Interview with Guido Galimberti

Fondazione Opera - Milan, Italy

What was the first piece of artwork you purchased, and when was this?
The first artwork I bought was a flower painting by Andy Warhol. I acquired it in Venice in 1974. At the time I was only 20 years old. Starting with Warhol, my passion for Pop Art pushed me to visit the United States to get to know better the work by the artists of this movement. I was enthusiastic about their desire to represent the daily life and objects, so I collected that period.

Why do you collect?
Only and always for passion and for the love of art. I have never bought an artwork thinking of the financial return, which is never predictable. Just pure passion and also a lot of sacrifice. Only the love of art helps to undertake the economic effort. And I have studied the art movements, because through knowledge and in-depth analysis the collection's level grows, and I mean the historic level, not the economic one.

Does your collection follow a concept or a specific theme?
The main core of my collection is constituted by Italian art from the 1950s to the 1980s: from the Spatialism, through Conceptual Art, to Arte Povera. Lucio Fontana, Piero Manzoni, Alberto Burri, and Fausto Melotti are my favourite artists. But I also love Alighiero Boetti, Mario Merz, Jannis Kounellis, Emilio Vedova, Dadamaino, Victor Vasarely, and many others.

Who are the artists you are currently following?
Among the Italian artists, I like Marco Perego and Alberto Di Fabio, while among the international artists, I am following Nedko Solakov, Pascale Marthine Tayou, and Carlos Garaicoa. I know them personally. I always want to meet the artists when I am interested in understanding their work and their way of thinking.

Do you have a personal relationship with all the artists you collect?
Yes, with some more, with other less frequently. With some of the artists in my collection it is not possible because they are dead, like Piero Manzoni for example, or Lucio Fontana, who disappeared when I was 13. But I have met many others, like Emilio Vedova, Enrico Castellani, Alberto Burri, Fausto Melotti, Giuseppe Penone, Piero Gilardi, Pier Paolo Calzolari, etc.

Why did you decide to make your collection publicly accessible?
I wanted to share my experience with other people who love art. My dream is to pass on the love of collecting and of living surrounded by beauty to other people, with passion and spirit of adventure. I believe it is a moral duty for a collector to share his collection with the public!

Which publicly accessible private collection would you recommend visiting?
I admire an Italian couple of collectors who live in Piedmont and share their great collection with the public: Bruna and Matteo Viglietta. The name of their collection is La Gaia and is near Cuneo. Anyway I think that all publicly accessible private collections are worth seeing, as they give you the chance of getting a glimpse of a true passion and of a life lived.

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