As Christie’s launches a brand new concept of auction dedicated to new art for collectors of all interests we explore the different ways of collecting and becoming a collector. In this interview, Curator, Writer and Dealer, Kenny Schachter, reveals what it is to begin on the extraordinary path of putting together a collection.
How did your collection begin?
I bought a horrible decorative thing, a plastic classical sculpture covered in a material emulating the look of stone, an anonymous, horrid little thing, I’d rather forget.
What do you collect?
Ha! More than I could afford. Conceptualism mostly, from 1960s like Acconci, Chris Burden, Paul Thek and everything in between and before and after, from a 1930s Bomberg portrait of his step-daughter or Mod Brit like Roger Hilton and Kenneth Armitage drawings. Then there is design from Zaha Hadid and Maria Pergay, and then... you get the picture(s).
What was the first piece you bought?
Who or what influences your collecting?
My eyes and brain, rather than my ears, like too many
How does your collection influence you?
It will make me live longer, as it so enriches my life, like reading a book or living with a golden retriever.
What is your dream piece?
A masterful Paul Thek 1960s technological reliquary sculpture with the phenomenal aid of Christie’s private treaty, and I wasn’t asked to say that.
What qualities do you look for?
Longevity, how does something stack up to what came before and what is happening now. Also, like the USA supreme court explanation of porn, it’s hard to describe but I know it when I see it. Or hope to.
Who would you invite – dead or alive – to your perfect arts dinner party?
Freud (Sigmund, not the painter), Vito Acconci, Paul Thek, Eve Hesse, Rosemary Trockel, my kids, maybe my wife, not my dogs. How many tables could I seat? Now you see why collecting with control is an issue.
Post-War & Contemporary Art