Todd Merrill Studio
23 May 2021
COLLECTIBLE: What tips would you give to a collector who wishes to start collecting contemporary design?
Todd Merrill Studio: Look for work that is original in the use of materials, technique, relation to culture - either past or present. I love work that takes a concept or material or technique out of context and reapplies in a totally new and unexpected way. Collectible pieces should push the boundaries of each of these elements and represent the newest edge in design. Design now crosses over and blurs the boundary with art in a grey space that is even more interesting.
“Is it art or design? Functional art is art, isn't it? Non-functional design is both design and art. This is the edge that is worth collecting.”
C: How would you describe the boundary between functional art and collectible design? Where do you situate your practice between those two?
TMS: Is it art or design? Functional art is art, isn't it? Non-functional design is both design and art. This is the edge that is worth collecting. Especially when an artist is the first to break the barrier in a meaningful and purposeful way then it's someone to follow.
C: How did you get into collectible design? Why did you start your gallery?
TMS: I am a dealer because I am a collector - it's like I needed to "feed my habit " maybe a bit like an addict. I've been buying and selling since I was five or six years old. My grandparents and parents are also collectors. Their focus was on the antique - mine has evolved to the modern design of the late 20th Century and now contemporary work by artists making high-end design, sculpture and some flat art. I am driven by my search for beauty, history, a soul in objects that represent our culture both past and present. I am particularly now entranced with high-concept designs that break away from tradition. It's a very exciting time to collect as so much is new and never seen before from materials to techniques and concepts.
About Todd Merrill Studio
Todd Merrill Studio represents an international group of established and emerging artists, who each take a hands-on approach that intersects contemporary design, fine art, traditional craft techniques, and pioneering innovation. Collectively the artists are helping to create a new visual vocabulary that advances long-held, established artistic boundaries.