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 Camiel Wilkens (CEO Schouten & Nelissen Groep, age 46)
What does art mean to you?
Art really enriches my life. It gives me a lot of energy to watch, learn and talk about it with others. Were you exposed to art while growing up?
Andrea Radai, Suit, white, 2017, O-68.
Were you exposed to art while growing up?
I grew up in a family with several professional artists, who are also active internationally. From an early age, I have been dragged to openings and exhibitions in galleries and museums for modern art.
Where do you read about the latest developments in the art world?
I have given up on the presumption that one should be aware of everything that is going on in the art world. What I tend to do is watch artists working together with artists I already know and like. This way, you regularly come across big surprises.
Sarah van Sonsbeeck, Mistakes I've made and remade #3, 2017, Annet Gelink Gallery.
Where do you prefer to look at art?
I particularly enjoy going to graduation exhibitions of major international art schools, or initiatives by artists themselves. The atmosphere you find there is so infectious. That’s just great!
How often do you buy art each year?
The most important thing for me is to get there early and buy work from (young) artists who already have their own signature, but have not yet been picked up. I have noticed that I have become more critical in recent years, also because the collection is constantly growing and the available space at home is simply limited. Still there are a few works added on the sly every year.
Dave McDermott, Le jardin des Hespérides, 2020, GRIMM.
Where do you do your buying: in a gallery, at an art fair, at an auction or online?
Often directly from the artist, or through a gallery to which the artist is affiliated. I like to give myself the time and space to have a good look and that is the best option there. If I know the work of an artist well, online is an alternative.
Is it important that you always agree on a purchase?
Always together! We have been looking at art together for a long time now and we also question each other as to why something touches us. That sharpens my view, especially because my wife - who is a creative person herself - often looks with a wholly different pair of eyes. Only if we are both convinced we will make a purchase.
Yim Ja-hyuk, Fellow Thinkers, 2019, Frank Taal Galerie.
Is there a gallery with which you have a special bond?
There are many galleries that I admire and follow, but it is a bit of stretch to say that I have a special connection with it. Think of David Zwirner in New York, Zeno X and DMW in Antwerp and for example Gerhard Hofland, The Merchant House and GRIMM in Amsterdam.
If you had an unlimited budget, who would you buy a work from?
Loes Koomen, The Happy paintings, 2020, Galerie Stigter Van Doesburg.
Who are your favourite artists?
I grew up with the work of Andre de Jong, an uncle of mine. His work has shaped me and has become a benchmark for how I view the work of other artists.
Andrea Radai's work always goes straight to the heart. There is so much emotion in it, but there is also something very ambiguous about it as well. She paints what she sees, and yet there is always something to guess.
I follow the men behind "Graphic Surgery" with great interest. I love making new things, building something. It is therefore not surprising that construction sites fascinate me enormously, and I really feel at home in a fast-growing city like Shanghai or our own Amsterdam North.
Joris Vanpoucke, Shadow, 2019, Gerhard Hofland.