Q&A

Philip Aarons

Collector

New York

London’s ICA is hosting In Numbers, a survey exhibition of serial publications by international artists from the 1950s to present day. Running from 25 January to 25 March, In Numbers features sought-after examples of the ’60s correspondence art movement and the DIY-zine culture of the ’80s, all part of NYC-based Philip Aarons’s private art collection.

When did you start collecting art and what was your first buy?
My wife and I were always interested in art – when we had the means, we started buying. Our first serious purchase was a Louis Lozowick print of Coney Island from the ’20s which we still have.

How long have you been collecting magazines and serial publications by artists?
Thirty-five years ago I became fascinated by conceptual art and how books and magazines became central to the works themselves and started collecting the material.

What is your favourite publication in the collection?
The set of Wallace Berman’s Semina. It combines all of what I believe is significant about these publications: the direct involvement of the artist, the handmade production, the sense of community created by alternative free distribution and incredible beauty. It just doesn’t get any better. ica.org.uk

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