Sheldon Inwentash is an entrepreneur with a passion for contemporary art, who has been collecting “seriously and on a strict schedule” for more than seven years, together with his wife Lynn Factor.
In a Q&A with an Italian magazine, Sheldon Inwentash discussed his interest in art collection with Patrizia Sandretto Re Rebaudengo.
What was your first acquisition?
Sheldon Inwentash :
A 1993 painting by Sean Scully, and a 1980 painting by Julian Schnabel, The fountain of youth, purchased on a trip to London.
How did you start collecting?
The journey really does begin when you start understanding what you are missing. I’ve tried to learn as much as possible, reading a lot and visiting important exhibitions, but it’s essential to rely on a good consultant. When confronted with a work, people react in different ways, and there is no right or wrong path to collecting. You can also expect your strategy and tastes to evolve over time. I often get recommendations to buy what I like, but I don’t agree: you need to know the general context of art to make good choices.
Three things to know before buying an artwork?
What are the conditions of conservation, the reputation of the gallery and its origin, its history.
What are the criteria to determine if the price that is asked for a work of art is fair?
Establishing the value of a work is very difficult. Galleries do their best to assign a fair price, but there may be fluctuations and divergent assessments. Auctioneers are an important source of information to determine the value of a work, but even their results cannot be relied upon blindly. Finally, just because a piece has “a certain” value does not mean that you can sell it at that price.
Tell us about your winery in Tuscany.
Tenuta Le Calvane is located in Montespertoli (F1). We recently opened a boutique hotel with 12 rooms, housed in a 15th century monastic building surrounded by vineyards. We are also in the process of renovating a large hunting lodge nearby, where we now bottle our own wine and olive oil. The idea is to create an international residence for artists who would find here the ideal environment for new productions, giving hotel guests the opportunity to meet them and visit their studios.