Collector Interview: Claire Carlevaro

Claire Carlavaro with Ray Beldner

Claire Carlavaro with Ray Beldner

Leading in to stARTup SF 2017, friend and former art dealer Claire Carlevaro and her husband Dan kindly opened their stunning Russian Hill home to our stARTup VIPs, treating them to a tour of 182 artists, ranging from internationally acclaimed and locally prominent, to delightfully unknown artists.

This week Fair Director Ray Beldner returned to ask her more about her collection, how she approaches collecting, and what currently inspires her when she looks for new art.

CC 4.jpg

What was your first piece that you ever purchased?

The first piece Dan and I purchased was from a non profit auction. It was so ugly that I placed it in my gallery with a “Free” sign and it still lingered for a long time.

Does your collection have a particular focus?

I believe that there are at least three major threads running through the work we have. One is, of course, work by Bay Area artists. Two is work by mid-century American artists working abstractly and lightly aligned with the AAA - Abstract American Artists, a group that was formed in 1937. Third is a fascination with Reuse. Our son just pointed that thread out to us as there are so many examples.

How do you find new art / artists to collect?

We always find new art. The only way not to is not to look and looking is in our DNA. So we find new excitement at galleries, art fairs, studio visits, art school showcases, and art events like stARTup.

What comes first: the art or the space? How do you live with your art?

The art comes first, always. Space is scarce here but there is always a way to find room.

CC 5.jpg

What currently inspires you and your collection?

CC 8.jpg

We are inspired and amazed by artists who combine the eye and the hand. A bit of heart helps too. Recently we’ve added five pieces by Byron Ryono who works in bronze and describes himself as a young artist in an old body. He exhibits with Jack Fischer in San Francisco and Chandra Cerrito in Oakland. And we are constantly intrigued by the work of Lynn Beldner and Steve Briscoe whose inspiration for reworking materials is a constant delight to us.


All stARTup artists are vetted by an independent jury for each fair to ensure that art collectors, enthusiasts, and professionals are discovering and purchasing works from today's top independent artists in the market.

Subscribe to our newsletter for Artist Exhibitions, special features, and details about our upcoming fairs - including stARTup LA 2019 at The Kinney Venice Beach. Preview our Exhibiting Artists and buy advance tickets.

Q&A by Fair Director Ray Beldner and Content Curator Mica England