Andrea Davina and work by Cristina Lucas.
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 Andrea Davina (Chair of the Niemeijer and advisor in the financial and art world, age 45)
What does art mean to you?
Art makes me think about myself and the world we live in. It moves me. Sometimes a work of art is very beautiful and you can drift off in it, at other times it opens your eyes to a social issue, like the Guerrilla Girls do.
Sarah van Sonsbeeck, Accidental Universe, Study, 2020, Annet Gelink Gallery.
Were you exposed to art while growing up?
My grandmother collected antiques and old paintings, she taught to look at art. My parents often took me to museums. The Salvador Dali museum in Figueres impressed me the most. From that time on I started to take an interest in art.
Where do you read about the latest developments in the art world?
Mostly through artist friends, collectors and people working in the art world. I also follow many online platforms, podcasts such as ‘Naakt op een kleedje’, and websites like awarewomenartists.com and Mister Motley. Every now and then I buy art magazines (See All This and Frieze).
Cristina Lucas, Composition “Environment Is Us”, Istvan Kenyeres., 2020, tegenboschvanvreden.
Where do you prefer to look at art?
I like visiting museums, preferably for a solo exhibition by an artist, to zoom in completely into the artist’s world, to immerse myself in what he or she has to say. Due to my work for the Theodora Niemeijer Prize, I often visit artists in their studio.
How often do you buy art each year?
I used to buy at least five works a year. These days I buy a little less, about three, preferably unique works. In recent years my collection has undergone a transition. I've started collecting female artists only, and somehow that needs more time.
Josefin Arnell, (Mother) sucking gates, 2019, Stigter Van Doesburg.
Where do you do your buying: in a gallery, at an art fair, at an auction or online?
More and more often online or via the artist. Should the artist be represented by a gallery, I’ll purchase it via the gallery. Or artist initiatives such as F-Razzor, which organized a fundraiser today.
Is it important that you and your partner always agree on a purchase?
No, that's not important. Sometimes we buy something together, sometimes separately. It is not a criterion. When I am enthusiastic about an artist, my partner often is and vice versa. We decide autonomously.
Claudy Jongstra, Diptych, 2021, Galerie Fontana.
Do you have a special relationship with any one gallery?
There are a number of galleries in the Netherlands that I visit physically or virtually (via viewing rooms) more often, but I pay more attention to the artist than to the programming of a gallery.
If you had an unlimited budget, who would you buy a work from?
I would invite Marina Abramovic to make a quiet room in the house, where we then invite visitors to the Abramovic method. You leave the room with a work of art that you carry with you - an experience.
Alternatively, I’d ask an architect to create a virtual museum with important female artists such as Kim Sooja, Monica Bonvivini, Loie Hollowell, Hilma Af Klint, Guerrilla Girls, Judy Chicago, Louise Bourgeois, Germaine Kruip, Agnes Denes, Iris Kensmil, Sophie Calle, Rineke Dijkstra, Marlene Dumas and many others. The only thing on the coffee table are a pair of VR glasses.
Who are your favourite artists?
Irene Fortuyn was one of my first purchases. Partly because of her, my way of collecting has changed direction. Questioning is a central theme in her work.
Josefin Arnell won the 2018 Theodora Niemeijer Prize and then made a sculpture of a giant tick. She plays with the combination of research and fiction.
I wake up happy every day with the work of Cristina Lucas hanging above our bed. Research also plays an important role in her and I admire her "aesthetic activism". She is provocative, but with a lot of humour.
Daniëlle van Ark, AP 1/1, 2013, tegenboschvanvreden.