Rosette Delug, Collector, Trustee, Epic Hostess– The Lawrence Weiner text piece—which reads “Stretched As Tightly As Is Possible (Satin) (Petroleum Jelly)” across the floor of Rosette Delug’s pool—used to be red. A few weeks before she was to host a party for Weiner’s retrospective at the Museum of Contemporary Art in 2008, a pool man came and accidentally washed the red to a lavender. “I sent Lawrence pictures, and he said he actually liked it that way,” she remembers. “I’m not one to go against the artist’s wishes.” The Turkish-born 60-year-old, who moved to California in 1972, has become one of the biggest personalities in the Los Angeles art world in the last decade, opening her home for parties and serving on the board of overseers for the Hammer Museum (she used to be a MOCA trustee before Eli Broad’s intensified involvement in the museum caused her resignation in 2008). But the clever, outgoing, outrageously funny Delug is also one of the most adventurous collectors in terms of taking a risk on newcomers and more marginalized talents. Sure, the walls of her minimalist Trousdale home feature works by certified stars like Chris Ofili, John Baldessari, Matthew Barney, and Ed Ruscha, but Delug has proven a champion of emerging talents like Scott Campbell, Tomory Dodge, and Mark Manders in a city far less known for chance-taking buyers. “I focused on things I liked,” Delug explains of her collecting instinct. “I really didn’t know better. I hadn’t studied. When I believed in something, I bought it in the first place immediately.” Ironically it was her emotional intuition that first led her into the art world. In 2001, when her marriage was breaking up, Delug flew to New York to spend time with one of her children. By chance, she ran into some friends who were headed to the Armory Show. “I didn’t even know what an Armory Show was,” she says. “But I went and got so excited I ended up buying a few pieces—Marlene Dumas, Luc Tuymans. When I got home and hung them around my bedroom, I suddenly felt like I wasn’t so alone.” Now Delug has plenty of company.
Rosette Delug in her swimming pool, which features Lawrence Weiner’s 1994 text work, at her Trousdale home, Los Angeles, October 2010. Bathing suit: Chanel. Sunglasses: Balenciaga by Nicolas Ghesquière. Jewelry: Delug’s own.
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