Focusing on the collecting scene of the city and the personal relationship between city and collector, we find out what makes this capital not just a special place for its artists and visitors, but for the collectors too.
Finnish collector Timo Miettinen talks to IC about the impossibility of ignoring Berlin’s relevance in today’s art world, his own exhibition space Salon Dahlmann and how the city’s western part is gradually reclaiming its former glory.
Tell us about your connection to Berlin. How did it all begin?TIMO MIETTINEN
I came to Berlin ten years ago with a group of Finnish real estate investors. It was then that I got really interested not only in Berlin’s real estate situation but in the local art scene as well as the city itself.
What is the collecting scene like in Berlin?TIMO MIETTINEN
Berlin’s collecting scene is very lively, compelling, interesting and international. Especially in comparison to my hometown, Helsinki.
Your collection consists of a lot of German and Finnish based artists – why is this important to you?TIMO MIETTINEN
I am Finnish and I would like to promote Finnish art at my exhibition space in Berlin. I feel Germany has become my second home. My collection however is international and not only based on works by German or Finnish artists. Actually one of my favorite artists is the Spaniard Secundino Hernandez. We first discovered his work here in Berlin back in 2009 and have been collecting his works ever since.
Many international artists are coming to Berlin. Has this influx of artistic talent had an impact on your collection and if so, how?TIMO MIETTINEN
It definitely has had an impact on my collection. I am very interested in buying art from young artists and promoting their work. For this reason, Berlin is really an important place to be – also for a collector.
Do you normally work directly with artists or do you go through Berlin galleries?TIMO MIETTINEN
Normally I buy art from galleries but many of the artists I collect are not presented by a gallery, so I also buy art directly from them. I also buy art at auctions or from other collectors.
How have you seen the Berlin art scene change and where do you think it’s headed?TIMO MIETTINEN
Berlin’s art scene has been growing continuously and will continue to grow and change. I also believe that more collectors will come to the city. One thing I find especially interesting is to witness the change that is happening in West Berlin with Charlottenburg gradually becoming another hotspot for the art scene, reclaiming its former glory. I opened my exhibition space Salon Dahlmann in our house on Marburgerstrasse 3 in 2012 and I am happy to see that others have opened exhibition spaces in locations near by.
Will you be attending Gallery Weekend Berlin this year? And if yes, do you have any tips for the collectors coming on where they should go?TIMO MIETTINEN
I will definitely be attending this year’s edition of Gallery Weekend Berlin. Naturally my first recommendation would be our anniversary exhibition „In wonderland“ at Salon Dahlmann, which will be open every day of the weekend from 11am–6pm. Other than that I know that Galerie Michel Haas will be showing works by Leiko Ikemura from the 29th of April onwards. I recently saw an exhibition by Ikemura at Berlin’s Haus am Waldsee which I thought was amazing. She is a great artist.