BMW Art Guide by Independent Collectors
Claus Busch Risvig
Bech Risvig Collection – Silkeborg, Denmark
Tell us about the history and concept of your collection.
When I met my fiancé Stine I didn't have any interest in Art and had maybe been to an art museum a couple of times in my life. I was 24 at that time, but her family introduced me to the Art World, and we started going to galleries and museum shows, and it really opened my eyes to how great art can be. In 2009, we moved into a new apartment and wanted to hang something nice on our empty white walls. We then went to a local gallery and bought a couple of prints by quite famous Danish artists, and I was simply bitten by the bug from then. When it comes the concept behind our collection there isn't really one, we collect emerging artists from our own generation and younger, but there are no limitations when it comes to medium, figurative/abstract and so on.
Why do you collect?
I think it's in my blood to collect and Stine grew up with art in her home. I've always collected things, stamps, coins, records and so on, but found that art gave me something extra that I didn't find in the other things I've collected. Art has broadened my perspective on life and how it can be lived, and I've met so many interesting people that I never would have met if it wasn't for art. There is also so much still to learn and study and for a “Nerd” like me - that's just amazing.
Do you have a personal relationship with the artists you collect?
Yes, with many we have a personal bond, and it gives me a lot of joy being around them and getting a deeper understanding of their work. I in general really like meeting the artists we collect or at least corresponding with them through Instagram, mail etc. Often they are also good at hinting me to other artists that they know, and we've often ended up buying because of these recommendations.
Which artists are you currently following?
I think it's hard to mention just a few, because there are so many interesting artists out there. We've recently bought a piece by Danish artist Cecilia Fiona, which we are very excited about. Also Danish artist Kåre Frang has been added to our collection, and we are sure that both of them have great careers ahead of them.
What advice do you have for starting a collection?
I would say that the very best thing you can do – as a newbie or a seasoned collector – is to go out there and see a lot of art. Use your eyes, take it in, feel it, reflect upon it, come back, see it again. In other words, get started by going to a lot of exhibitions, both at galleries and museums. Also, try to read some books about art history. This will give you a good idea of which type of art you like and probably make the buying process easier. When you have fallen in love with a piece of art, remember to do your research. Try to find out everything you can about the artist, which galleries he or she is shown at, is he or she in any known collections etc. This will help you make the right decision.
What is your biggest hope for the future of art and collecting?
My hope is that more young people will discover art, and find out how great and educational it can be, and how much you can learn about yourself and the world when surrounding yourself with art and artists. I also hope the speculative part of the art market will see a decrease. I really don't like that part of the art market, it can really hurt young artists' careers when “collectors” are hoping to earn a quick buck on them. And for collecting I hope we will see an increase in Con Armor/Connoisseur collectors, people who are not in it for the money but because of true passion for art. You can build a great collection without that much money if you just have the passion and knowledge, I hope more people will realize that, especially the younger generation of collectors.
Which publicly accessible private collection would you recommend visiting?
First I would recommend getting the new edition of the BMW Art Guide by Independent Collectors, so many great collectors to be found there. I would also recommend visiting the Boros Collection in Berlin, both because of the great collection, but also the whole experience walking around in this old Nazi bunker turned into an art space. I would also recommend visiting Collezione Taurisano in Naples, sadly I haven't been there myself yet, but they are great young collectors with a very interesting collection.