What I Buy and Why: Hermès Heir Oleg Guerrand on the Perils of Dishonest Dealers, and the Napoleon Painting He Loves the Most
Plus, the collector tells us about his most recent purchases.
Oleg Guerrand, an heir to the luxury fashion house Hermès, inherited the collecting bug from his grandparents on both sides of the family.
“I am very privileged to have always been surrounded by tasteful and beautiful objects,” the collector told Artnet News.
By the time he was born, his mother’s side of the family had a very impressive collection of Russian art, and his father’s side had collected a variety of 20th-century works. Both sides have historically enjoyed strong relationships with museums and well known artists including Picasso, Chagall, and Dalí.
Guerrand started his own collection in 2016, and is now a full-time collector, whose enviable holdings include works by early 20th-century masters like Fernand Léger, and in-demand contemporary art stars like Nicolas Party and Yoshitomo Nara. Recent additions to his holdings include works by up-and-comers such as Walter Price and Dior menswear-designer-turned-painter Alex Foxton.
We caught up with the jetsetting French collector at his Los Angeles home about his introduction to collecting, the mistakes he has learned from along the way, and the Jacques-Louis David work he covets most.
What was your first purchase?
My first two purchases were a large and small canvas by an artist named Erik Lindman.
What was your most recent purchase?
My most recent purchases were paintings by Alex Foxton.
Which works or artists are you hoping to add to your collection this year?
The year is long and of course, the list is too. I will keep the names private for now.
Where do you buy art most frequently?
Directly from galleries and on very, very rare occasions, trusted dealers.
Is there a work you regret purchasing?
Unfortunately, yes. I have regretted purchasing some works because of the people involved in the transaction, who were sadly not the most honest and best of people. They were expensive mistakes too, which is never good.
What work do you have hanging above your sofa? What about in your bathroom?
Above my sofa I have a Walter Price painting and in my bathroom I just placed a Cristina BanBan work.
What is the most impractical work of art you own?
The most impractical work I had was a very fragile heavy glass installation/sculpture. It is no longer with me. I have a friend with a much bigger space than mine who liked it and purchased it from me. I learned from it, and won’t again own any impractical works.
What work do you wish you had bought when you had the chance?
I’d rather not remember.
If you could steal one work of art without getting caught, what would it be?
Choosing one is so hard, but I love everything about the painting of Napoleon crossing the Alps by Jacques-Louis David. A monumental and historic work of art.
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