Charles Riva, Collector, Art Dealer and Director of Charles Riva Collection based in Brussels. From the young age Riva was surrounded by arts, soon it naturally led him to start collecting arts and opening his own gallery presenting artists and arts from around the world.
“Very soon collecting started to become an obsession.”
What is your typical day like?
(Charles Riva) I start my day by doing sports. Then I consult the auctions and check the results. I look at the art trends and spot what can be interesting. In the morning, I am in a meeting with my assistants to discuss about art market and we also decide and prepare the next exhibitions of the collection, because we have 2 spaces and 2 exhibitions per year. I always think what it would be the greatest show I can do. I also buy works by phone between 2 meetings in auctions. Depending on the country where I am, I will see the different exhibitions offered in museums and galleries. I finish my day with a dinner with close friends, often gallery directors and collectors, enjoying talking about art, artists and trends. Finally, I fall asleep or I sleep on the plane!
How did you start collecting art and art gallery?
(CR) My parents were a painter and an architect so in my early years I was surrounded by arts and sketches. Very soon collecting started to become an obsession. In 1997 I opened my first art gallery “Riva Gallery”. As an art dealer, I started collecting artists that I used to include in my shows among many others – I had found a balance between my activities. The collection opened in 2009 and is a result of my obsession!
Do you remember what was your purchase?
(CR) I was at 18 years old. It was a Brushstroke lithography from Roy Lichtenstein that became later on the cover of the Catalogue Raisonné, 1948-1997. W(CR) My very recent purchase is Roy Lichtenstein also. His work at late 70s called FIGURES. In June, Sotheby’s will having important auction in New York with Lichtenstein’s Brushstrokes Series as one of the main artworks. The work is one of the few remaining in private hands and is estimated to sell for up to $30 million USD. It would be interesting to pay attention to this auction.
What was the most important sale?
(CR) A painting of Cy Twombly.
Do you see shift in art auction in the near future with digital presence?
(CR) No, Art Auctions already have a digital presence, because in the future they will no longer produce paper catalogue. I would be more intrigued what will happen with all those art fairs, that doesn’t mean much on the market, besides Art Basel, FIAC, Frieze and TEFAF.
Current favorite artist? and who are your personal collections?
(CR) Francis BACON, George CONDO, Urs FISCHER, Roy LICHTENSTEIN, Paul McCARTHY, Robert MOTHERWELL, Richard PRINCE, Sterling RUBY, Ed RUSCHA, Richard SERRA, Frank STELLA, Christopher WOOL.
Favourite city to explore new emerging art?
(CR) I’m traveling a lot, so I have many favorite cities… All the European capitals, New York and Los Angeles.
Any other item you are collecting or interested in collecting?
(CR) I’m also collecting cars, designs and watches.
To Discover More of Charles Riva Collection, Visit: charlesrivacollection.com