John Rocha on canvas


Designer John Rocha was born in Hong Kong, lives in Dublin, collects contemporary Irish art and drives a lovely vintage 1956 Porsche

John Rocha on canvas

I think it’s hard to capture someone’s attention, but there’s so much energy in the Sean Scully Room at the Hugh Lane Gallery in Dublin. Even for someone like me, who isn’t into colour, it’s captivating – I can sit here for hours.

I am a collector of Sean Scully paintings, and I have his work at home. I look at it all the time, and I see something different every two weeks in the paintings. A new colour appears within the colours I am already familiar with. I think that collecting art is all about what you connect with. I don’t buy art for commercial reasons ­– it’s about that connection. Also, Scully and I went to the same art college. If I could collect just one artist, it would be Scully. But the price has really gone up over the years.

John Rocha on art

The Francis Bacon Studio at Hugh Lane

I also love the Francis Bacon Studio at the same gallery. I love his work, and also own some of it, which is a real privilege. I am fascinated by the Francis Bacon Studio – when he died, they painstakingly catalogued and moved every object in his London studio and recreated it in exactly the same arrangement here in Dublin. I have to work in a totally clean space, I believe in perfect order. I drive people mad with it. Everything has to be “just so”. Looking at the Bacon Studio, I can’t believe he could even find a paintbrush. I can’t understand how he created images with such precision in that chaos. When I look at Jackson Pollock, I can understand, but not Bacon. I can go back to the Bacon Studio every month and see something totally new. I don’t know how he connected with his work, in that space.

I collect a lot of work by the painter Guggi. He’s a good friend of mine. He was in a rock band in the 1980s, which is when we got to know one another, but I’ve known him as an artist for the last 15 years, and we collaborate together from time to time. I had an exhibition of his work at my Dover Street store in London. I find his style very calming. It also feels quite Asian to me, almost Chinese or Japanese in style. Looking at his work makes me feel at peace. C