What do art lovers like? Where do they buy their art and, most importantly, what do they buy?
Every Monday an enthusiast tells about his or her bond with art in this section. This week it’s attorney Kitty De Coninck (age 65).
What does art mean to you?
For me, art is an added value, not a consolation – because that is transient – but a tremendous gift. You won't see me with jewelry or designer handbags, I'd rather put my money into a young artist.
Ben Edmunds, My shelter, 2020, Tatjana Pieters.
Were you exposed to art while growing up?
I come from a working-class family, I grew up in a Catholic village, you didn't come across any art there. Actually, I came into contact with art at university. At the time, I was working at Studio Skoop, which was the place where left-wing progressives and artists met.
Flexboj & L.A., Zonder Titel, 2020, Barbé-Urbain.
Where do you read about the latest developments in the art world?
I read a number of art magazines: The Art Coach, HART, Openbaar Kunstbezit Vlaanderen, newspapers, but also a lot online.
Caroline Van den Eynden, Blue is a desire, 2021, DMW Gallery.
Where do you prefer to look at art?
I prefer to look at art in galleries and art fairs, and online. I like going to the SMAK on Sunday mornings and checking out all kinds of platforms online, especially initiatives like Showhouse JayJay and Ballroom Project.
Joëlle Dubois, zonder titel (naakt), 2019, Bruthaus Gallery.
How often do you buy art each year?
Lately I've been buying more, because of the pandemic, you're thrown back on yourself and spend more time alone, so you look at art more often. I like to buy in Ghent, for two reasons: firstly because there are many good galleries that show good young talent, and because it is nice to buy from Ghent galleries.
Where do you do your buying: in a gallery, at an art fair, at an auction or online?
I tend to buy in a gallery, because I really need to see the work in real life, and also occasionally at an art fair. Also, sometimes online. But that concerns rather small work on paper.
Les Monseigneurs, Found myself dancing in the rain with you (lila), 2021, BruthausGallery.
Is it important that you and your partner always agree on a purchase?
We never argued about it, jamais. We never argue when it comes to art, our house or our furniture. We always look at art together, so we know each other's taste well. If you live in the midst of art, there should be no work that someone else finds ugly.
Do you have a special relationship with any one gallery?
Tatjana Pieters in Ghent, because I've known her the longest. Tatjana and I often share the same taste; she shows a lot of young talent. I also like to visit Barbé-Urbain. Oliver Barbé is open and honest, he doesn't push himself at all. And Bruthaus Gallery. With Joris you can feel that he is very committed to his artists.
If you had an unlimited budget, whose work would you buy?
I think it is very desirable that collectors open their collections to the public so that everyone can enjoy them. Rothko or Warhol, for example; such masters belong in public places, you should not keep them to yourself.
Klaas Rommelaere, The Stoical, 2021, DMW Gallery.
Who are your favourite artists?
Ben Edmunds is a young guy from England, who makes very pure work. All ballast has been thrown overboard. Not a line too many. Only the essence remains.
Joëlle Dubois makes very liberating art. Young women reclaiming their sexuality. No taboos about their appearance, no complexes about their shapes. I classify this as contemporary feminism, it makes me happy.
I fell for Joris Vanpoucke's 'Mountains'. The darkness that emanates from it is menacing. Lord, almighty. You know disaster is coming, but you don't know what disaster.
Joris Vanpoucke, Mountains, 2021, DMW Gallery.