Lorem ipsum dolor amet, consect adipiscing elit, diam nonummy.



Conversation with Nemanja Knežević

Buying art

With Nemanja Knežević we spoke about buying art and organically developing a collection. About relationships with artist’s work and working with artists on displaying art at home. If we mostly buy art by artists from generations we belong to. About creating personal micro narratives and possibility to compose the world from the artworks we collect. About the other side of participating in the contemporary art scene. About the buyer as a necessary and healthy component of the ecosystem of contemporary visual arts.

We spoke about works by Saša Tkačenko, Nemanja Nikolić, Marija Knežević, Aleksandar Denić, Mihaila Prostran, Davor Gromilović, Stefan Đorđević, Aleksandra Mihajlovi, Dušan Rajić, Valentina Brković, Nemanja Jehlička, Bratislav Milenković, Jovan Mikonjić.

Do you consider yourself an art collector?

It wasn’t my main intention to make a collection, nor do I see it like that now. That’s not my ambition. Those works simply dwell at my place. Collectors are mainly individu- als and institutions who buy art with a particular intention and objective. That’s not the case with my collection. I did buy some works, some I got through exchange and some I received as gifts, for photographing exhibitions or works of certain artists. The collection I have has developed over time, through various circumstances. I inherited some works from the family, although my parents don’t have artistic roots, so there are less of those works. Later, I started to research on my own. There is this interesting story about the work of Jovan Miljković Junior. When I was showing him where I displayed his work, he recognized the work next to it as the work of his father Dušan Mikonjić. I didn’t know it at all until that moment.

Common denominators of the works in your collection

There are works by authors from different generations. Moreover, the selection wasn’t based on specifics of media niches – they are not only works by graphic designers or painters, but a wider circle of artists. Although I didn’t have a particular selection intention, later it turned out that some of the authors found their place on the scene and established themselves.

How do you decide on buying a work of art?

I have to see them physically. Sometimes I see a piece on social media and get interested. But when I see them physically it is a completely different perception. I consult artists on how to display the work. Some find it strange, “It’s yours now, do as you wish”. But I want them to be satisfied as well.

Does that mean that you are the curator of your private collection?

In a way, I am. How we display artworks. These decisions affect the complete experience. Besides, the stories behind how I got certain works make me care about them more.

Most of the works you own are by the authors generationally close to you. Is that crucial for you at selection?

Not necessarily. Works by some older artists that I like have prices beyond my reach. The works I own have subjects I’m interested in or that simply make me react. That feels more honest and it makes me satisfied.

Do you know others from your generation who have a similar relationship with art and own collections?

I do, that’s more common than generally thought. It doesn’t require much funds to enjoy art.

Nemanja Knežević (1974), Photographer and Member of Artist Collective Belgrade Raw