An absurdist family dough portrait and 30 street artworks from the underground of Berlin have made their way into an eclectic collection by a Danish artist 

We zoom in on the artists who collect art while also creating it themselves. Being immersed in the process of creating, artists have well-trained eyes, a different engagement with the art market, and a great access to and understanding of their fellow artists. Be it an inspirational source, a documentation of a creative dialogue between two artists, or to provide peer support, an artist’s art collection provides insights into their life as an artist and their enthusiasm for the nature of art.

The very first is René Holm, a Danish artist and collector, who has an eclectic collection; no theme, grouping, or special period of time ties the collection together. The cohesive force is the immediate happiness for what each piece brings into his world.

Name: René Holm
Location: Denmark
Started collecting in year: 2001
Number of artworks in collection: Approximately 100

Works by street artists Little Lucy, Zombie, ElBocho, Wurstbande and Alias.

As an artist already deeply engaged in the art world, your approach to collecting must be different. When did you realize that you were also an art collector?
Being ‘a collector’ was never a reason for me to start collecting art. I have created my collection based on a wish to own specific pieces, which would improve me and my family’s everyday life. I suppose it is the large amount of pieces and the tiny amount of leftover space, which proves that I own more art than what you would see in other homes, and it is based on that that the term ‘collector’ started being used about me. When I choose to show off my collection more publicly, like here on ARTLAND, I become more conscious about my role as a ‘collector’, but essentially I am nothing more than an artist, who likes surrounding myself with art.

How would you describe yourself as an art collector and what is the main motivation behind your collecting?
I see myself as a person, who collects purely out of enthusiasm for the piece and not because of some notion of making an investment or potential profit from sale. The motivation behind my collection relies on a passion for the art and its ability to tell stories through images. All of my pieces are bought because they speak to my heart, never because of a rational calculation.


The motivation behind my collection relies on a passion for the art and its ability to tell stories through images. All of my pieces are bought because they speak to my heart, never because of a rational calculation.

Are you directly influenced by the works in your collection in regards to your own artistic practice? If so, how?
By surrounding myself with art in my everyday life, I experience a great inspiration and happiness because of the fact that I myself have the opportunity to be a practising artist. In this sense, the pieces boost my confidence and desire to leave my artistic mark on the world.

What was the first artwork by another artist that you added to your collection?
My first purchase was two small silver sculptures by Leif Sylvester.

What is the latest artwork by another artist that you added to your collection?
Two drawings by Christian Bergholt Dupont.

Describe your collection in three words.
Honest, personal, and versatile.

John Kørner, Frodo Mikkelsen, Liise Fauerholt, Aaron Johnson, John Kenn Mortensen, Tal R and Dan Schein.

Are the artworks in your collection closely related to your own artistic universe, or is there any particular type of art that appeals to you or anything that unites all the works in your collection?
I happen to know the artists behind a majority of the contemporary pieces I own. I know the personal stories, which surrounds several of my pieces, while others are bought without meeting or being acquainted with the artist. For example, I do not know the artists behind every single one of my about 30 street art pieces. Essentially, there is no theme, grouping, or special period of time, which ties the collection together, but if I had to point out a cohesive force, it would be that every single piece in the collection has an expression of immediate happiness for what it brings into this world. Every piece in my collection speaks to my heart.

Claas Gutsche, Silas Inoue, Bryson Gill, Frodo Mikkelsen, René Holm, Ivan Andersen, Andreas Schulenburg, Ian Larsson & Richard Meaghan.

What is your approach to adding a new work to your collection?
I do not have a strategy as such, when it comes to expanding my collection. It could be, that I have been eyeing an artist for a while and really want to own one of that artist’s pieces, or it could be a random purchase of a piece in an art fair or a gallery by an artist whom I did not know of already, which was the case with my recent purchase of a piece by Silas Inoue.

What are your wishes for the future of your collection? What would you like to see happen to it?
My collection will stay where it is for as long as there is still room for it. I want to expand it with new purchases, both pieces I have wanted for a long time and newly discovered pieces. What happens to my collection once I am gone, I will leave to my children to decide. I hope they will keep some of the pieces, which reminds them of their childhood home, but I guess they will end up selling them and throwing the money at something else nice.

Morten Knudsen, Kristian Devantier, René Holm, Anders Brinch, Dario Cartetta and Natasha Kissell.
Works by Tom Sanford, Jon Stahn, Alexander Rodriguez Gonzales, Russell Nachman, Ian Larsson and Marcus Wagner.
Family dough portrait by Søren Dahlgaard.