Have you ever gone into a beautiful, elegant and sophisticated house and discovered there a work that completely captivates you, with a sort of arrogant grandeur that it emits? The thought that begins to creep into your head is truly embarrassing, namely the unbridled desire to possess the work that already belongs to someone else. Even if this "someone" is a collector who is not morbidly attached to his works; indeed, with a certain nonchalance, he often buys and sells new objects of desire. But how can you tell him that you would like "a piece" of his home? This wonderful installation with deer’s head occupies an entire wall in his living room. But you are not thinking of this: you are only thinking about the work, about its beauty that has entered inside you, and you persist in standing there, in front of Mario's deer that you want to make your own, unaware of the conversation that has developed in the meantime among those present. Embarrassing, very embarrassing, even if we collectors often have no scruples regarding a work we want to acquire. The other one of us, who always perceives everything, signals with his eyes no, don't do it, it's not nice. So I keep quiet, but after having expressed my appreciation of the deer, making a few hints, and even declaring "how good it would look in our house". The collector didn't want to "take the bait": he liked his deer right there, in the middle of his splendid white living room (and who could blame him?).
The only positive thing is that for sometime we have become friends, and he truly respects our passion. I don't know how many visits were necessary before plucking up the courage to make an explicit request; I don't know how many further visits (in his house and in ours) we made, in order to convince him to sell us the work, which he would be able to see again, whenever he pleased, in our house. In the end, perseverance was rewarded: I may even have hugged him for joy. I can't remember. What I do remember is the day it was installed at home, right up on the top floor, where I want the works closest to the sky. In our house it was not possible to give it an entire wall, without turning the house upside down. And then I really liked the idea of making it into an installation not along a single horizontal line, but to create instead a sort of "embrace" out of an entire small room at the top of the house, which the work occupied
covering the dimensions of the existing walls, covering the corners themselves in its reach. It was a "test": we thought the effect seemed magical. The work remained elegant and engaging, extremely impressive, capable of "marking", even in the angular installation, the entire room. Perhaps it managed to make it more mysterious and intimate. Who would expect to find a stuffed deer, with neon numbers, at the top of a house? It became our beacon. When I pass in front of it, I look at it still incredulous about owning it, and I say to him: "you're mine!" The deer looks at me from beneath its long eyelashes, and arrogantly "minds his own business". With its long antlers and the neon Fibonacci numbers, that constitute a focal point in Merz's artistic development. The magic of the illuminated numbers reverberates around the whole room, of which the deer is now the undisputed protagonist. Ever since the work was installed there, at the highest point in the house, I have had bizarre thoughts. I have even thought that ascending in our house is like climbing to reach a flowering cherry tree. The cherry tree in flower, in my twisted mind, is Mario's deer. With its beauty that provokes amazement, its elegance, its freshness, the atmosphere it has succeeded in creating in the house.