When asked about the challenges of collecting, Nordenstahl pointed to the sheer quantity of talented artists out there. “There are too many artists, and there is only me!” she quipped. She noted that she doesn’t work with advisers and does all of her own homework. At the moment, she has a wish list of coveted artists that could last her three years.
“Once an artist goes on the wish list, I start working with the gallery to choose the piece that will work well with the narrative of the collection,” she said. “I am really a high-maintenance collector; I understand some galleries prefer a quick buck, but I am up front always. They know what to expect from me.”
Nordenstahl’s advice for new collectors is simple: Never trust what you like immediately or like too much. “Anything that makes you afraid, enrages you, disgusts you, appals you, you want to reject, you don’t understand, go for that—look inside yourself to see why you are feeling like that,” she said. “Look for getting schooled by art, getting slapped.”
Most importantly, she said, be humble: “Approach artists with respect. Without them, there is no art.”