Raphael Isvy

I have always been amazed by splendid interiors combining design, architecture, furniture, and of course amazing fine art. I read hundreds of magazines showing the best houses and told myself that it was my absolute goal to have a home like that. I started collecting to put art on my blank walls. 

Three years ago, I became a father of a cute little girl. It is going to sound cliché, but it made me see things differently. Legacy is something I deeply value and being able to pass a collection to my children is something that I would love to do. Transmitting is key, for only then would the story behind each of the works I collect be told.

I collect out of passion for culture, but also to take my mind off my daily job, which can be a little boring sometimes. It gives me a breath of fresh air when I get deeply into the art world. I also worship having social relationships like the ones I have developed with hundreds of collectors, galleries, and artists.

Traveling for art fairs and shows around the world to meet people is something exciting that you will find nowhere else. Thanks to collecting, I have had the opportunity to meet the very best human beings.

My tastes have quickly evolved during the past years as I have travelled around the world for fairs and shows. I also listen a lot to galleries’ and collectors’ advice. I think art is a long journey, and a collection is made to evolve constantly and become more diverse.

I collect a lot – my collection is on Instagram @raph_is – as I own more than a hundred original artworks. My favorites are maybe Robin Francesca Williams, Alejandro Cardenas, Huma Bhabha, Peter Saul, Aaron Garber Maikovska, Joyce Pensato, Otis Kwame, Josh Sperling, Oli Epp, Robert Nava, Anna Park, Anna Weyant, and Vojtech Kovarik.

The common points of most of the works from my collection are uniqueness, a good color palette (I love pastel tones), textures, and a fantastic or dreamy way of depicting characters.

I dream of including more blue-chip names in my collection (Josh Smith, Gormley, Emin, Condo) but I also love discovering emerging artists super early. I need to work on my relationships with museums and institutions in the next decade.


Raphael is 31 years old, lives in Paris, and works as a salesperson in a software company that develops a KYC tool aimed at banks and insurance companies. Seeing that networking is the most important thing in the art world, he created an "art collector group" four years ago. Today, the group is one of the biggest art communities on Facebook with nearly 10 000 members from all around the world. People can share their collection, discuss their passion, share advice, and buy/sell following an ethical code.

Given his contacts with galleries, artists, collectors, and editions houses, Raphael decided to use his network to promote artists he values. He introduced the Iranian painter Mehdi Ghadyanloo to Almine Rech and made a series of two shows happen. Last year, he curated his first show at Hofa Gallery in London, introducing emerging female artists to the world.