The faces behind the IBEX Collection


The faces behind IBEX Collection

Albrecht von Stetten

Co-collector & Chairman

“I always wanted to be an artist but obligations to our family’s business got in the way for a few decades. Now, I’ve finally come home to my natural habitat, the art world—as a personal patron of artists and an art collector.”

Born into a southern-German aristocratic family, Albrecht grew up in a converted monastery, surrounded by medieval and renaissance art. He had to put his artist’s dreams on hold to run the family’s farms, which he quietly turned into one of Europe’s largest agricultural conglomerates.

After selling off much of the business in 2013, his life was a clean canvas again—and so were his empty walls. So he returned to his boyhood’s passion by buying art, which shifted gear when he met Kiki and decided to work with her to jointly build and curate a world-leading collection of super-realistic, figurative, contemporary art.

A watershed conversation with an artist one night in Spain opened his eyes to the grim reality of the art world, which almost guarantees that true masterpieces never see the light of day—a pain to the artists and a regrettable loss to humankind.

On the spot, Albrecht promised to fund this artist for as long as it would take to bring out his masterpiece. This took longer than expected (years rather than months), but the experience with this artist and a handful of others led to the IBEX Masters model that liberates, on so many levels, the most amazing superrealistic painters alive today.

When he is not traveling with his co-collectors Kiki and David to meet with artists and curators around the globe, Albrecht enjoys driving and hiking through the rolling hills of Bavaria, his home, and tops it off with one of his favorite Bavarian beers.

David Willson

Co-collector & Executive Director

“I’ve loved and collected art from a young age. So, it’s a joy to now be able to apply my hard business skills developed over a lifetime to help our stable of painters gain the recognition they deserve.”

After a few years as the youngest fund manager in Australia at the time, David realised that technology is where his real passion lay and built a career in business and technology consulting that saw him work with banks, insurance firms, law and accounting firms across more than fifty countries, spanning over two decades.

Growing up in a home with many art works collected by his parents, David spent his second pay-check on buying a piece of original art for himself, and he hasn’t really stopped since.

One night after dinner in Bangkok, the conversation between David, Albrecht and Kiki turned to the wish of the latter two to move beyond their generous patronage to helping their artists develop a higher profile and recognition in the art world.

David grabbed a pen and a napkin and outlined his thoughts on a business plan and social media branding that he felt would work for their artists. Albrecht and Kiki wanted to move forward with the plan but only if David would take the lead.

Which is how David came on board, broadening IBEX’s support from fixed financial funding and artistic stimulation to include exhibitions at prime venues around the world and strategic and sustained online exposure.

David has taught business law, technology, branding and marketing at university level. He has an MBA, a Masters in Commercial Law and Graduate Diplomas in Managing Law Firms and in Managing Superannuation Funds.

He has been active as a social entrepreneur and advocate in social causes revolving around education, climate change, and mentorship. He is also a prolific reader, a staunch wine snob, a fussy foodie, and holds three black belts and an instructor’s certificate across multiple martial arts.

Kiki Kim

Co-collector & Chief Curator

“It’s thrilling to work with today’s superrealist master painters that far outdo many of the Old Masters in terms of technique and themes, and introduce them to colleagues, curators, and connoisseurs in East and West.”

Each morning in her Korean childhood home, Kiki would wake up early to prepare in traditional fashion the black ink for her renowned Grandfather to use for his Chinese calligraphy and painting that day—a memory that she fondly cherishes.

Fast forward a few decades, and Kiki is one of the top experts globally on contemporary super-realistic painters, clocking hundreds of thousands of airborne kilometers per year to scout super-realistic master painters, often reclusively laboring in their studios, oblivious of the world, and the world oblivious of them, unfortunately. Until Kiki comes along…

Kiki was introduced to Albrecht at an art exhibition as the multilingual global citizen with a keen eye for art who could help open doors for him in Asia to find superb super-realistic paintings and their makers, who are often invisible to the Western world.

Soon after, they visited the studio of an artist in China. Faced with the exquisite beauty and innocence evident in his oil paintings, Kiki knew that there was nothing she’d love doing more than finding, enabling, and exhibiting hidden masters like him. She joined Albrecht as his full-time co-collector.

Fluent in Chinese, Korean, and English, Kiki is a living bridge between East and West and she loves connecting “her” artists to the world, dragging them out of their studios to attend exhibitions and meet fellow painters and critics to stir up their concepts and creativity.

Kiki holds degrees in Communications and in Interpretation as well as an MSc in Audiology. Born in South Korea, she lived in Australia for fifteen years and Taiwan for nine years, and recently relocated to Germany. The world is her oyster, with soy sauce or vinaigrette, depending on where she happens to be.