by dawn-michelle baude| January 30, 2013 |
In posh marble high-rises elegantly surveying the Strip and in quiet adobe houses flirting with the desert’s edge, Las Vegas’s top art collectors hobnob with an international elite. The jaw-dropping paintings and sculptures in these homes are a highly exclusive bunch: Like exotic prey in the viewfinder, this art might have been spotted at the Tate in Great Britain, the Venice Biennale, or Switzerland’s Art Basel. Yet much of the works were also sourced locally, or via one punch of Sotheby’s on speed-dial.
Las Vegas’s top art collectors are serious. Put them next to a worldclass painting, and their flushed cheeks and dilated pupils give them away. Not only are they willing to fly the extra mile for a must-have piece, they’re also working together to put Las Vegas fine art on the map. Whether donating works to the Las Vegas Art Museum, championing initiatives for public art, funding arts education—or befriending the quirky array of talented artists who set up shop here—the collectors’ passion for art and for Las Vegas go hand-in-hand. While discerning taste and heartfelt commitment have shaped these collections, the desert city of glamour and gambling has in turn molded the art collectors, whose stories of inspiration and click-by-click research are the finest examples of signature Las Vegas vision.