Colin Gleadell gets down with Dimitris Daskalopoulos, the Greek businessman whose collection is now on view at London’s Whitechapel Gallery. The collection of Daskalopoulos’s compatiot, Dakis Joannou, is enjoying a much shorter run time at New York’s New Museum, where it has been on display (curated by Jeff Koons) since March. Score one for Daskalopoulos, whose collection will be up at Whitechapel for nearly a year, until May 22, 2011.
But for Daskalopoulos collecting is not a contest… Or is it? Gleadell points out that many of the works in Daskalopoulos’s collection have had major auction moments, a common denominator which suggests that Daskalopoulos has a passion for competing in the fray of the auction salesroom (not to mention a propensity for coming out the victor).
The display reveals Daskalopoulos as a buyer of key works at auction over the years. Apart from the Duchamp, there is a phallic latex sculpture by Louise Bourgeois bought in 2004 for $455,500, the third highest price for Bourgeois at the time. Sarah Lucas’s Bunny Gets Snookered, (1997), was bought a year earlier for $163,500, a record for the British artist then. One of his more recent auction buys is Sherrie Levine’s polished bronze, Fountain (Buddha), cast in 1996 from a different urinal to Duchamp’s, for which he paid a double estimate $444,000 dollars in November 2008, just as the market was plunging into recession.
Dimitris Daskalopoulos interview (The Telegraph)