Kane’s Pool #1 (1984) serves as a clear example of Bock’s taste in its film still composition and subtle suggestion of a larger context. O’Kane, both a photographer and an artist, frames his compositions as a film director would with the suggestion of a human presence, yet a lack of figurative representation. The scenery suggests an intimate environment, yet the composition is void of the characters in which we expect to inhabit it. In this way, we are forced to approach it from a different point of view, and just as Bock has prompted us to do when viewing the piece, we ask, “What happens before this moment? What happens after?” therefore creating a moment of captivation and reflection for the us as the viewer.
For Bock, art is not only a visual experience, but instead a way of communicating, a story or a language. Just as each piece creates a dialogue with its viewer, The Cummer serves as a dialogue center for the community. Bock considers the process of viewing art as a moment of communication, transition, and self-reflection. He states, “If you don’t have conversation nothing ever happens. The only way to create change is by listening, then by doing. Looking at art can make you look at your life. We can all change the world.”
The exhibition Collectors’ Choice: Inside the Hearts and Minds of Regional Collectors will be on view from May 17th to September 14th, 2014.
For more information, please visit the Cummer’s website at https://www.cummer.org/