Artists Collecting Art - Interview with Asger Dybvad Larsen
We zoom in on the artists who collect art while also creating it themselves. Being immersed in the process of creating, artists have well-trained eyes, a different engagement with the art market, and a great access to and understanding of their fellow artists. Be it an inspirational source, a documentation of a creative dialogue between two artists, or a want to provide peer support, an artist’s art collection provides insights into their life as an artist and their enthusiasm for the nature of art. Meet Danish artist and collector Asger Dybvad Larsen.
Asger Dybvad Larsen has built a collection of 33 artworks since 2013 – from the very first piece by Albert Mertz to works by artists such as Per Kirkeby, Peter Bonde, and Tal R. Whether it is by an artist from his own generation or by a pioneer, he has been following for years, one thing unites all the works in his collection: they are closely related to his own artistic universe.
As an artist already deeply engaged in the art world, your approach to collecting must be different. When did you realize that you were also an art collector?
I bought my first work in 2013, a red/blue Albert Mertz lithographic, but some say you don’t become a collector until you buy even though you don’t have space for what you are buying. However, at the time I lived in an extremely small space, so I would say that I realized it relatively quickly after my first purchase.
How would you describe yourself as an art collector and what is the main motivation behind your collecting?
My motivation for collecting mainly comes out of respect for the artists I collect and because of the impact it has on my everyday life to look at beautiful works by artists I think are important and inspiring.
Describe your collection in three words.
2D, post-modern and contemporary.
Do you only own artworks by artists that you know and have met personally?
No, I don’t. My collection consists of a combination of works by artists of my own generation, which are in a similar position as myself, and works by artists of previous generations that I have looked at and followed for a longer period of time.
What is your approach to adding a new work to your collection?
When I’m purchasing a new work by an artist I don’t know personally, it’s always an artist I’ve been following for some time. There are many elements that I find relevant for my selection of the piece, such as aesthetics, artist, period, process, theme, concept, material, price, art historical position, and the history behind the piece. An example of one of my favorite pieces is an Albert Mertz detail gouache sketch for a façade advertisement for milk in the ‘60s in the beginning of his red/blue period. It’s an aesthetically pleasing and funny piece with red figures and a text saying mælk gir sundhed (milk provides health) in a blue scene in the shape of a house. I found the piece at a Danish equivalence of eBay (DBA), I visited the seller who inherited the piece from her parents who bought it directly from the artist, and she wanted to pass it on to her daughter and grandchildren. However, they didn’t want it, so I bought it for an extremely good price. Afterwards, I received interest in the piece from a national museum, but it still hangs in my living room.
Asger Dybvad Larsen
Born 1990, lives and works in Aarhus, Denmark
Started collecting in 2013
Number of artworks in collection: 33
Represented by Rolando Anselmi: www.rolandoanselmi.com
2016-2017 Jutland Art Academy
2016 Malmö Art Academy
2012-2015 Jutland Art Academy
2011-2012 Kunsthøjskolen på Ærø
2008-2011 BGK – Billedkunstnerisk Grundkursus
ARoS Aarhus Art Museum