Loving art is not related to age and neither is wanting to spice up your living room with an Awesome artwork. Art buyers are not necessarily old men with gray hair and brown tweed suits. Buying art has become sexy. A new generation of collectors in their twenties and thirties are now entering the high-end art market. They spend their money on art as easily as you would spend it on an H&M blouse. While you show off with the latest iPhone, they impress friends with their latest Picasso and out of this world art installations. They drink at openings, bask in the spotlight and have contemporary artists on speed dial.
So who are these fortunate youngsters? What collectors are hot and happening right now? Let’s make a list so you know who to befriend, who to drink a glass of champagne (or vodka) with and who to invite to your next birthday party hoping they will show up with a present (yes, framed please!)
Real estate developer from Manila, the Philippines, is definitely someone to connect with. He is only in his late thirties, but owns a huge art collection that is ever expanding. Works by Pablo Picasso, Damien Hirst, Francis Bacon, Willem de Kooning, Mark Rothko and Jeff Koons (so basically every famous artist you could ever think of) can be found in his collection. And he only started collecting in 2005! Antonio took his hobby even further by amassing a collection of self-portraits made on commission by famous artists. Takashi Murakami, Damien Hirst and David LaChapelle among others, have all created artworks…yes… featuring Robbie. Money can’t buy happiness but it can buy you art with your own face on it.
The 28 year old collector from Beijing, China is an entrepreneur who's parents are loaded investors, and helped him to fund his own private museum called ‘M Woods Museum’. His collection consists of the hottest artists in the world right now: Kader Attia, Tracey Emin and Jack McConville. Last year he spent 4 million dollars on his collection. Wow.
A Russian oligarch princess, not even 30 years old, with a very impressive collection. The princess owns pieces by Cindy Sherman, Christopher Wool and Franz West. She also found her own project space in Moscow and can be spotted at celebrity parties, museum openings and runway shows. Check her Instagram for photos of her collection, her famous artist friends and her amazing fashion style.
Arthur de Ganay
A sophisticated collector from Berlin who started buying art as a young architecture student in Paris. He has since expanded his collection, with a focus on architectural and landscape photography with works by Elger Esser, Thomas Ruff and Arwed Messmer. His collection is now housed in a former jam-factory along the Spree River in Berlin, and can be viewed by appointment only. So plan and book, because this guy knows exactly what he is doing.
The 33 year old basketball player for Miami Heat is also a serious and dedicated art collector. Apparently, sports and art can go hand in hand. He owns artworks from big artists like Jean-Michel Basquiat and Andy Warhol, as well as Rob Pruitt, Retna and Hebru Brantley. Slam dunk!
He has become a prominent man in the art world as the founder of Paddle8, an online art platform, and has ties with the British royal family. Even though he sells art as an auctioneer, he is also a passionate and dedicated collector. He believes young people should collect because art is representative of one’s identity in a time of mass production and the homogenisation of society. He is very right indeed. And did we already mention that he is super good looking? Both his looks and his artworks make us drool…
Sheikha Al-Mayassa Al-Thani
To top off the list, if you really want to get around in the art world you should consider becoming friends with Sheikha Al-Mayassa Al-Thani. She is the sister of Qatar’s ruling Sheik, only 31 years old, and already declared the most influential person in art according to Art Review's ‘Power 100’. Al-Mayassa is said to have purchased the most expensive painting in the world, Paul Gauguin's When Will You Marry? in 2015 for $300 million, Cezanne’s The Card Players for $250 million, and a Rothko for $70 million; on top of numerous works by Jeff Koons, Damien Hirst, Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein and Francis Bacon. She has also spent, in her role as Director of the Qatar Museum Authority, over 1 billion dollar on artworks on behalf of the Qatar Museums.
Unfortunately not many people are likely to make this list…ever, but there is some good news! You don’t necessarily have to be mega super rich to afford art. Check out the collection of The Public House of Art, which gives everyone the opportunity to become an art collector. Start buying art! No excuses.
Written by Amsterdam based freelance writer Rosanne Schipper for The Public House of Art.