Sara Lysgaard grew up surrounded by art. In a home where art was something you talked about and discussed. This part of her upbringing is something she cherries and to this day it’s her predominant passion.
How did you become the person you are today?
I can thank my father and grandmother for my interest in art. My childhood home in Herning was filled with art and sculptures. At the age of 18, I took out my child savings account and purchased my first work of art – a painting by the English artist David Spiller. Actually, I was a shipping trainee and I had never imagined, that art one day would be my field of work. It takes time to develop your own personal taste. My father used to say; ”The more the eye sees, the more it understands”. The idea of opening my own gallery just kept popping up. And I gave it a shot in the heart of Copenhagen for five years. It was at the same time lots of fun and an extreme challenge, but then I just had to move along and I chose to close the gallery.
What does a typical workday look like?
Actually my job consists of a lot of different activities – put together they make sense to me. And hardly two days are the same. I own a holding company that focuses on stock investments. Also I visit art fairs around the world. I hold a number of boardroom positions for an example in HEART - Herning Museum of Contemporary Art. Art is my passion. It provides me with a vent for my feelings and creates balance dealing with dry numbers. I simply wouldn’t be able to do one without the other.
What does art mean to you?
It’s like a visual diary of my life. It tells a story of where I have been and what I experienced. First and foremost I buy what my heart tells me to and I don’t necessarily estimate the investment return when purchasing for myself. It’s the everyday gratification being surrounded by art that matters to me.
Which artists are you into right now?
The Japanese artist Takuro Kuwata, who works with ceramics. I fell in love with his work at the art fair Frieze London, but his pieces were bought from right under my nose. And I have gotten really into photography. My latest purchase is by the LA based, Norwegian photographer Torbjørn Rødland.
What turning point in your life has defined you?
I lost my father at the age of 18. He was the anchor in my life and that was a landmark moment. I go out of my way to pass on his values. In that respect he’s still here. He taught me so much, but most importantly, that you need to do what makes you happy.
What matters most to you?
Taking care of the legacy I was given and doing things that keeps balance in my life. The free life in art has opened a whole new world to me and I’m happy that I took the step from the shipping industry to the ‘crazy’ art world. That’s an enormous gift I have been given.
When do you feel challenged?
If there’s something I don’t know or understand. I’m the kind of person who prefers to be prepared. I really don’t like not to feel on point. The art world is a small and closed circle of people. It’s characteristic of an esoteric language and not always compliant to people talking about art differently. To me art is immediate. It is what it is. It doesn’t need to save the world.
What tends to annoy you?
I’m inclined to be disappointed if people express different values than me. When I feel they prioritise differently. This manifests both in my work life and my personal life – everywhere I have invested energy and emotions.
Are you easily moved to tears?
As I grow older more and more. Recently I got out of a long relationship, and after a lot of soul searching I now finally feel I have found myself and live a more authentic life. My head is connected to my body, which means I more easily get carried away, by a movie or a song. I have found a more vulnerable side in myself.
What does your gender mean to you?
Me working in both a masculine and feminine world probably results in my sex not being a big deal to me. You can easily be a tough businesswoman and extremely feminine at the same time. My grandmother was a strict businesswoman. She was a redhead, wore pastel coloured nail polish and colourful clothes. If you have to look like a man to be taken seriously, then nothing has changed.
What does love mean to you?
Love is everything. I love to travel and I love my work, however the ability to create and have a strong connection to other people is by far the most important.