Portrait of Andris Klavins. Painter - Ivars Poikāns.

There are collectors whose goal is to acquire the very best painting of every Latvian artist. The question then is – which painting is the best? That's very subjective.

Do you have the unfulfilled dream of the collector?

In life, there must always be the furthest star, which is also the hardest to reach. But when it comes to art collecting, everything mostly depends on the supply.

In the history of art, which event seems the most inspiring to you?

That would be the time of the Riga Artist Group – Romans Suta, Aleksandra Belcova, Valdemars Tone, and Konrads Ubans, among others. That was like a breath of fresh air in Latvian art; up to that point, Latvian art was rigidly academic. In my opinion, this was the breaking point in Latvia's art history.

These things, however, can only be evaluated with the distancing effect of time. For instance, the Riga City Art Museum's catalogs from the 1930's feature names of artists that, today, nobody knows anything about.

Quite possibly, there are trends in art today that seem wonderful now, but in five year's-time, no one will be talking about them anymore; then again, they may still be talked about decades from now.

Describe your most recent big surprise or impression in contemporary art.

I was invited to be part of the jury for the 2011 Purvitis Award. That was a pleasant moment. In today's art, much is allowed, or rather, everything is allowed. Acquainting myself with the new (at the time) British artists at the Saatchi Gallery in London in the early 1990's was a shock. Since then, nothing in art surprises me.

And it is difficult to assess. Today, there are three galleries on one street; in one month there are numerous art happenings going on. The flood of information is huge – it's difficult to winnow, difficult to judge. In soviet times there were the Art Days, and large exhibitions in the Art Museum and the Artist Association's building on the riverfront – they were occasions in and of themselves. Every exhibition seemed like a  big occasion. Now it is different.