Roberto Spada

Secret collectors - Roberto Spada: I am attracted to the Middle East and India, but not to China...

- Tar Magazine

TAR: How did it all start up? 
RS: I often traveled with the late gallery owner Claudia Gian Ferrari, an extraordinary arts personality and force of nature, in her trips in search of young artists around the world, and I had my collector’s baptism in India. Giuseppe Iannaccone, the lawyer and important collector was also with us. Usually I was always behind them; but one day in a Bombay gallery, while they were looking around, I spoke first and I bought two sculptures by Praneet Soi. Claudia immediately told me: "When you want I'll buy them back from you”. There I understood that I had chosen well. 

TAR: How do you choose which works to buy? 
RS: I always buy on gut feeling, I'm more interested in meeting the work of art than the artist, I look for works by not yet consolidated individuals. I tend not to spend too much, generally because the artists are quite young. I like photography very much, but also this is not a studied choice.

TAR: Is there a common thread which always runs through the collections? 
RS: I am attracted to the Middle East and India, but not to China. Again with Claudia Gian Ferrari I went on a memorable trip to Teheran, where we met many artists who represented the Iranian intelligentsia, and we bought a great deal, among which the anti-regime works by Barbad Golshiri, son of a great man of the Iranian theater. 

TAR: Besides the passion for the exotic which “western” artists interest you? 
RS: I have great passions, almost physical. One of these is surely Charles Avery, but I am also enamored with the Portuguese Francisco Tropa, then I like the Irishman Richard Mosse, who I bought from this year at the Biennale, and Yael Bartana, bought in Tel Aviv, Markus Schinwald and Kiki Smith, Paul Graham and Claire Fontaine, up to Luigi Ontani and Francesco Gennari. 

TAR: Are you religious? 
RS: I find my spirit is well represented in Sebastiano Mauri's work, and in the other “sacred” object works, I tend to respectfully embrace all religions, even if here they are shown with a pinch of irony.