Interview with Friedrich Gräfling
Sammlung Fiede - Aschaffenburg, Germany
What was the first art work you bought and when?
The first art work I bought was a graffiti work by a befriended local graffiti artist, whom I knew from my "own artistic experience". I was 15 at that time; obviously less intended as an art piece, but already thought as a document of this particular time.
Why do you collect?
It is a disease. Either you are a collector or not. It is like building a model train. The fun is in the dream, planning and building, rather than having the trains moving.
Does your collection follow a concept or a specific theme?
Not really, but obviously one could interpret concepts or themes at some point. But there is no real strategy we are following.
Which artists do you follow at the moment?
This is difficult to name. There are maybe three branches to the collection. One consists of early or more unknown works of very established artist that are hence still affordable for me. Then there is a very interesting group of Berlin based artists that I have been following closely for the past years. Lastly I am always interested to discover young artists who are sometimes even still students. One interesting, very young artist we are following intensely right now is Maximilian Arnold.
Do you have a personal relationship with the artists you collect?
With most of them, yes. With the young ones definitely and with some of the established ones, too.
Why did you decide to make your collection publicly accessible?
Intended as storage or rather the freedom to not be constraint by the remaining wall space in my flat, the "Schlachthaus" developed. After the fun and success of last years’ exhibition, curated by the artist Gregor Hildebrandt, we wanted to do something again this year. However there is neither a concept behind nor could we finance a proper program. Everything is very self initiated and collaborative.
Which publicly accessible private collection would you recommend visiting?
One collection I always like to visit is Sammlung Hoffmann in Berlin. It is not a secret tip, but I am surprised every time, as the exhibitions are never predictable - it is an enriching.
The collection of Friedrich Gräfling is included in the second edition of the BMW Art Guide by Independent Collectors which will be available in September 2013.
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