SHIA KAPOS TAKES NAMES
July 24, 2012
Sven Asmus moves from Rolls-Royce showroom to art galleryi
Sven Asmus, who for most of the past 17 years had sold high-end cars to Chicagoans at the Bentley Gold Coast showroom, is switching gears.
He and Arica Hilton, an artist and art dealer, have opened a River North art gallery to showcase local and regional art.
Hilton/Asmus Contemporary is at 716 N. Wells St., between Fabcakes bakery and the Boarding House, the yet-to-be-opened restaurant co-owned by master sommelier Alpana Singh.
“I've always paid attention to the arts, and after we met, I started to learn about art as a business,” says Mr. Asmus, referring to Ms. Hilton, his business partner and future wife. They're planning a November wedding.
The jump from selling cars to selling art isn't all that big of a leap, says Mr. Asmus, noting that it was through his relationships selling Rolls-Royce cars, Mini Coopers and Lamborghinis that he learned the two worlds have more in common than not.
A conversation with Ty Fahner, a partner at the Chicago law firm of Mayer Brown, brought it all together for Mr. Asmus.
“He is a big art collector and bought one of Arica's works at a gallery exhibition, and we started talking about the art business and the similarities between a fine car collector and art buyer,” said Mr. Asmus, noting that collectors of art and cars appreciate the detail that goes into both.
“I love selling beautiful things,” says Mr. Asmus, motioning to the art hanging on the gallery's walls. “And these have no flat tires.”
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