Art Collecting Insights

Private Art Collections in VR
Raphaël Isvy – Collector Interview

Virtual reality Installation view of the Raphaël Isvy Collection
Installation view of the Raphaël Isvy Collection in VR

By Benedetta Ricci

Based in Paris, Raphaël Isvy is a young French collector with a penchant for distorted portraits and sci-fi. We are delighted to feature his collection as part of Artland’s campaign that provides art collectors with cutting-edge VR technology to maximize their passion for collecting.

Read on to learn more about how he started collecting, what he sees in the future of his collection, and much more.

Discover the works from the Raphaël Isvy Collection here.

What first drew you to contemporary art and how did you become an art collector?

To me, collecting is an addiction—once you start, it’s hard to quit. It all started with vinyl covers, sneakers collab, street art and designer toys. Once I put the first step into it, it evolved into a game and a passion that today means everything to me.

Portrait of Raphaël Isvy
Raphaël Isvy standing by ‘Triangular head composition’ by George Condo. Courtesy of Raphaël Isvy.

Describe your art collection in three words.

Talent; Balance; Rising stars.

Is there a common thread within your collection (a particular style, medium, theme, historical period…)?

If you check my Instagram (@raph_is) you’ll probably only find figurative, portraits and distorted faces… it’s my thing I don’t know why; probably it’s because I’m a dreamer and a true fan of fantasy and sci-fi.

Is there any piece of art in your collection that plays a significant role to you? Can you tell us why?

Probably the George Condo or the Robin Francesca Williams. First of all, they’re masterpieces and a pleasure to have them in my living environment, but they also gave me confidence that I could build something relevant and established, and also prove to the world that I was taking collecting seriously.

Has your taste changed since you started collecting art?

Definitely. I started collecting urban art, then edition prints, then cartoon/Kawai, and finally ended up collecting contemporary art. I guess the more you see things, the more you train your eye and refine your taste.

What aspects do you take into consideration when buying a work of art?

The artwork itself always comes first, but it’s not enough. I look at a lot of things such as pieces in other collections or galleries, and prices, but mostly I aim to buy works that are representative of an artist’s practice. It’s better not to collect a piece if it’s not unique and truly characteristic of the artist’s style.

Marco Scarpi, Boxers, from the collection of Raphaël Isvy.
Marco Scarpi, Boxers, Courtesy of Raphaël Isvy.

Where do you display your collection? Do you think that custom VR environments for private art collections can be an enabling opportunity for collectors?

I display my collection at home, but also at my parents’ and my brother’s places, and in storage. I rotate the hanging a lot to have the chance to enjoy my collection as much as possible. VR is cool but I don’t have the appropriate equipment to fully enjoy it.

Can you tell us the names of three inspiring artists currently under your radar?

I will try mixing young emerging, confirmed and established artists; let’s say Tracey Emin, Christopher Hartmann and Nika Kutateladze.

Looking ahead, what are your main objectives and expectations for the Raphaël Isvy Collection? Anything in particular that you look forward to?

I always try to enrich the collection with more and more works by blue-chip artists and quality images and enlarge my network while trying to connect the dots between all the actors in the art world.

What is the best advice you have been given about collecting? Any tips for aspiring collectors?

Always buy what you like and try to build a strong network if you can. The more art you see the better trained will your eye be.

Relevant sources to learn more

Explore the Raphaël Isvy collection here
Follow Raphaël Isvy on Instagram here
Browse other VR exhibitions
Explore other private collections at Artland

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