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 Ronald Philippart (Chair of the Supervisory Board of Marres in Maastricht and President of the Court of Justice Den Bosch, age 62)
What does art mean to you?
For me art equals personal growth: it is learning to look, broadening one’s taste, and in choosing. Most of the work I choose evokes a feeling of melancholy in me. And that can even be done through a white painting ("When did you start putting up kitchen cabinet doors on the walls?" My daughter asked). And I love the fact that I could fall for something now that I would have walked away from ten years ago.
Were you exposed to art while growing up?
My parents had taste, but no particular interest in art, and certainly not in modern art. They were very open to our choices. At one point they were so enthusiastic about a work by Marc Mulders we own that they also bought a painting from him.
Where do you read about the latest developments in the art world?
Until the outbreak of the Corona virus, I spend about 55,000 kilometres a year travelling by train, so I have a lot of time to work and read: Metropolis M, See All This, the culture sections of De Volkskrant and NRC Handelsblad, the sites of many large auction houses and a number of - mostly Dutch - galleries.
Where do you prefer to look at art?
In order of preference: at the artist's studio, in the gallery, at the fair and finally online. In practice it is often a fair.
How often do you buy art each year?
It depends. I have set myself an annual art budget. Sometimes I have used all of it on two works, sometimes six. This year’s budget is depleted it for a while now. But I am not strict with myself. If I go over budget one year, it doesn't have to be compensated the year after.
Where do you do your buying: in a gallery, at an art fair, at an auction or online?
A friendship with an artist can add even more lustre to an already beautiful work. Incidentally, I have also experienced the opposite: a conflict with an artist can also take that lustre off a beautiful work itself. Also, I often buy in galleries or at a gallery at a fair. I appreciate it when a gallery has its own roster and sticks its neck out for artists. Occasionally, I buy at auction.
Is it important that you and your partner always agree on a purchase?
I usually do the preliminary work, but we buy together. I once bought a painting together with my son, which did not make onto any of the walls our house. Fortunately, the artist eventually wanted to exchange that. And sometimes we just make an impulsive purchase, which is something I rarely regret.
Do you have a special relationship with any one gallery?
I have a long personal relationship with three gallerists. Two Dutchmen abroad: Hidde van Seggelen and Ardi Poels. And Rob Koudijs, in Amsterdam. I recently bought something at Maurits van de Laar and Fons Welters. In both cases the contact was very pleasant and that made me want more.
If you had an unlimited budget, who would you buy a work from?
That will be slightly older work: Nicolas de Staël or Mark Rothko, preferably both. Fits well together, I think.
Who are your favourite artists?
Hans Op de Beeck: Great work. I’ve it seen in numerous places, and always impressive.
Sven Kroner: Imaginative, sometimes slightly threatening viewing boxes with great views and mirror effects.
Sanne Rous: Sensitive, modest, atmospheric work.