Melanie with work by Noemie Goudal.
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 Melanie van Ogtrop (Runs Circle Gallery, a not-for-profit exposition space for up-and-coming talent, 66 jaar)
What does art mean to you?
For me, art is emotion and an enormous enrichment, it broadens your view of yourself, your environment and the world around you. Art is a reflection of the spirit of the times and of what is happening in society.
Mohau Modisakeng, Baheberu 4, 2019, Galerie Ron Mandos.
Were you exposed to art while growing up?
I was born and raised in France, in an old house just outside Paris, surrounded by antique furniture, beautiful silver - collected by my grandfather - and a series of family portraits dating back to different centuries. I had a great preference for a portrait of an ancestor wearing a wig with luscious, long gray curls and an ultramarine velvet robe. My love for art originated there.
Where do you read about the latest developments in the art world?
In newsletters from galleries and museums, and newspapers in general. And in art magazines such as Foam Magazine and Metropolis M, websites such as ARTnews and Artnet, but especially by speaking to young and older artists, and visiting art academies, studios and exhibitions.
Diana Scherer, Exercises in Rootsystem Domestication #7, 2020, Galerie Caroline O'Breen.
Where do you prefer to look at art?
In museums, galleries and art fairs such as Frieze, Miart, Paris Photo, Art Brussels, Unseen, Festival d'Avignon. Fairs are very enriching since they offer a large number of international artists and galleries.
How often do you buy art each year?
I am quite impulsive and quickly captivated by new work. Sometimes I buy several works in a month, and then again nothing for a long time. I like buying the first edition of an editioned work, if possible.
Where do you do your buying: in a gallery, at an art fair, at an auction or online?
At openings of exhibitions, expositions and fairs. Sometimes at auctions, I've worked at Sotheby's and Christie's, and I get the necessary information from that. But I also find smaller auction houses interesting to keep an eye on.
Harry Markusse, Untitled 2020, Galerie Bart.
Is it important that you and your partner always agree on a purchase?
Haha, we have a diametrically opposing tastes. My husband is half Austrian and likes full and busy works, whereas I prefer work that is a bit emptier and more zen-like. But if one of us really doesn't like a particular work at all, then we don't.
Do you have a special relationship with any one gallery?
Obviously, that would be the Circle Gallery: a non-profit initiative that I run together with my daughter-in-law Nina, who is also an art consultant (Heuv Art). In addition, Grimm, Flatland and Ron Mandos. I find GoMulan Gallery very inspiring because it shows many young artists, unknown to me, and Caroline O'Breen, because she works with interesting, contemporary photographers.
Alexander Sporre, Parallel Universes of the Self (5), 2020, Galerie Caroline O'Breen.
If you had an unlimited budget, who would you buy a work from?
I think one of Bill Viola’s videos. His work is breathtaking and evokes contrasting emotions in me. Viola is closely followed by Anish Kapoor; the "wool room" in the De Pont museum was an eye-opener for me.
Who are your favourite artists?
Mohau Modisakeng uses himself as a model to highlight and shake off the colonial past.
Maaike Kramer works with concrete and knows how to give this "poor" medium an airy elegance.
Margaret Lansink makes dreamy black and white photographs on hand-made Japanese paper - nature also plays a major role there.
Margaret Lansink, Wa, 2021, Galerie Caroline O'Breen.