Emily Ladow Reynolds is the owner and curator behind Anonyma Fine Art. A native of the Boston area, she and her husband moved to Oklahoma City in 2009. Anonyma was born out of a passion for “outsider art,” and Reynolds’ eye is evident not only through her curation for her clients, but in the beautiful home she shares with her family.
405: Tell our readers a little bit about yourself and the genesis of Anonyma Fine Art.
REYNOLDS: My husband and I moved back here from Boston, my hometown, 10 years ago, after meeting there, attending graduate school, getting married and having our first son. When my children were older and I was ready to work again, it became clear that it would be difficult to find a job in my field (sustainable agriculture and environmental policy).
I had been casually collecting artwork for several years – I’d discovered a particular passion for outsider art – and began exploring the art scene here in OKC. I realized that most of the galleries in the area specialized in artwork that was fairly traditional and often Southwestern in feel. Friends would come to visit and ask about where I’d found particular pieces, noting that there was nothing comparable available.
I decided to make my business official a little more than three years ago, and I’ve never enjoyed work so much. My passion is discovering lesser-known artists and sharing their work with collectors here in Oklahoma. There were so many painters, sculptors, and printmakers working during the 20th century who were clearly very talented but didn’t enjoy much recognition during their lifetimes. I seek out artwork from other parts of the world – I’ve had pieces from China, Bulgaria, India, Cuba, Kuwait, France, Brazil and Japan, among other places.
405: What do you think is the most important thing when looking at collecting art for your home?
REYNOLDS: By far the most important thing is to buy pieces that move you. There’s a saying that great art won’t match your sofa, and I couldn’t agree more. Great art isn’t just decoration – it should mean something to you, spark great conversation, maybe leave you with some questions. Don’t worry about whether a painting you love will “go with” other artwork in your home. If you’re crazy about it, you’ll find the right place to display it.
I think it’s also important to include work in different media – not just paintings on stretched canvas, but works on paper, and sculpture too. Black and white pieces, whether they’re charcoal drawings, photographic prints or etchings, are especially easy to display in groupings or to mix with more colorful art.
405: Do you have a favorite artist or genre of art that you gravitate towards or personally have in your home?
REYNOLDS: Lately, I’ve been obsessed with printmaking, especially what was going on in France in the 1970s and 1980s. Artists like Gilou Brillant, Christian Fossier and Jaqueline De Butler were creating absolutely stunning abstract etchings that are becoming more difficult to find. There are some amazing 20th-century Japanese printmakers as well. Norio Azuma and Noboru Tsurutani’s work explored overlaid geometric forms using serigraphy, and I can’t get enough.