Aldis Plaudis

From the standpoint of a colletor, how would you describe the current “supply/demand” situation in art in Latvia?

Since the Medici era, wealthy traders have commissioned works and remarkable artists have fulfilled these commissions—the artists create art because there are people to purchase this art. T

oday, I wouldn’t say that business development is being stimulated in Latvia. Therefore, of course, the number of people who can actively work on expanding their art collections is diminishing.

Meanwhile, Latvian art is going out into the world, and for this, of course, we can only be grateful! Kalvis Zuters, Normunds Brasliņš, and others won’t die of hunger. Some sell works in Russia, others in France and Belgium. But in Latvia… 

I’m pleased to say that I’ve always acquired more than a few works made by Latvians in exile. Even in exile, these artists continued to create works of art, in the United States, Germany, and Australia. Now these works have returned to Latvia.

So would you say collectors create an advantageous environment for contemporary artists in Latvia?

What else? There are collections, there are people interested in art who are able to purchase it. Of course, there are also centralized museum acquisitions, yet the budget that is intended for purchasing works by young artists is not too generous.

A wonderful example is Jānis Zuzāns’s Mūkusala Art Salon. I’ll try to create something similar in the Mālpils manor, only in a different style, a different cut, with a historical touch.

In the international context, patrons of the arts and owners of private galleries are valued very highly. At Mikhail Gorbachev’s recent grandiose eightieth anniversary concert at Albert Hall, “Gorby” mentioned and specially thanked patrons and supporters of the arts in his speech. In Latvia today, the attitude unfortunately is more restrained. 

What is your unfilled dream as a collector?

I’d really like to acquire a work by Kārlis Miesniekas from his Cubist period. I’d also like a work by Bruno Vasiļevskis, who is an important figure in Latvian art history. Unfortunately, most of his works were brought away to the United Sates. I’d like to return at least one of the artist’s best works to Latvia.