Home Magazine MeetMe#11 | In conversation with Diego Bergamaschi

In Italy there is a cultured and precise collecting. In spite of the bad economic and cultural crisis of the last ten years, there is still a part of them that persists. There are people who keep an eye on young artists. They are the ones that might have opportunity on the market in the future, but they also have the most interesting and fresh ideas...

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In the last months, I often did some studio visits and I came to know directly from the artist that you, Diego, had recently come out from there. This cure and dedication for the artists and the works itself it is rare. It struck me. Many collectors have never entered a studio. Instead you use it as a starting point. Am I wrong? 

Absolutely not! You are right. Despite my ultimate respect and appreciation for the current art system and its qualified workers (gallery owners, curators, museum directors, etc.), I must confess that since the beginning of my collecting activity I had a great passion to capture the incredible energy and vitality that is perceived in the artist’s studios. Especially in the ones of the emerging artists. My interest in this "segment" of cultural production is so broad that I want to get to know their research at 360 degrees. I can do this by buying and supporting the production of artist books as well as publications. In exchange, I get strong friendships, esteem and above all I have the pleasure of sharing with them an original and creative vision of the world.


Andrea Kvas. Courtesy Diego Bergamaschi Collection


I read that you started your collection from a painting by Nicola Samorì. You like painting, but also photography and you have recently founded Seven Gravity Collection with other collectors, a reality that supports video art. How did this path of collecting develop through the different types of media?

I started 15 years ago with a huge passion for figurative paintings. Now my collection of 150 works contains at most 4/5 paintings, all very recent ones (except the first one). My attention during these years has shifted, not only to all the available media used by the artists, but from the search of aesthetic beauty to the search of conceptual beauty. To simplify things, I love to study in depth the logic and mental process that led the artist to create a work rather than its esthetical features. I’m recently going back to love paintings, even figurative - a practice that has been very much used by young artists, coming out of the Academies and characterized by a narrative, fantastic and surreal model that interests me much. The Seven Gravity collection (a shared collection for the acquisition of video works) was founded 5 years ago together with 6 other private collectors. It was born from the passion for video art, but mainly for the pleasure of doing quality things together with others. This approach represents the true fil rouge of my collecting story and perhaps of my life in general.

Read more about How To Discover Emerging Artists...


June Crespo. Courtesy Diego Bergamaschi Collection


Your activity as a collector is always active and energetic - openings, talks, presentations of artist's books, and since 2014 of ClubGamec - how do you reconcile this work with the one related to the world of finance?

In a recent lecture on collecting held at the master study of the Accademia dell’Arte Milanese I answered the same question by saying: "studying at night!". To some it sounded like a joke but then I explained to them that in reality finance, like the art field, is an all-encompassing world. Only during the night I can combine readings, research and organization of my passion for art. Like most collectors, almost all of my holidays / journeys are dedicated to furthering investigations in the art world. Mainly in occasion of large national or international fairs and events. Fifteen days ago, I was in Frankfurt to see one of the top 5 exhibitions of my life, the Cady Noland solo show at MMK.

Do you think that it was your close relationship with the art world which led to the creation of your collection? When I’m saying close relationship, I mean from an emotional point of view but also from the deep trust that you developed with the artist from the begging of their carriers. I am thinking about Alice Ronchi, or Riccardo Beretta for example. 

Definitely yes! When I bought my first work at the Bologna Fair, it drove me to become, not just generic art lover but a collector who was meeting the artist at the stand and understanding directly from him how and why and…here we come! I became a collector! I remember that moment as if it was yesterday, since then the relationship with artists and employees of the art world has been and will be the real fuel for the engine of my sensational passion.


Jonathan Monk (grid) & Renato Leotta (photo). Courtesy Diego Bergamaschi Collection


What advice would you give to a young man or a new collector approaching the art field today?

First of all, I would try to explain how the art world works so he can move with total autonomy. Collecting today is the result of a clever mix of passion and knowledge with a touch of intellectual curiosity. On the other hand, from an economic point of view, I would advise him to start immediately to acquire works because the quality of a purchase is absolutely not proportional to the amount spent. Finally, I would tell him to support mainly his peers by growing together, sharing readings, ideas and passions with them. Even with small personal sacrifices, the closeness with artist gives you a lot.

Cover images: Diego Bergamaschi - Giulia Cenci.Courtesy Diego Bergamaschi Collection. 

Stay Tuned on Kooness magazine for more exciting news from the art world.

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