Ivo Victoria with work by Sam Andrea.
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 Ivo Victoria (Author, age 49)
What does art mean to you?
I love when a work of art tells me a story about the world or about myself that I didn't know yet, or prompts me to make up that story myself.
Pieter Jennes, How many camels?, 2020, Gallery Sofie Van de Velde.
Were you exposed to art while growing up?
Art wasn’t a topic of conversation at home. I remember a pretty ugly tapestry and some nice etchings above the piano in the living room. There were also objects here and there, especially woodcarvings, which came from or referred to the childhood of my father, who grew up in colonial Congo.
Where do you read about the latest developments in the art world?
I do not specifically look for information in the traditional media, but of course I read something from time to time. I follow many artists, galleries and museums via Instagram and that often results in a visit to an exhibition.
Sam Andrea, Pap in Neverland, 2016, Galerie Vriend van Bavink.
Where do you prefer to look at art?
Once every few weeks I map out a route for myself along the Amsterdam galleries that organize exhibitions that interest me. I tend to get lost quite quickly in large museums, however, I do like to go to fairs where a lot of work by new young artists can be seen.
How often do you buy art each year?
I am definitely not an art connoisseur and still very much a novice when it comes to buying art. Over the past few years, I bought a total of ten works. I prefer to buy unique work.
Where do you do your buying: in a gallery, at an art fair, at an auction or online?
I have bought from a gallery a few times. I found that very exciting at first. As a novice buyer I felt a bit intimidated, you often hear that, but that turned out to be a barrier that you partly raised yourself: most gallery owners are very helpful and true enthusiasts, who like to tell about the work they exhibit.
Daniela Schwabe, Probably a dark party, 2020, galerie dudokdegroot.
Is it important that you and your partner always agree on a purchase?
No, my partner has nothing to say about that, haha. However, if the home front doesn't like the work, I’ll hang in my study.
Do you have a special relationship with any one gallery?
With Althuis Hofland in Amsterdam, because I bought a work by Duncan Hannah there and was helped very nicely. I also really like Gallery Fleur & Wouter and Go Mulan. And when I'm in Antwerp again, I like to go to the galleries in new South: Tim van Laere, Sofie van de Velde or Everyday Gallery.
Felix De Clercq, A new hometown, 2020, Gallery Sofie Van de Velde.
If you had an unlimited budget, who would you buy a work from?
I would buy the "Pleiades" installation by the American artist James Turrell and have it attached to my house. I saw this installation at the Mattress Factory in Pittsburgh. For a few minutes I felt grateful and blissfully happy.
Who are your favourite artists?
Just to plug some favourite Flemish artists of the moment, if they still need it: I really like the treacherous playfulness of Pieter Jennes and the stillness in the paintings of Felix de Clercq. Shirley Villavicencio Pizango is a Ghent artist with roots in Peru; she paints strange portraits in explosive colours.
Shirley Villavicencio Pizango, Under the Skin of my Past, 2021, Geukens & De Vil.