Art Collector Questionnaire

‘Art Comes First’: Read CULTURED’s 10 Most Popular Collector Interviews of 2023

It’s been said that a collector is someone who keeps buying art even after their walls are full. Throughout 2023, CULTURED continued to bring you interviews with some of the world’s leading art collectors, for whom a crowded wall is no obstacle whatsoever. These tastemakers—whose day jobs range from interior designer to financial services executive—see buying art not just as a hobby, but as a passion. 

Here are some of the juiciest excerpts from CULTURED’s 10 most popular art-collector interviews of 2023. 

Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, Sister to a Solstice, 2018. Photography by Jessica Dalene.

While Her Friends Bought Leather Pants, Collector Neda Young Invested in Art

“When I came to the States, probably 50 years ago, in ’72, I had no money. I was divorced, but I bought a Joan Snyder for $600. At the time that she painted it, she had just given birth, and I think she left the marriage for a female partner. I was a single mother, and I also felt like I was going through this freedom from something. For me that was quite meaningful.”

James Hedges IV alongside Susan Hartnett drawings from a body of work made with her friend Richard Serra. Photography by Brian Kaminski. 

How James Hedges Assembled the World's Largest Private Collection of Andy Warhol Photographs

“I am a child of the 1980s and grew up with Interview magazine as my introduction to life in New York, the art world, and our modern cult of celebrity. What Andy served, I devoured. Only after buying Warhol works for years was I introduced to the Andy Warhol Foundation, with whom I began a 20-year relationship purchasing thousands of photos.”

On windowsill: TM Davy, Rafael, 2010. Photography by William Jess Laird and courtesy of Ilan Cohen and Vipp.

Ilan Cohen’s Chelsea Apartment Is the Perfect Place to Host His Friends—and Their Artwork

“Art comes first ahead of comfort, travels, or savings.” 

Portrait of David Cancel with Armig Santos, S.M.A., 2022. Image courtesy of Cancel.

How Collector David Cancel Went From Hanging Around Keith Haring’s Pop Shop to Sitting on the Board of the Whitney

“[Art dealer] Max Levai introduced me to an artist that he was representing, Daniel Lind-Ramos, a Puerto Rican sculptor, and I fell in love looking through images on his cell phone. I bought the piece; I didn't see it for over a year because I kept loaning it to different institutions around the world. I finally saw it recently at the MoMA PS1 show where I got to meet Daniel.”

Behind Erica Samuels: George Condo, Gray and Orange Profile, 2013. Opposite wall: Marguerite Humeau, Lilo, the intense desire to bite deeply into the forearm of someone you love, 2021. Back wall: Mark Grotjahn, Untitled (backcountry Capri 54.36), 2021. Photography by Casey Kelbaugh.

20 Years Ago, a George Condo Watercolor Launched Erica Samuels’s Collection—And Her Career

“I have Christian Marclay’s Telephones from 1995 installed in my foyer, and people love to sit and watch it. I have a friend who can literally name all the films in it. The work is a feat of cinematic knowledge and editing genius.”

Image courtesy of Ayesha Selden.

Ayesha Selden Wants Her Collection to Reflect the Black Experience

“My collection tells me stories. To date, I’ve mostly collected contemporary, figurative works that tell the story of Black people—mostly in America. Recently, my tastes are changing a bit because I have a lot of faces on my walls…. I’ve developed a new appreciation for abstract works, which I liken to instrumental jazz music.”

Left: Ryan Sullivan, Blue Painting, 2018. Right: Judith Hopf, Flock of Sheep, 2013. Photography by Izak Rappaport.

Collectors Graham Steele and Ulysses de Santi Find Balance in Their Hollywood Hills Home

“My first work of art was a monoprint of a pig from a local cooperative gallery in Vermont,” Steele says. “I was maybe seven years old, and it was $40. I had to make a payment plan with my mother. It’s been an obsession ever since.”

Portrait of Yasmin Kazeminy. On table: Se Oh, "Blue Poppies," 2023. Photography by Kobe Wagstaff and courtesy of Kazeminy.

Yasmin Kazeminy Has Collecting in Her Blood. She’s Using Her Privilege to Uplift Emerging Artists

“My maternal cousins’ grandmother is Iran’s last queen, Farah Pahlavi, an internationally recognized visionary in the art world. Her contributions are seen at Tehran MoCA, the first museum of contemporary art in Iran. Being raised around such devoted female collectors helped me understand the cultural and personal value of filling your life with a love of art and the art you love.”

Portrait of Charlie Ferrer in a client's home by Tim Lenz. From left: Various work on paper and Thomas Barger's Gingham Passion Chair, 2020. Image courtesy of Ferrer.

Interior Designer Charlie Ferrer Has a Bone to Pick With Millennial Home Decor

“There is a vast world of young people making art. Where are their collector counterparts? I rarely walk into the home of a 30-year-old or even a 38-year-old to find a handful of thoughtfully collected pictures or objects. I find this reality disappointing.”

Komal Shah alongside Charline von Heyl, Dunesday, 2016. Photography by Jason Hsu.

Meet Komal Shah, the Computer Programmer-Turned-Collector Reframing the Role of 'Women's Work'

“As I’ve continued to grow, the breadth of the collection has expanded thematically and conceptually beyond painting to sculpture, ceramics, and textiles. One area of interest is work that formerly was derisively described as ‘women's work’ or ‘craft.’ Within the last couple of years, I’ve begun exploring this idea with textiles, especially the intersection of weaving and quilting with abstraction.”