BMW Art Guide by Independent Collectors

Dominique & Sylvain Levy

DSLCollection – Paris, France

Dominique & Sylvain Levy
Dominique & Sylvain Levy

How important is having the title of “collector” to you?

We have been collecting together for more then thirty-four years. During this time, we went from the notion of an “l’amateur d’art” to a new model that I shall call the “entrepreneurial collector”.

Today our collection is a project that bridges family adventure in the sense of “l’amateur d’art” a collection of Chinese contemporary art, and science, especially with the use of digital tools to create new spaces and experiences for people to connect with art.

For the future we have already put the collection in the context of the Fourth Industrial revolution by joining programs related to virtual realty, Blockchain and 3D printing.

Inside the DSL Collection
Inside the DSL Collection

Does your collection follow a specific theme or particular artists?

We have decided to focus on Chinese contemporary art. Why Chinese contemporary art? Since 1980 China is experiencing the biggest transformation that any other country has experienced in the history of mankind. As art can be seen as the mirror of a society, we wanted to find in Chinese contemporary art the energy that you feel when you are in China, as well as its 5 000 years of culture.

We do not follow particular artists but follow certain rules and we collect all types of mediums. We have to be challenged by the work.

Do you have a personal relationship with the artists you collect?

Sure. We know almost 170 out of the 200 artists that are featured in the collection. We believe that behind an artwork there is the artist, and to better know this person gives the artwork a larger dimension and helps to create an emotional esthetic.

Is there an artwork that you love but can’t live with due to size, medium, or value?

Almost all of our works cannot fit in our apartment. It is a deliberate choice to create a type of collection that also gives priority to the public.

Zhang Huan, Peace, 2001
Zhang Huan, Peace, 2001

In your opinion, what mistakes do young collectors make? And what mistakes did you make when first starting on your collecting journey?

I think that I have made three mistakes in the beginning:
The first one was not defining clearly what type of collection I wanted to create. You can collect to decorate your home or for investment or to fill a museum. All types of collection are relevant but you must choose one and be persistent with it.

The second mistake is about only buying what you like. By essence, contemporary art is about art that changes its time, and that is why it is important to collect works that challenge you, that are against your personal taste.

The third mistake was to sell to quickly.

As for “ the mistakes” of the young collectors, I think it is about being in a hurry to build a collection and to remain in a comfort zone within the type of works that they collect. Collecting can make an ordinary person have an extraordinary life, but that’s only possible If you are persistent and not afraid of any kind of failures.

What has the reaction been like from visitors of your collection since making it publicly accessible? Does this reaction impact you and what you collect?

In the beginning, people from the art world were not convinced by the relevance of showing a collection with digital tools. We had to be persistent and to disseminate the message that the digital world was creating new experiences and spaces to connect people with art. We’ve always focused on the importance of the content and that it should create aesthetic emotions.

Zhang Fanzhy, We N°1
Zhang Fanzhy, We N°1

How has the attitude to collecting changed since you began?

In the thirty-four years that we’ve been collecting the art world has changed a lot and the way a collection is built is now different. We’re still in the spirit of “l’amateur d’art”, which means taking the time to build and enjoy the collection.

Which publicly accessible private collection would you recommend visiting?

Without any doubt it would have to be the DESTE Foundation for Contemporary Art.

All images courtesy DSLCollection, Paris

More Information on DSLCollection

Collectors (57)

Christen Sveaas

Kistefos Museet, Jevnaker, Norway

Maurizio Morra Greco

Fondazione Morra Greco, Naples, Italy

Noemi Givon

Givon Art Forum – Tel Aviv, Israel

Qiao Zhibing

TANK Shanghai and Qiao Space - Shanghai, China

Jochen Zeitz

Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (Zeitz MOCAA) - Cape Town, Africa

