Paul van Damme with work by D.D. Trans, ‘Cercle en couleur’.
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 Paul van Damme (Civil servant, 64)
What does art mean to you?
A lot. Art has an important place in my life! Art appeals to me when it touches me at the first contact, which is often no more than a split second. It must touch me and make me curious about the message the maker tries to convey with it.
Willy de Sauter, zonder titel (4luik), 2018, Galerie Ramakers.
Did your parents impart an appreciation for art to you?
As a child I was always busy with pencil and paper, which was also stimulated at home. My mother had a subscription to Openbaar Kunstbezit and in the accompanying catalogues I saw - I must have been about ten years old - things that I had never seen before: abstract works by Mondrian, a chair by Rietveld and sculptures by Henri Moore. I wasn't aware that was even possible! Since then my interest in art was aroused.
Where do you get your information about the ups and downs in the art world?
I read art magazines such as See All This and Museum Magazine, in addition to NRC Handelsblad and de Volkskrant, and, of course, I see a lot for myself in galleries and museums.
Ton van Kints, Sharing Air (Raster), 2015, Galerie van den Berge.
Where do you prefer to see art?
In order to get an understanding of what is going on, I like to go to art fairs: I often walk through them quite quickly, and let myself be triggered by works that touch me. To really experience art, I prefer a gallery or museum.
How many times a year do you buy art?
That’s a tough question, I don't have a fixed rule for that. It might happen that one year I don't buy a single work, while buying several works at the same time the next year. Quantity is not for me, I prefer quality.
Maaike Schoorel, Rugen Sunlight, 2019, Galerie Stigter Van Doesburg.
And where do you buy: in the gallery, at an art fair, at an auction or online?
Usually I buy at a gallery, sometimes at a fair.
Is it important that you and your partner agree on a purchase?
I am a quick decision maker: first I see a work, then I am touched by it and then buy it.
D.D. Trans, Memory, 2020, Galerie Ramakers.
Is there a gallery with which you have a special bond?
I like to visit Catalijn Ramakers of Galerie Ramakers in The Hague; a gallery with a great group of artists. Catalijn manages to put on a beautiful exhibition every time.
If you had an unlimited budget, who would you buy a work from?
Hmm, let me dream for a while. The first thing that comes to mind is a work by Arte Povera artist Giuseppe Penone: it’s just great how he works with nature. Having said that, I also have a nice place on one of my walls for the "Casserole de Moules" by Marcel Broodthaers.
Ossip, 20-9-2018 TECH-NIECK, 2018, Galerie Ramakers.
Who are your favourite artists?
D.D. Trans is very attractive because of its deceptive simplicity: he can create an entirely different world with simple means and confuse you at the first sight. That is something that works very well for me.
I really like the work of Michael Johansson, especially his stacks of glass. I am the lucky owner of one of his works.
At first glance, Willy de Sauter's paintings appear to be simple monochromes, but a closer look reveals beautifully shining parts in addition to nuances in the colour areas. It is work I want to touch
Michael Johansson, spegling (reflection), 2016, Galerie Ramakers.