By Lonnie Burstein Hewitt
Mark Quint, who grew up in La Jolla, has been an art dealer/gallerist since 1981. Having recently closed down his Girard Avenue gallery and relocated to Rose Canyon, he’s now back in town at the Athenaeum Music & Arts Library, with a delightful exhibit of oddities from his own personal collection.
He describes the exhibit, titled “Give Me a Minute, I’m Thinking,” as a mix of “classic religious sculptures, tourist tchotchkes, stacks of afghan blankets, tattered taxidermy, battered butterflies and bugs, paper ephemera, banal indoor house plants and 1970s swag lamps.” All are treasures he’s scored from international flea markets, thrift shops and auction houses, which he’s been happily haunting for decades.
At the opening Nov. 11, 2016, he talked about the joys of collecting: “I start by seeing an object and liking it ... like an afghan I came across when my grandmother died. I thought about how much work had gone into making it, and how often such things end up being given away to Goodwill.”
He now owns about 400 afghans — there’s a stack of 200 in the Athenaeum exhibit — that share space with hundreds of other beloved objects in a 2000-square foot unit beside his new Quint Projects suites at 5171 Santa Fe St.
“I believe there is a world of interest in all objects if you look close enough,” he said. “Paying attention is an exercise for your eyes; it fine tunes your esthetic muscles and visual intelligence. It’s what looking at art is all about.”
A curtain of 1000 Swatches separates Quint’s collectibles from another idiosyncratic collection: “Artists to Swatch,” Roy Porello’s 30-year assemblage of original watch-art. The exhibit is surprisingly engaging, and a perfect companion to Quint’s well-mounted display.
• IF YOU GO: “Give Me a Minute, I’m Thinking,” curated by Mark Quint is on view through Dec. 31, 2016. Also on view: Roy Porello’s “Artists to Swatch” (North Reading Room) and Alida Cervantes’ “Studies Using Unmixed Black” (Rotunda) at Athenaeum Music & Arts Library, 1008 Wall St., La Jolla. (858) 454-5872. ljathenaeum.org