Looking for a window into the future of the Russian art market? Here are excerpts from The Moscow News’s interview with the first German dealer to set up shop in country:
Volker Diehl, owner of the Berlin-based Galerie Volker Diehl and a well-known participant on the international art circuit, has been present in the Russian art market for years. With the opening of his Diehl + Gallery One in Moscow last year, he became one of the first Western gallery owners to set up shop in Russia.
Q: In what way is the art scene here different from the Western European art scenes?
A: It’s younger, much younger. In Germany, for instance, we have collectors that have been collecting art for 40 years. One major difference is that although collectors here buy works by young and emerging Russian artists, when it comes to international artists, they want established names. It’s all at the beginning here. For example, three to four years ago, Russian collectors just bought Russian art, not so much international art. And in the last few years, the number of Russian collectors interested in international art has become much bigger.
Q: Is the ongoing financial downturn going to have an impact on the Russian art market?
A: People are a little scared. In situations like that, even those who have money prefer not to spend it. So, people are not buying as much as they used to. On the other hand, prices are stable and not going down so much, especially when it comes to important international names.
The Berlin Connection (The Moscow News)