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Meet the young collector who is taking the international art world by storm - Claus Risvig

Being one of Denmark’s foremost art collectors, Claus Busch Risvig focuses on collecting art by emerging contemporary artists.

When did you start collecting art, and why?

Before I met my girlfriend Stine, I didn’t really have an interest in art and had definitely never thought about it as something you collect. That was about to change! Not only did my parents-in-law turn out to be enthusiastic art lovers, they are also collectors, and are those to be blamed for my collector mania. Around 2010, Stine and I moved to a new apartment and decided to buy some real art for the walls instead of the usual poster from IKEA. This marked the very beginning of our collector journey - we simply got hooked and started seeing and studying more art and we really haven't looked back since.


What about the artwork makes you decide to select it to add to your collection?

Most of all, it’s about feelings. In which way does the work make us feel? Does it create joy? Tension? Excitement? Either way, it’s really important that the works we add to our collection make us feel something, be it good or bad. We also do quite a lot of research before making a final decision, as we like to know as much as possible about the artist before we buy.

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“There is so much humanity in art – moods, feelings, decisions, reflections, impressions, and expressions – both for artist and observer. Art arrived relatively late in my life, but today it is an essential part of my everyday life. My family life, my work life, and my network revolves around art, and to me it is like a magnet with an immense force of attraction. I feel drawn towards it, and I cannot imagine not being guided by it. It has gotten under my skin!”

What about the artwork makes you decide to select it to add to your collection?

I mainly collect works from six to eight different artists, which indicate the core of my collection. Beyond that I collect a few younger or newer artist in the early stages of their careers. That gives me the opportunity to follow them, which I think is very interesting. When I buy I always look into the background of the artist if I haven’t collected pieces from him or her before. One thing is to feel an instant love for an art piece but that’s not necessary enough for me. To me art or the quality of an art piece is just as much about all the stuff going on around the artists, their social environment, and the histories behind. Therefore, it can be a very long process buying art. Most important, collecting is to me of course about the art but I see the social aspects just as essential. To meet the artists and visit them in their studios.

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I do see art as an investment, I see it as a personal investment that is part of my evolution as a human being in a specific moment in time.

Do you have any advice for new collectors?

1. 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.

2. Do your research. When you find a piece of art you like, go home and do your research. Try to find out everything you can about the artist, which galleries he/she is shown at, is he/she in any known collections etc. This will also help you make the right decision.

3. Buying prints can also be a good way to get you started collecting, they are inexpensive compared to unique pieces of art and it is possible to get works from well-known artists that way.

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If you are about to buy your very first artwork, I would consider buying prints, which can be a great way to get started collecting. They are inexpensive compared to unique pieces of art and it is possible to get works from well-known artists that way. Finally, follow your gut feeling. You can get a lot of advice from people who have been in the business for many years, but ultimately, you are the one who is going to live with it. Most importantly, look inside and ask yourself: why does this work speak to me?

Left: Andrea Carpita