Passion for Collecting: Interview With Josseline Jeria


The Russian Ark  When did you start your art collection and how many works have you already invested in? 

Josseline Jeria  I started my collection in 2020. I own five of Samir Rakhmanov’s works. I most recently acquired Rainy Spring Days in Saint Petersburg. I own two small studies that are part of his café series for his diploma project, Parisian café. Still Life With an Apple and Rocks in Alupka were the first of his works that I added to my collection.

I own four of Yaroslava Tichshenko’s works: 3 Lemons and Vase, Experimental White Still Life, White on Blue and a watercolour portrait sketch.

In fact, it was Samir’s works that were the very first to start my art collection. I  own 9 works. I am looking to add a couple more before the end of 2020. There is no unifying theme as of yet, other than all my works are by these two young contemporary Russian artists.

RA  Are you collecting for pleasure or rather an alternative investment?

JJ   I am collecting for pleasure and for artistic study. 

"I think motivation <to collect art> ultimately comes from the realisation that your love for art is so grand that you need it to be a part of your everyday life."



Samir Rakhmanov, two studies for Parisian Café (Study), private collection

RA  What emotion do you experience being surrounded by the art of your choice?

JJ   I can be quite profoundly moved by art that I love. I have even found myself brought to tears by ones that I have connected with on a more personal level. My emotional reactions can vary drastically; it really depends on how I respond to each individual artwork.

RA  In your opinion, what motivates someone to start building his/her personal art collection?

JJ  I think motivation ultimately comes from the realisation that your love for art is so grand that you need it to be a part of your everyday life.


Yaroslava Tichshenko, White on Blue (left), Samir Rakhmanov, Still Life With an Apple (middle), Samir Rakhmanov, Rainy Spring Days in Saint Petersburg (right), private collection

RA  What would you recommend to someone who is just thinking to start an art collection?

JJ  There are many factors to consider, which is part of what makes the initial start difficult. I would say to start with pieces that you had an immediate connection with and of those, the ones that you would like to enter a longer-term dialogue with. I believe this helps to set the tone and potential direction for the rest of your collection, and establishes this as a long-term pursuit, not a fleeting one.

RA  What would you do if you like an artwork and are motivated to buy it, but it does not quite fit into the existing collection?

JJ  To me, every piece has its own space and distinct reality, even across the same theme. As such, such matters as fit are a non-issue.


Yaroslava Tichshenko, Three Lemons and Vase (left), Yaroslava Tichshenko, Portrait Sketch (middle), Samir Rakhmanov, Rocks in Alupka (right), private collection

RA  How to distinguish between artists who may become the “next big thing” and those who will be quickly forgotten?

JJ  This is very difficult to narrow down, it could easily be a conversation entirely of its own! For my own personal views on art, artists who have that potential exude authenticity, both towards their work and artistic vision and to themselves. 

RA  In buying art, are you relying more on the expert opinions (curators and galleries representing the artist) or on your personal taste? 

JJ  I rely on my personal taste and preferences.


Yaroslava Tichshenko, Experimental White Still Life, private collection

RA  What is the fate of the paintings included in your collection? Are they kept at home for your enjoyment, kept in specialized storage or periodically lent to galleries for an exhibition?

JJ  I shall be keeping the paintings in my collection in my home, and if they are ever needed for gallery exhibitions, I’d be more than happy to lend them.