Interview with Timo Miettinen
Salon Dahlmann – Berlin, Germany
How important is having the title of “collector” to you?
It is not the title that’s important, it is the activity. I have a deep passion for art, and being able to acquire these objects of my passion is a pleasure to me. It also makes me happy to share this passion – it means much to me opening my collection to the public eye.
Does your collection follow a specific theme or particular artists?
There are two important basic components of my collection: painting and my Finnish roots. I started collecting classic paintings with my mother, always focused on Finnish artists. Over the years I have developed a specific taste in contemporary art and I have also opened up for other media like sculpture or photography – in an international context. But I will never forget to keep an eye on the contemporary Finnish art scene.
Do you have a personal relationship with the artists you collect?
Mostly yes, getting to know artists is a very important issue regarding when acquiring a piece of art. I am very fascinated by artist personalities and like to visit studios as much as possible. Many of the artists in my collection turned out to be dear friends within the last years. Some of them – like for example Secundino Hernández, I followed closely over many years. His artworks fascinated me from the first sight and meanwhile Secundino is like family to me.
Is there an artwork that you love but can’t live with due to size, medium, or value?
Nearly all of my artworks fit to be lived with, regardless of size or value. I don’t want to lock art away in a stock or a safe. It should be seen.
In your opinion, what mistakes do young collectors make? And what mistakes did you make when first starting on your collecting journey?
Mistake is a harsh word. If you have a passion for art and collect due to this passion, there is no mistake to make. Acquiring an artwork should not be a matter of financial investment – it should make you happy and proud. Surely there are parts of my collection that I cannot identify with fully anymore, but collecting is a development. Taste develops with the years. As you say it is a journey and you need every station of this journey to reach the next one.
What has the reaction been like from visitors of your collection since making it publicly accessible? Does this reaction impact you and what you collect?
People enjoy visiting the exhibitions in the context of my collection. Public access is very important for me – art should not be kept secretly. Art is made to be looked at and talked about.
How has the attitude to collecting changed since you began?
My attitude has not changed, my taste has and my horizon has opened with every year of collecting.
Which publicly accessible private collection would you recommend visiting?
My recommendations to name just to name a few: Sammlung Hoffmann, Haubrok Projects, Boros Collection.