Meet the young, emerging art collector Freddy Insinger – a forerunner in shaping a new generation of collectors.

Based in Amsterdam, but nonetheless a world citizen, art collector, brand consultant and ambassador of the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, Freddy Insinger (aged 27) travels across borders in order to ferret out the next piece to his collection – one that is characterized by its ability to test him, move him and stir things up. Meet an avid collector with a curious mind and an ultimate goal of having his collection shown at a museum.

Name: Freddy Insinger
Location: Amsterdam/New York
Started collecting in year: 2003
Number of artworks in collection: Unknown
Name of collection: The Insinger Collection 
Instagram: @thefreddyshow

How did you become an art collector?
I never actually made a conscious decision to become an art collector, it just happened. I do think that there is a huge difference between people that really collect art or just buy a lot of art.

How would you describe yourself as an art collector?
International, considerate, curious, a decision maker. My collector mentality is not different from who I am in my daily life. I am just naturally curious about many things. I spend most of my free time looking at art and studying artists. I travel to the many international fairs and I am in contact with galleries, art enthusiasts and collectors from all over the world. I don’t tend to settle for less, I’d rather wait for a work that I am really in love with, so one could say I am also very critical. I don’t think there should be much doubt when you are considering acquiring an artwork. It should be love at first sight.

What was the first artwork you purchased?
A piece of street art, by SEEN in 2003, this was way before the whole street art hype. Today everyone is familiar with names like Banksy and Retna.

An artwork shouldn’t so much shock you as it should challenge your ideas, make you look at things differently and stimulate you to continuously rethink your opinions.

What is the main motivation behind your collecting?
I collect because I really enjoy being around art, and I like to support artists. Art confirms my thoughts or helps to redirect my thoughts. The emotional value that art brings is an invaluable feature, and let’s be honest, the social aspect of it is also a lot of fun. Besides that, most of my friends are active in creative industries. I just happen to be surrounded by art all the time. 

Describe your collection in three words.
Young, emotional and international.

Is there any particular type of art that appeals to you or any distinguishing quality that unites all the works in your collection?
I am mostly attracted to paintings, sculptures and drawings. But I am becoming more and more interested in conceptual art. I think a common denominator between my works is that it moves you. It will shake your emotions and will test your frame of thought and hopefully shift your perception. An artwork shouldn’t so much shock you as it should challenge your ideas, make you look at things differently and stimulate you to continuously rethink your opinions. This is really important since you constantly change as a person, you constantly evolve as you get older. I like art that tests you, moves you and stirs something in you emotionally, something that resonates in your opinions. 

What do you take into considerations before you buy a piece of art?
I start by investigating an artist and following his or her work. I basically want to know everything. I never buy works on the spot. I really need to understand the artwork and the artist first, and I always ask myself the following questions:

  • Why should this artist be part of the collection?
  • Why specifically this work and not the other work that is (or is not) available?
  • What has the artist done before, and what is in the pipeline?
  • What gallery represents the artist, what museums or other collectors have added the artist’s work to their collection?
  • Can I afford it?

What do you enjoy the most: The hunt associated with collecting art or the joy of ownership?
The hunt, by far, that is just in my nature. Finding a great work is 90% of the fun, ownership just means being a step closer to a better collection. I am just not very materialistic.

How important is it for you to meet the artist behind the artwork?
Not necessarily that important before I buy the work, but as soon as I have a work I will always try to reach out and aim to do a studio visit. 

Do you have a desire to have your collection shown?
Absolutely, it is my ultimate goal to have my own museum show in about 40 years. It is exactly for that purpose that cohesion within my collection is so important.

What are the wishes for the future of your collection? What would you like to see happen to it?
I started to professionalize my collection over the past 2 years. You can’t start soon enough with collection management. Works just need and deserve the best documentation, so I document as much as possible. I have a great group of people that mentor me, that I can go to in order to reflect on my choices and that can help me make decisions. Furthermore, I am in contact with several institutions to hopefully loan works to in the future. I would like to continue along this road and keep growing and professionalizing my collection so that I might one day have a renowned collection that is museum worthy.

What work of art do you wish you owned if the price tag did not matter
De Kooning, Yves Klein and a Richard Serra in the garden. 

How do you know that you stand in front of a really great piece of art
When the aesthetic and the theory behind the work are both exceptionally good.

What is the best advice you have given or been given in terms of art collecting?
“Just get the best work possible for what you can afford: rather go for a top work of an emerging artist than a lesser work of an established artist”. Secondly: “Don’t feel restricted by the number of walls you have in your house or the size of a work. If the work or artist is important for your collection, you should go for it”.