Peter Ibsen collection contemporary art
I love to follow the Instagram profiles of contemporary art lovers but it was only last spring, during my lockdown, that I started following Peter Ibsen’s page more closely. It happened mainly because I, like him, am a fan of Landon Metz, an American artist that I know personally and whose personality I really appreciate even before his work.
In his Instagram profile, Peter Ibsen defines himself as an “art addict, advisor and part time collector”. He is the founder of the gallery Sunday-S in Copenhagen and has a really exclusive taste. As a matter of fact, his name appears also among the “100 art-world Instagram accounts to follow right now-Collectors”.
What really stands out is his unique and distinguishing style. Through the pictures of his posts he shows on a daily basis an excellent mix between neat Nordic settings and an international approach.
Thanks to the spontaneity with which he accepted to do this interview and his genuine and kind attitude; I cannot wait to get on a plane as soon as possible and go visit him in his gallery. In his work, I notice a great deal of research and particular attention granted to young international artists.
Question: Your profile as a collector and curator is among the most beautiful on Instagram. It is extremely curated and you put a lot of care and attention in each of the posts. How much power do you attribute to social media for your work?
Answer: Thanks, very kind of you. It actually started out many years ago, as a place where I could post things I liked, more or less for my own sake. And it was a private account back then… Now it has grown to be a necessary “tool” for reaching out, discovering new artists, friends, collectors, and actually my main tool for sending messages back and forth. Like you and I just met here, without it I would never have been able to be in contact with so many interesting people from all over the world. So indeed, I value it greatly, mostly Instagram. I rarely use the other channels.
Q: How do you reconcile your role as a collector with that of curator and gallery owner? They are different profiles that do not necessarily follow the same tastes…
A: I don’t… I only share, show and surround myself with the artists and works I collect personally. So, for me there is no real difference. Naturally, I use Pibsen a little more personally than the Sundays profile.
Q: The use of social media – such as Instagram or Facebook – is increasingly intrusive and full of risks of losing physical contact with works of art. What do you think about this? Do you see a risk?
A: Honestly, some years ago I saw it as a problem and a risk. But the last 2-3 years and especially after this corona crisis – where we had to stay away from all physical contact, and seeing things in real life – I think we have moved beyond that line where we risk anything. I only see it as an add-on, a plus, to be able to see things via social media, and then when the chance arrives, we will see it in real life.
Also, it opens the artworld up even more, it’s not “dangerous” to visit online, but for many it can be frightening to visit a Gallery for the first time, in the beginning of one’s art passion and the very first purchase of an artwork.
Q: The contemporary art world is like a circus, where an enormous amount of money is spent that does not always correspond to the quality of the works of art. What criteria do you use to distinguish the works of highest quality?
A: Everything is art and everything has value, it depends on the eyes. But true… it’s a circus and, in many cases, more about the fame of getting a work and the chilled white wine and parties. I believe one has to look at the 80% one cannot see in a work, all the hidden clues, process, materials, ideas, the why, the how, not just “uh pretty”.
Also don’t be afraid to look more closely at the works you don’t like at first look. Go for the difficult ones, the ones that irritate you. It’s a huge question, so we could spend hours on this subject.
Q: For several years you have decided to organize your collection in a very specific way. You have chosen to sell some pieces in favour of other new and different ones. What drove you on this path?
A: Chance and pure luck. I spent the first 10 years shooting left and right, buying impulsively and with no focus, no direction, sloppy and lazy….and in the end, I ended up with a big bag of mixed nothing.
It was a learning period maybe and I guess we collectors all go through this.
It changed after I saw a work I hated and really it upset me for some months… I had to get it. And it changed my entire perspective of collecting. I sold off everything and started over…after I bought it…
Q: What can you tell us about the contemporary art scene in Denmark?
A: Not much. My focus is primarily international… some very few dedicated collectors that actually don’t follow the herd, but mostly everyone buys the same as his/her neighbours and in the end it all adds up to similar and unpersonal collections. They go “safe” and without really knowing what and why they bought it. Sorry for being so direct… but it’s classic…
He is right: everything has a different value depending on the eye of the person looking. And what we see of him and his work really deserves being followed as a source of inspiration.
Peter Ibsen collection contemporary art Peter Ibsen collection contemporary art
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