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John Silvis is not only a renowned international art advisor, he is for us foremost a friend who inspires us  in our joy and interest for art. Ever since the first meeting in New York many years back we have enjoyed the exploration of artists and their work, the debate about commercialization of the art industry and the search for the true essence in art. We are pleased to share notes from a recent conversation with John about art. Please also look at for more!


John, what brought you to contemporary art?

My passion for art began in high school, where I was opened up to the world of ideas. I also had several family friends who were passionate art collectors and presented art as viable enterprise. I first began as maker, then academic and eventually realized that I enjoyed being in integral part of the dialogue between artists, collectors, galleries and museums.


You advise clients on their collections. What defines good art for you?

The kind of art that draws me in has a strong autographical component. I am also interested in artists that have a strong cultural grounding and yet discover something new within those parameters. Artists who have a generosity of vision by investing in their respective communities and contributing to those less established in the art world are of particular interest to me. I guess I would characterize that as a wholistic vision for art.


You look at art globally. Our collection focuses on Asia and Austria. How different is art across regions? And what are commonalities you see?

As an advisor I have the privilege of viewing art all over the world; I think it is important for me to see art in its created context and the culture to truly appreciate the full scope of the work. One of my favorite aspects of being an advisor is to talk to with artists in their studios and see the creative process in motion.

The common theme for most artists is to find exposure for their work and have a strong community to work in. The artists that do best in every culture have a strong critique and support system. Of course each culture presents different challenges; however the advent of the internet and Instagram has allowed much greater cross-pollination globally–both for the makers, as well as galleries and collectors. I see so many more opportunities for artists to present their work than in any other time in history.

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