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 Gisbert van Baalen (Owner of gallery Café Pittoresk and producer of the podcast ‘Dat kan m’n kleine nichtje ook’, age 32)
What does art mean to you?
Art means many things to me. It gives me inspiration, I become fascinated by it, I can immerse myself in history and it gives me a new or different perspective on things.
Were you exposed to art while growing up?
At home I learned the importance of art, books, theater and culture in a general sense. As a child I visited the Gemeentemuseum a lot, now Kunstmuseum, and consequently, at a young age, I came into contact with Mondrian. The flame was kindled there, but during my student days it really caught on.
Where do you read about the latest developments in the art world?
I enjoy flipping through art magazines like See All This or Kunstschrift. Every week I also look forward to the Rudi Fuchs’ column for De Groene Amsterdammer. The Kunstmeisjes and Ko & Kho are also great fun to follow. In terms of television, I prefer to watch the programmes of Jeroen Krabbé.
Where do you prefer to look at art?
Ultimately, the museum has my preference. Of course, I also like to visit galleries and fairs, but that's where I get so greedy. My favourite fair is Art Rotterdam, because of the many galleries that I find interesting.
How often do you buy art each year?
I buy three to five works of art a year. My latest purchase is a drawing by Carlijn Kingma.
Where do you do your buying: in a gallery, at an art fair, at an auction or online?
Often at an art fair or at a gallery, and occasionally I buy from the painter him- or herself in his or her studio. I like to be in contact with the gallery owner and or artist, who can tell me about the work.
Is it important that you and your partner always agree on a purchase?
Until now it has not happened that I had to discuss a purchase. Although I learned a sentence from a friend, Carel Alphenaar, that immediately checkmates you in terms of art: "If you have taste, you like this." Well, just say "no" to that.
Do you have a special relationship with any one gallery?
I’ve always been well disposed towards We Like Art, because I bought my first work there, the Zandvliet screen print. In addition, Fons Welters, Onrust, Lang Art, Boeske, Annet Gelink, Slewe, Van den Berge. Multiplemadé is a new concept in Amsterdam that I think is really cool. Madé van Krimpen and I are both relatively young, which creates a bond.
If you had an unlimited budget, who would you buy a work from?
I’d go for a work by Mark Rothko, without a shadow of a doubt. I would set up a separate room in my house exactly according to the conditions Rothko set for hanging his paintings: 10 cm above the floor, off-white walls and dimmed lights.
Harry Markusse is an artist I like to follow. He makes abstract, minimalist art related to shape, color and movement.
Just like my favourite painter Mark Rothko, Jus Juchtmans also works with many layers of (diluted) paint on top of each other. As a result, the colour you perceive is a mixture of all those layers. Consequently, the painting changes every time you look at it.
Folkert de Jong is a sculptor who makes fantastic installations from different materials, often with a historical theme that really appeals to me.