MIAMI BEACH — To say that the art in David and Isabela Grutman’s home bombards the senses is an understatement. Over the last 15 years, Mr. Grutman, 45, a restaurateur and club owner, has amassed a sizable collection of head-turning pieces. Many are sculptures, but paintings, street art and installations in bold colors also figure in it.
“I’ve always really been into emerging art, but now that I’m older, I also like to buy artists that are more established,” said Mr. Grutman, who owns Papi Steak and LIV in Miami Beach and Swan (with Pharrell Williams) in Miami. “But I never buy works for investment purposes. They have to resonate with me.” Mr. Grutman said he connected with art from the 1980s and ’90s, when he grew up.
He and his wife, Isabela Grutman, 27, a model, own works by several Miami-based artists including Dante Dentoni, an Argentine artist known for his Lego installations.
The couple have pieces by the Portuguese street artist Vhils, including a floor-to-ceiling plastic foam statue in their family room, and work by Kehinde Wiley, the Nigerian-American portrait painter acclaimed for his portrait of Barack Obama, now in the National Gallery in Washington.
Mr. Grutman discussed collecting at the couple’s home, a Miami Beach bi-level where they live with their two children, Kaia, 2, and Vida, 9 months, as well as two dogs and two cats.
These are edited excerpts from the conversation.
When did your love of art start?
Art has appealed to me for a long time because I’m a creative guy, but Miami’s Wynwood Arts District inspired me to start buying my own works. I was going there more than 10 years ago before there was much development in the neighborhood and thought the arts movement happening there was really cool. It made me want to a build a collection I loved.
I became so obsessed with Wynwood that I proposed to Isabela there, and we got married inside Wynwood Walls [an outdoor gallery featuring international graffiti artists].
Where do you find your art?
Luckily, I live in Miami where Art Basel happens and discover tons of artists there who I have become friendly with. Many of them come over when they’re in town for the fair.
Your living room has more than a dozen art pieces in different mediums. Does one stand out?
Probably the canvas by Kobra. He’s a Brazilian street artist now painting on canvases, and I happened to get one of his early canvas works. I love the Amazonian influences and colors in it. Isabela, being Brazilian, has definitely gotten me more interested in Brazilian artists.
When you find artists you like, do you buy multiple works?
For sure. We have lots by Peter Tunney, the godfather of the street art movement in Miami. I love the colors he picks, the phrases he uses and how he puts it all together. I love the phrase “Do what you love,” and I told him to use it in a piece for me. He did, and it’s now probably my favorite artwork in our family room.
Tell me about the Lego installations in your living room and kitchen.
They’re by Dante Dentoni, who is from Miami and getting national attention now. His work uses tons of color, and he likes Legos as a medium. I have a Lego installation of LIV [one of his clubs] and a bunch inspired by popular culture when I was growing up including the piece with Hulk Hogan and the one with N.W.A.’s “Straight Outta Compton” album cover. Legos are fun — you want to play with them.
Alex Yanes is another Miami installation artist that you’re a fan of.
Yes. He sculpted the giant robot that surrounds the video game console that’s the cornerstone of our kitchen and built the pink wood elephant hanging from the ceiling in the middle of the staircase. It’s whimsical, and, like many of his works, has a retro feel.
Do you collect photography?
We own photos by Terry O’Neill: pictures of Steve Martin, Raquel Welch and Michael Caine. I am taken with the way he captures talent whether he’s shooting them in character or in real life.
Has your taste changed since you’ve had children?
I used to buy more explicit art, but now I don’t. It’s more kosher, the kind of stuff I’d want them to appreciate.
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