Collector Profile: Mike Duca & Shawn Seibert

Posted August 05, 2015 by Nora Handsher

Welcome into the life of St. Frank collectors Mike Duca and Shawn Seibert. Both of these men are entrepreneurs and collectors. Mike’s company, NeonMob, is a platform for digital art and online collecting. (Fun fact about these two to start things off: this newlywed couple’s proposal involved a collectable! Mike popped the question with a Dunny figurine.) They opened the doors of their Dolores Park condo in San Francisco, and shared a bit about their lives and their approach to collecting. Come on in…

How did you approach designing your space?

SS: We wanted a comfortable living space that matched our lifestyle while allowing for easy flow between rooms.

Describe your design aesthetic in a few words.

MD: Whimsical, colorful, modern.

What is your favorite room in the house?

SS: The kitchen. I get a lot of joy from cooking. I cook at least three times a week, and the kitchen tends to be the place that people congregate when they come over.

MD: The bedroom. I love that it has large windows on two walls. It has a relaxed vibe; we tried to make it as peaceful and chill as possible.

We know you are avid collectors. What do you collect? And why do you collect the things you do?

MD: We collect Dunnies, art, digital art through my awesome site, NeonMob, baseball cards (though Shawn makes me sell them)…

SS: On Mike’s first birthday after I met him, I bought him a collection of Takashi Murikami figures that came in blind boxes (you don’t know which one you’re going to get). That sparked our interest in Kid Robot Dunnies: little rabbit shaped figures each designed by a different artist. We’ve been collecting them since 2008 and we have over 300 now.

Have you always collected this or did you collect other things at different points in life?

SS: We’ve both always collected things. We have a lot of overlapping childhood collections: magic cards, action figures, comic books. I started collecting digital rare items in an online video game in 1997. I was able to resell the digital items a decade later for a decent profit. Now you know how deep my dorkiness stems!

What is the most treasured item in your space? And why?

SS: Does [our dog] Happy count? Oh, and our cat… Meowfest.

How do you approach collecting art?

SS: At this point we have to find things that we both truly love. Our condo is only 1000 square feet, and the walls are full. So, if we buy something new, something else has to come down. You should see our garage. We probably have a dozen pieces of art hanging on the walls.

Where is your collection from? Where do you find the best pieces?

SS: Mike’s mom is an art historian and mine works for an art consultant, so we’ve grown up around a strong appreciation for art. A lot of our collection comes from one of our parents. Mike’s mom gave us a beautiful piece that’s in our bedroom for our wedding. And my mom gave us these Hockneys. And she gave us this too – an original map of California from 1857 that has been extended on the matting by an artist.

Are you currently hunting for something to add to you collection?

SS: We’re always hunting. I would really love to have a second piece by Sage Vaughn. Or a piece by Mark Trujillo – I don’t have one by him and they’re very hard to find. He paints very mundane scenery, like a Jack in the Box, but it’s very beautifully painted and looks like a photograph.

How do you display your collected items – art and other objects?

SS: For art, right now we have somewhat of a rotation because we don’t have enough wall space. We buy something new, and something else gets replaced and depending on what moves, we’ll reincorporate old pieces from the collection. I really dislike clutter, so while we have a vast collection I show a small part of different collections at any one time.

How do you share your collection with people in your home?

SS: We don’t talk about it unless someone inquires about something specific or about our collecting habits. Our collection is mostly for us.

What story does your home tell about you?

SS: More than anything, our home shows that we don’t take ourselves too seriously. Whimsical, colorful, modern – I’d hope our apartment emulates those aspects because as a couple that’s what we share. Those are elements of our personality that I hope show in our design aesthetic.

What is your favorite St. Frank piece (either in your home or on your wish list)?

SS: I love the skull.

MD: I like the Yoruba Crown.

Love their vibe? Peruse Mike and Shawn's collection of St. Frank pieces and items on their wish list!

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