5 Greeks among the top art collectors for 2017
The world’s top collectors in 2017 are gathered in the list published annually by the US site Artnews. The list features the 200 most important collectors worldwide for 2017. This year’s list of TOP 200 Collectors features 5 Greek collectors.
Dimitris Daskalopoulos is the most important of the Greek collectors featured in the list . Over the past two decades he has amassed a collection of more then 500 works by 220 artists, including John Bock, Sarah Lucas, Matthew Barney, Lynda Benglis, and Louise Bourgeois, adding about 20 new works per year. When asked by ARTnews why he began collecting contemporary art, Daskalopoulos answered, “It was the only art I could collect, because I couldn’t have the Rubens and the Goyas: they are all where they should be. Also it’s very compatible with my mentality: a bit of addressing the today and tomorrow of our society in a rebellious and creative way. That was what I was trying to do in my business as well.”
Economou has been buying with his eyes since 2001. As a result, he has amassed a large and eclectic collection, which contains everything from Picasso to lesser-known early 20th century German and Austrian artists to public telephones, and in recent years has shifted aesthetic gears to embrace postwar and contemporary art.
Greek Cypriot industrialist Dakis Joannou created his DESTE Foundation for Contemporary Art in 1982 in Nea Ionia, a northern suburb of Athens. Joannou has told ARTnews that the foundation is the byproduct of his relationship with artists.
Greek financier Dimitri Mavrommatis owns Art Deco furniture, 18th-century Sèvres porcelain, African sculptures, and modernist paintings, and he attributes the diversity of his collection to quitting smoking. In 2014, Mavrommatis sold a rare Graff ruby ring at Sotheby’s. Prized for its “pigeon’s blood” shade of red, the 8.62 carat ruby went for about $6.8 million.
As the heir to the fortune and art collection of his father, the Greek shipping magnate Stavros Niarchos, Philip S. Niarchos is believed to have one of the most valuable art collections in the world. One of his father’s greatest purchases was Pablo Picasso’s Yo, Picasso (1901), which he acquired in 1989 for $47.8 million. Niarchos has also made notable purchases of his own, such as a Vincent van Gogh self-portrait, auctioned at Christie’s in 1989, that cost him $71.5 million. Niarchos is a member of the board of trustees at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and of the International Council at Tate.