What, When, Where: Collect Call

March 21, 2011

By Erin Marvin

I don’t collect things (I leave that to my mother). I figure if you’ve seen one Royal Doulton figure, you’ve seen them all. And Hummel? With all due respect to avid collectors of the German-made porcelain, those rosy-cheeked boys and girls are just a little too saccharine-sweet for my tastes.

If I did collect something I’d want it to be, well, cool. And different. Not my mother’s figurines. (Sorry, Mom.) Perhaps something like these quirky, one-of-a-kind ceramic robots by artist Shan Chang, now available at Peng Furnishings in Boston.

From the collection “Play†by Shan Chang; photos courtesy of Peng Furnishings

Or, if I wanted to go straight for shock value, I’d stock my shelves with these macabre, zombie-like figurines by British artist Jessica Harrison. (They’re tough to look at, but it’s tougher to look away, isn’t it?)

“Susan†by Jessica Harrison; photo courtesy of jessicaharrison.co.uk

“Grace Ann†by Jessica Harrison; photo courtesy of jessicaharrison.co.uk

“Charlotte†by Jessica Harrison; photo courtesy of jessicaharrison.co.uk

And if I wanted to join the likes of celebrity collectors such as Robin Williams, I could turn to the work of Lexington, Massachusetts-based metal sculptor Mariko Kusumoto, whose intricately detailed sculptures seem to be a feat of art and engineering. (We featured her work last year in our May/June 2010 issue.)

Detail from “Tokyo Souvenir” by Mariko Kusumoto

“Self Entertainment” by Mariko Kusumoto

But, first, perhaps I should start with collecting ideas. What are some of the most interesting collections you’ve seen lately?