Andrea von Goetz

Sammlung Blankenburg – Hamburg, Germany

Michael Buxton

Buxton Contemporary - Melbourne, Australia

Anastasios A. Gkekas

The Office Collection - Nicosia, Cyprus

Christine and Andrew Hall

Hall Art Foundation - Reading, USA & Derneburg, Germany

João Carlos de Figueiredo Ferraz

Instituto Figueiredo Ferraz (IFF) - São Paulo, Brazil

Anita Zabludowicz

Zabludowicz Collection – London, United Kingdom

Gordon Elliott

The Elliott Eyes Collection - Sydney, Australia

Seth Stolbun

The Stolbun Collection – Houston, USA

Christian & Karen Boros

Sammlung Boros – Berlin, Germany

Maria Didrichsen

Didrichsen Art Museum – Helsinki, Finland

Timo Miettinen

Salon Dahlmann – Berlin, Germany

Marli Hoppe-Ritter

Sammlung Marli Hoppe-Ritter – Waldenbuch, Germany

Désiré Feuerle

The Feuerle Collection – Berlin, Germany

The Vague Space

Christian Kaspar Schwarm on the first solo presentation of his collection at the Weserburg Bremen

Gudrun & Bernd Wurlitzer

Wurlitzer Pied A Terre Collection – Berlin, Germany

Corbett Lyon

Lyon Housemuseum – Melbourne, Australia

Geert Verbeke-Lens

Verbeke Foundation – Kemzeke, Belgium

László Vass

Vass Collection – Veszprém, Hungary

Daisuke Miyatsu

Dream House – Ichikawa, Japan

Samara Walbohm & Joe Shlesinger

Scrap Metal Gallery – Toronto, Canada

Charles Riva

Charles Riva Collection – Brussels, Belgium

Venke & Rolf Hoff

KaviarFactory – Lofoten, Norway

Alain Servais

Servais Family Collection – Brussels, Belgium

Ivo Wessel

Sammlung Ivo Wessel - Berlin, Germany

Ramin Salsali

Salsali Private Museum – Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Vittorio Gaddi

Collezione Nunzia e Vittorio Gaddi – Lucca, Italy

Miguel Leal Rios

Fundação Leal Rios – Lisbon, Portugal

Julia Stoschek

Julia Stoschek Collection – Dusseldorf, Germany

Gertraud and Dieter Bogner

Kunstraum Buchberg – Gars am Kamp, Austria

Bob Rennie

Rennie Collection at Wing Sang – Vancouver, Canada

Heiner Wemhöner

Sammlung Wemhöner – Herford, Germany

Lin Han

M WOODS – Beijing, China

Kenny Goss

The Goss-Michael Foundation – Dallas, USA

Karsten Schmitz

Arbeitswohnung Federkiel – Leipzig, Germany

Devon Dikeou

The Dikeou Collection - Denver, USA

Thomas Olbricht

ME Collectors Room Berlin/Stiftung Olbricht – Berlin, Germany

Mera & Donald Rubell

Rubell Family Collection – Miami, USA

Pétur Arason

Safn – Berlin, Germany / Reykjavík, Iceland

Steffen Hildebrand

G2 Kunsthalle – Leipzig, Germany

Rafaela Seppälä

RKF Collection – Helsinki, Finland

Frédéric de Goldschmidt

Frédéric de Goldschmidt – Brussels, Belgium

Daniel Teo

The Private Museum – Singapore, Singapore

Claudio Cosma

Sensus – Luoghi per l’arte Contemporanea – Florence, Italy

Michał Borowik

Michał Borowik Collection – Warsaw, Poland

Herbert Gerisch

Herbert-Gerisch-Stiftung - Neumünster, Germany

José Berardo

Museu Coleção Berardo – Lisbon, Portugal

Bärbel Grässlin and Karola Kraus

Sammlung Grässlin - St. Georgen, Germany

Joëlle and Eric Romba

Rocca Stiftung – Berlin, Germany

Myriam and Amaury de Solages

Maison Particulière – Brussels, Belgium

Friedrich Gräfling

Sammlung Fiede - Aschaffenburg, Germany

Benjamin Genocchio

Fair Director at The Armory Show