By day, John Morrissey is a Palm Beach lawyer who deals with probate cases, guardianships, that type of thing. Zzzzzzz. But by night (and weekends), he morphs into an uber-cool supercollector of contemporary artwork. As Morrissey will humbly admit, he was featured in both ARTnews and Details magazines as one of the top young collectors in America. He has lived through 37 trips around the sun, but says he has never taken an art class. He developed an interest in the subject while a student at Georgetown. Studying in the library, hed get bored of case law and wander off to page through art magazines.
Nowadays, I collect almost exclusively young, emerging artists, he says, mentioning works by painter Inka Essenhigh and photographer Loretta Lux, both of whom make work that manages to be gorgeous, innocent, and creepy all at the same time. Morrissey says that he has a knack for spotting trends such as what he unscientifically calls post-feminist girlie art or stoner surrealism. And while his motivation for collecting lies largely in his pure interest in the pieces and his desire to help support young artists, he sure does sound happy when he points out that he bought several Lux photos two Novembers ago for $6,000, but noticed that one of her works recently sold at auction for $46,000. Check out his hipster tastes during Palm Beach Collects: Works from the John Morrissey Collection at the Armory Art Center. The exhibit runs through January 31. Admission is free. Call 561-832-1776.