A billionaire art collector named Wilbur Ross is rather fond of the artwork done by painter Rene Magritte. He is so fond of the Belgian surrealist’s work that he has in his own personal collection twenty five Magritte paintings. Wilbur Ross Jr. is seventy five years old and has a private art collection estimated to be worth somewhere around $150 million. Among his paintings by Magritte is an exceptional painting called “The Clairvoyant”, a painting commenting on the perception of reality where the artist is painting a bird while looking at an egg. He also has another Magritte self portrait that is in his possession called “The Pilgrim”. The Clairvoyant is currently hanging on loan in the Museum Of Modern Art.
Born and raised in New Jersey, Ross began his love for art while working and attending an art history class at Yale. He took several jobs at financial company and eventually became a bankruptcy specialist, accumulating a net worth of $2.6 billion dollars. Wilbur Ross says he enjoys the art of Magritte because the pieces aren’t just an object on paper. He says they make you think, that they’re about something. “Hegel’s Holiday”, painted in 1958, is currently being loaned to the French Maegt Foundation, depicts a black umbrella on which a glass of water is balanced.
Ross and his wife have become self professed museum junkies and avid appreciators of art. They go to as many museums as they can and annually attend the Sotheby’s and Christie’s auctions to bid on art. They say they implement a two day rule when it comes to buying art; if they see a piece that they like and are considering buying, they wait two days to give themselves time to think it over and see the painting in a different light. La Parure de L’Orage is a Magritte where people are standing by from the wreckage of a ship. “You can’t be sure what’s going on,” Ross says. it’s clear that this is what appeals to Ross, the creativity and engagement of the imagination.
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