Beyond Private
The PEAK Malaysia|April 2019
Beyond Private

Step one to starting a collection is passion, but what comes after? Neda Al-Asedi speaks to prolific art collector Alain Servais during Singapore Art Week 2019 about art patronage and all that comes after owning an art collection.

Tell us how you started collecting art and why? What was the first piece you bought and which ones are your favourites?

I am an investment banker by profession and I noticed that visiting museums gave me a sense of serenity. I realised that this serenity was coming from projecting myself in other realities: social, geographical, cultural, religious and economical. The serenity came from thinking outside of the box, opening up to realities, questions new to me. I soon wanted to try replicating this pleasure at home. The first works I bought in 1997 were photographs by Nan Goldin and Andres Serrano. I still own them now, with much delight. I have hardly ever sold any of the works that I have acquired. I therefore have many favourites.

Why were you drawn to collecting contemporary art? In that same vein, why do you avoid paintings in your collection?

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April 2019