Amy Cappellazzo, according to the New York Times, is Christies capitalistic curator who turns art into dollars. But in her recent interview, I see something a bit more spiritual in her personality. Why would she have a big crystal on her desk that she holds when on the phone or in a state of contemplation?
Here is a short excerpt of the crystal parts (of most interest to me....) of this interview:
“I believe in the power of objects,” she said, stating the credo of what may someday come to be down as Cappellazzism. “I am a pretty earthly creature myself, and I don’t have a lot of spiritual yearnings or distractions.”
Appropriately for someone so grounded in the material world, Ms. Cappellazzo has on her desk a hunk of terra firma itself: an attractive fist-size formation of quartz crystal. It is, as she will frankly admit, nothing special.
The crystal was given to her as a casual gift by an acquaintance; it has no sentimental value. She holds no beliefs that it channels new-age energy from the universe to her chakras. Clear quartz is a very common crystal, and her specimen has no marked trait to make it special: it’s not huge, or strikingly shaped, or colored, or perfectly clear. It does not have any facet that imbues quartz with value.
“It’s pretty modest,” she said. “In a way, it is a dumb rock. But that is sweet. I kind of like that. So the thing is, it is totally phenomenological. Like, it is something if I think so: this dumb rock could actually be imbued with tremendous power if I wanted it to be.”
Not that it doesn’t have its assets.
“It’s a good nervous fetish toy,” she said. “Sometimes I hold it when I am on the phone doing a deal or I have to really think about something long and hard. You kind of rub it. You wear it down a bit. It is also a little sharp, so it stings back at you, puts you in your place. And it never disappoints in terms of the way it looks. It is weighty and has presence, and it never gets dusty or fingerprinty. It requires nothing from me.”
So, mundane or not, the crystal is literally a touchstone for Ms. Cappellazzo’s brand of materialism: the belief that, simply put, only matter matters. Still, she went so far as to liken it to a rosary or mezuza, insofar as she is drawn to things that represent bigger ideas.