Why do I collect art? I am not sure, but I have been unable not to collect art since I was fourteen or fifteen years old. The criteria change the older and more unreasonable I get.
For me, collecting is about the challenge, about enthusiasm, and about the position of the image within the art of its time. Another criterion is whether the work has a timeless quality that can assert itself when placed next to works from completely different eras. But of course, there are also always pictures to which none of these criteria apply and which I still want to have as soon as I see them. Nobody should claim that collecting is a rational passion.
Florian Illies is due to publish his new book, LIEBE IN ZEITEN DES HASSES. CHRONIK EINES GEFÜHLS 1929–1939 (Love in a Time of Hate: A Chronicle of a Feeling 1929- 1939) this autumn. He was previously chief features editor for Germany’s ZEIT and FRANKFURTER ALLGEMEINE ZEITUNG, and managing director of the auction house Grisebach and the publisher Rowohlt Verlag. He also wrote GENERATION GOLF and 1913: THE YEAR BEFORE THE STORM.