In this section we let a selection of art lovers – from occasional buyers to art professionals – talk about their perception of art and preferences: where do they want to see art? Where do they purchase art, and above all: from which artists do they buy? Below, an interview with Jos Ruijs (Director of Theater Figi in Zeist, age 64)
What does art mean to you?
The reflection on and interpretation of everything that is going on around the world and beyond. Without Borders. Artists always open my eyes and stimulate my mind.
Did you get an appreciation of art from your parents or did you have to find your own way?
My sister was already working as an interior designer when I was at high school. I tagged along when she went to Kunst en Bedrijf looking for works on paper for a major commission from Berenschot, the consultancy firm. My first work, a silkscreen by Jeroen Henneman, was a gift from her and still hangs in a beautiful place in my home. I figured out most of the path in the art world myself, but also together with gallery owners and friends.
Edward Burtynsky, Railcuts #1, C.N. Track, Skihist Provincial Park, British Columbia, 2003, Torch Gallery.
Where do you get your information about the ups and downs in the art world: newspaper, trade magazines, television, online?
I get my information about the ups and downs in the art world mainly from newspapers and television. About art itself I get my information mainly from galleries. Fairs are important for me to discover new artists.
Where do you prefer to look at art? In a gallery, museum, exhibition or online?
The advantage of museums is that they are preselection of art that is otherwise inaccessible: one doesn’t find 'The Milkmaid' outside a museum. At galleries I find it very pleasant to talk quietly with the gallery owner and/or artist about art. Fairs have the advantage of great diversity, which allows me to discover new work that I didn't know come across before. The nice thing about online is that you can come across special work that is no longer suitable for galleries, but which can be very rewarding.
How many times a year do you buy art?
Often, but to put that into perspective, I rarely purchase works of more than five thousand euros. I buy work in editions, such as photography by Erwin Olaf, Jasper de Beijer and Ruud van Empel, but tend to unique works a bit more often.
Robby Müller, During Mad Dog and Glory, Chicago, 1991, Annet Gelink Gallery.
And where do you buy: in the gallery, at an art fair, at an auction or online?
Contemporary work always in a gallery, often during an art fair. At online auctions usually work that is no longer current enough for galleries.
Is it important that you and your partner always agree on a purchase?
I'm not in a relationship, so no hassle about that. It's also nice to be able to decide for yourself.
Is there a gallery with which you have a special relationship?
I have a special relationship with a number of galleries, including Flatland, Althuis Hofland, Livingstone, Roger Katwijk, Borzo, LANGart and Hidde van Seggelen. I know the people there and they put me on the trail of good work.
Jan van Munster, Brainwave, 2004, Galerie van den Berge.
If you had an unlimited budget, from whom would you purchase a work?
Harmen Brethouwer, Shara Hughes, Katrin Korfmann, Kim Boske, LuLuo, Willem van den Hoed, Peter McDonald and Bob Waardenburg of We Make Carpets.
Who are your favourite artists?
I think Jeroen Henneman is a great artist, both as a creator of images, as a draughtsman and as a painter. Henneman is convincing with both intimate and monumental works, on the flat surface and with his three dimensional work.
I have been collecting work by Raquel Maulwurf since 2006. She draws in black and white, scratching the structure of the paper to give it an extra dimension. Her subject is destruction, yet the way she elaborates that theme is beautiful.
The work of Anne Geene is very subtle. I love the repetition, the subtlety and the connection with nature. Beautiful colours, especially in the 'Colour Analysis' series.
Yael Bartana, The Undertaker, 2019, Annet Gelink Gallery.