Collector Antonio Besso's fascination with visual poetry

Show Us Your Walls
By Nicole Herrington
Antonio Sergio Bessa sitting beneath three drawings by Raymond Pettibon, Jason Fox’s “Enhanced Focus” (2000) and a work (far right) by William N. Copley. Ivan Serpa’s drawing is at bottom left. Credit 2017 William N. Copley/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York; Fred R. Conrad for The New York Times
NEW YORK---Antonio Sergio Bessa doesn’t consider himself a big-time collector. Yet there’s a blue-chip quality to the art on the walls of the apartment he shares with his husband, Ed Yanisch, in the Sugar Hill area of Harlem. There are museum-caliber names in the mix, like Raymond Pettibon, Kay Rosen, Ivan Serpa and Peter Saul. His fascination with “the power of language” drew him to artists who use text in their works. He sees the Jason Fox painting “Enhanced Focus” (2000) as “a mix between Jesus and a delinquent,” with the pixilated blur evoking TV shows that need to disguise people. I’m very interested in how a [museum] collection tells a story about a community, but here [at home] it kind of tells a story about us. [More]
Jason Fox’s “Enhanced Focus” (2000)

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