Elgiz Museum, view of the permanent collection with works by Luis Vidal, David Salle, Abdurrahman Öztoprak, Adnan Coker, Burhan Doğançay and Jonathan Meese – © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2017

Interview with Sevda Elgiz

Proje4L – Elgiz Museum of Contemporary Art – Istanbul, Turkey

What was the first piece of artwork you purchased, and when was this?
In the early 1980s we bought a painting from Guen, a Turkish artist who unfortunately died last year, he was very young. At the same time, we bought a very big work by Güngör Taner. Both pieces were our first abstract paintings.

Why do you collect?
I studied in Italy, where I had been very close to the history of art. My husband Can is an architect and has always been interested and involved in art. Collecting is our common passion. We read, we travel, we buy, we argue; all of this gives us pleasure and makes our life meaningful.

Does your collection follow a concept or a specific theme?
We do not have any criteria or purpose of collecting. We collect what we love and with what we want to live together with.

Who are the artists you are currently following? Do you have a personal relationship with the artist you collect?
Currently we are in love with the sculptures of Sean Henry, a British artist. Generally, we are not looking for any particular relationship, but we are of course pleased to get to know the artists when it occurs.

Why did you decide to make your collection publicly accessible?
We think that the best support one can give to artists is to make their work visible. Our space is open to the public and is free of charge. We are happy when visitors, students and children come in and enjoy our collection.

Which publicly accessible private collection would you recommend visiting?
I think that the collectors based in Miami are very well organized. I can mainly suggest the collection of Ella Fontanals-Cisneros, Martin Margulies and Rosa & Carlos de la Cruz.

Elgiz Museum, view of the permanent collection with works by Luis Vidal, David Salle, Abdurrahman Öztoprak, Adnan Coker, Burhan Doğançay and Jonathan Meese – © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2017
Can & Sevda Elgiz in front of a work by David Salle – © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2017
Elgiz Musuem, entrance with works by Ewerdt Hilgemann, Paul Morrison, Bruno Peinado, Marcus Schaller and Mehmet Aksoy – © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2017

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