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 Martijn Simons (writer, age 35)
What does art mean to you?
Art is a way of looking at the world, a form of self-inquiry, but also very simply put: a way of gaining experiences and coming into contact with beautiful and interesting things. That is of the same order as a brilliant concert or a novel - I make no distinction in that regard.
Were you exposed to art while growing up?
We used to go to museums, definitely. There was also a lot on the walls at home, but nowadays my parents are taking it a bit more seriously; roughly about the time the children started to live on their own. I dare not say whether there is a connection between the two.
Where do you read about the latest developments in the art world?
I mainly use Instagram, GalleryViewer and the websites of Dutch and foreign galleries. Also, I regularly listen to Kunst is Lang, the podcast of Mister Motley hosted by Luuk Heezen.
Where do you prefer to look at art?
This can be anywhere and also depends on the purpose of the visit. In a museum I look differently than at an art fair or in a gallery, because of course there is never - or at least rarely - the opportunity to buy something there.
How often do you buy art each year?
I am a novice collector, so I can't really say how often I - by the way, I should say: we, my wife and I - buy art on average. Last year, for example, there were four works, which included both editioned prints and unique pieces, two each.
Where do you do your buying: in a gallery, at an art fair, at an auction or online?
That could be anywhere. During the first lockdown, we bought a work from Danielle van Ark's "Bills" series online, but it is just as possible in the gallery or at a fair, although the latter has not yet happened. Recently, I bought directly from the artist: a riso print by Nazif Lopulissa. I contacted him on Instagram and a few days later I cycled past his studio to pick up the work.
Is it important that you and your partner always agree on a purchase?
Yes, that is important. I wouldn't want anything hanging in my house that my wife thinks is hideous.
Do you have a special relationship with any one gallery?
Recently, we bought a work by Marwan Bassiouni at Dürst's Britt & Mayhew in The Hague, I get along well with those people. My wife knew of Bassiouni's work before, it turned out that he had a show at DB&M. We went there, had a coffee, spoke to the artist, looked at his works, drove back home. Which work do you like best? What about you? Let it rest for a week and then decided to buy something.
If you had an unlimited budget, who would you buy a work from?
Really unlimited? Then one of the big guns, of course: Rothko, De Kooning, Newman, but Malevich's "Black Square" would do too. Closer to home: Jan Schoonhoven. And then hang everything in a Frank Lloyd Wright mansion.
Who are your favourite artists?
I find Cristina Lucas interesting because her work is a good example of how an artist can create socially or politically engaged work without being preachy or paternalistic.
There is a lot of movement in Erin Lawlor's paintings and a lot of attention is being paid to the act of painting. Her work continues to reveal itself no matter how many times you have looked at it.
Danielle van Ark makes very diverse work, from paintings to installations. She has a very direct, appealing voice. There is a kind of cleverness to her work that makes me always think: shit, I wanted to make that up.