Hi Fredrik, first of all I want to wish you a successful 2020!
Please tell us a little about yourself, your main activity is interior design? When and how did you start your collection?
My name in Fredrik Karlsson, I am 30 years old and today I work as an interior designer but also buying and selling vintage furniture.
I grew up just outside Stockholm and have basically been doing sports for my entire life and still do but for about 8 years ago I decided to live out my inner passion with design, interior and other aesthetically beautiful things. I am still today aesthetically driven in my collecting and go a lot by feel both when it comes to what I put in my own home or help my clients with. If it feels right it just does and then I trust that, I don’t follow all the “rules” out there because I don’t consider that building a nice and personal environment. I have always been some kind of collector since I was little but my first experience with design was when I bought a Poul Kjaerholm “PK22” leather chair from 1995 made by Fritz Hansen och then a year later replaced it with the same chair but produced it by an E. Kold Christensen instead from the 60s. I just went deeper and from there I really found what my heart wanted and passion was. Then eight years later I have gone through a lot of different “eras” in my collecting and art was just a natural addition along the way because I realized I couldn’t just have all this great design I needed something on my walls as well.
It seems you played golf professionally, what happened?
That is correct I started playing as a 3-4 year old in the backyard and by the age of 12 I started competing here in Sweden and reached the highest amateur level and even national team when I was 17-18 I think. Then I did two years in Scottsdale, Arizona and played for a junior college there and did pretty well (got into the Team All American as a Freshman) before I moved home and turned professional but since I had picked up so many other and new interests at that time and golf is very time consuming I kind of decided to take a break from it to start working since I needed some kind of “normal” life instead. Got a job as an account manager and stayed there for eight years before I recently started my own business as an interior designer and it was under those eight years I really picked up the passion for art, design and furniture since my job gave me the opportunity. I still play golf as a scratch handicap but don’t compete anymore I will always have a love for that sport since it has really made me to whom I am today. Very grateful!
What was the first painting in your collection? Remember those first feelings after the purchase?
In my early days I mostly had prints and posters of like “real” art and I still have a few of them left just because I think they’re beautiful and that is for me still the most important thing. But my first ever purchased painted painting was my Emma Bernhard that I still have in my collection and got the prime position in my living room above the sofa. It still has something and therefore it is still in my hands and I clearly remember the feeling and power of actually hanging something interesting and beautiful on my wall and this was 5 years ago I think. It gave my living room back then packed with Poul Kjaerholm design something and I felt really happy and still do. Shortly after that I acquired my Wes Lang that I still have in my collection as well and everytime I look at it think it’s really cool.
How many artworks does your collection currently have?
My current art collection exists about 10 different works and some sculptures that I really like and enjoy.
Do you limit your collection to space? Is there still place for a new painting in your house?
There is always a space somewhere but in order for it to look good and give it a respectful space I am actually running out of room I think but I also like rehangings which I do sometimes so don’t consider it a major problem. I am always looking after new things which means I have to sell my things too in order to make room and money haha.
Do you resell any artworks?
I have sold a few artworks during the years but definitely sold more furniture because I have this kind of rule if something coming in something going out and what I am taking in has to be better then it’s replacing. Don’t follow that all the time but I think it is a good rule of thumb. You have to move forward, it’s a part of the journey and collecting.
Were they collectors or one of your clients who wanted to receive piece of your collection?
Yes I get that request quite often actually where I got the things I have and it has lead to that another collector or one of my clients have bought it from me actually.
I strongly believe there is a time for everything and although I love what I collect it is just a chair or piece of art you can always get it back (hopefully) or it can be replaced with something better. And it’s really fun and nice feeling to know that the painting or chair that I had in my collection now plays a big part of someone else collection and life and give the some or even stronger feeling / love that I had.
Do you have a favorite piece of art in your collection?
I have a few actually but the one I like the most at the moment is a painting by the German artist Wolfgang Voegele that I acquired last summer 2019 and hangs behind my favorite piece of furniture my desk by Pierre Jeanneret. I also have a unique sculpture of Eva Hild that I really love and am proud to have one of the earliest drawings Wes Lang did when he stayed at Chateau Marmont.
Your three favorite artists?
I really like Wolfgang Voegele because he is someone that works in the presents but if I can pick any artist I will have to say Christopher Wool, Basquiat and Cy Twombly probably. But this question is so hard because there are so many out there dead or alive that are / were so good. I mean I really love Rothko for example and remember when I first saw one in real life, I could barely leave it had to go back a few times. Same thing with some of the Warhol and Fontanas I’ve seen here and there. But just because I favorite Christopher Wool for example doesn’t mean I love all of his work although he is quite special for me. I rather look at some up and coming then these giants since they are at the moment totally out of reach.
As for emergent artists, can they count on your attention?
Yes for sure I am always looking after upcoming artists and think it’s fun to be a part of their journey because then it’s easier to get a chance knowing them and what they are thinking when making the works and it’s always a fun addition then “just” having the work. Understand the stories behind the works and how they work and think because all of that goes into the work and give me a better understanding but in the end I am aesthetically driven which means it will be my feeling that decides and if I like it I like it. There I am pretty firm and believe in myself.
Some advice to novice collectors, where to start?
To a new collector of anything but since we’re talking art and design I’d say get a mentor or someone that can help and give you inputs on what to buy and who you should trust in the business etc but most important listen to yourself. You are the one that will have the artwork hanging in your home and you are the one spending money so if you get a feeling of I really want this one then get it but so don’t listen too much on others but listen at least a little carefully.