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 Elisah van den Bergh (Curator NN Group, age 27)
What does art mean to you?
I find art important because of everything it evokes and releases in you. Art and its makers amaze me. Art is personal, elusive and evokes a reaction that you can also regard as a mirror of your peace of mind. When I feel happy, in love, frustrated or insecure, I will also react more quickly to a painting. Art helps me process.
Were you exposed to art while growing up?
My parents have always had a great interest in art and culture, and were happy to share that with us. As a child, I thought museums were boring, static and made me very impatient. My mother makes sculptures in stone and clay. I think my interest was piqued when she started exhibiting herself, at local events and in galleries.
Where do you read about the latest developments in the art world?
Instagram is a very important source of information for me. It allows me to keep track of the development of artists, follow galleries and get all the information I need.
Where do you prefer to look at art?
The best place for me to look at art is in an artist's studio. That’s where you get the chance to really look at the world and their work through their eyes. I also like to visit galleries and fairs, where I get the best overview of what’s on offer.
As curator of a corporate collection, I am grateful to be invited to interesting events in the art world. When I am in these places, I am there in my role as a curator. For my private collection, I follow my feelings. They are two separate worlds.
How often do you buy art each year?
I prefer to buy unique work from artists that I know and who are likeable. So whether I like someone is often decisive for a purchase. The works on my walls still feel connected to their maker, and I like to have nice people in the house.
Where do you do your buying: in a gallery, at an art fair, at an auction or online?
I have bought in galleries, at fairs, at auctions, online and directly from artists. My heart beats fastest when I buy a work from an artist myself, because the likeability factor has then been fueled.
Is it important that you and your partner always agree on a purchase?
Fortunately, I don't have to consult with anyone before making a purchase. I do like it when artworks evoke a reaction, so with that as a basis in my collection I will not easily let a work disappear into a cupboard.
Do you have a special relationship with any one gallery?
I think Galerie Bart is a nice place to visit, because you are warmly welcomed and there’s time for a chat. I also like to visit Galerie Fleur and Wouter, Logman Gallery and Ron Mandos, for the same reason. I think it is important that I feel welcome, and at the same time get the opportunity to explore an exhibition myself.
If you had an unlimited budget, who would you buy a work from?
I had my first emotional experience with Mark Rothko, and I have never let go of that feeling. Recently, the same thing happened when I saw the Chinese artist Liu Ye at the Fondazione Prada.
Who are your favourite artists?
The technique, balance and control of Janine van Oene.
The softness and liveliness of Katarina Juričić.
The alienating and innovative of Thom van Rijckevorsel.