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 Marc Overman (attorney, age 55)
What does art mean to you?
Looking at visual art is one of the few activities that allows me to clear my mind and absorb things at a pleasant slow pace. And to completely clear my mind of work-related concerns that are always in the back of my mind.
Were you exposed to art while growing up?
Art has always been present, but it used to be more in the background than it is now. My parents had (modern) art but were not collectors. It was mainly a museum visit. For me it actually started when I was studying, in the late eighties. The Rotterdam Kunstuitleen (Art lease) has been important as well. It has a collection that includes a lot of good work.
Where do you read about the latest developments in the art world?
Dutch newspapers write too little about visual art. That's too bad. It seems to have been cut back, because the average reader hardly has any regard for it. Het Financieele Dagblad is a positive exception, but offers only little room for more experimental work. And Het Parool of course, with this column.
Where do you prefer to look at art?
I hardly ever visit Dutch fairs. I go to Art Basel once a year, where I get in using the tickets of much more important people. My favourite art outing is the Royal Academy's annual Summer Exhibition in London, where submissions from all types of artists hang together. The big names next to the occasional painter. Without the artists names being listed, one is forced to look really carefully and with an open mind.
How often do you buy art each year?
I don't buy that much anymore for the prosaic reason that the house is full. There are also a few things hanging in the office, but that is now also ready. So, I have to switch works around and store part of the collection elsewhere.
Where do you do your buying: in a gallery, at an art fair, at an auction or online?
I usually buy at auctions. I am also sometimes offered something through a befriended art consultant or artist. I usually agree to that.
Is it important that you and your partner always agree on a purchase?
I decide everything on my own.
Do you have a special relationship with any one gallery?
I enjoy going to the Rotterdam gallery of my friend Frank Taal, where I buy something once or twice a year.
If you had an unlimited budget, who would you buy a work from?
In that case, I think I’d buy something old, or something very old. The Elgin Marbles or something. The Bayeux Tapestry. Or Rembrandt's portrait of Jan Six. Lately, with all that is going on in the US, I often think of "Helms Amendment" by Louise Lawler. That is a room-filling installation: a black and white portrait gallery of American senators. Or something by Michel Basquiat ("I am not a black artist, I am an artist"). If I had to choose a work by a Dutch artist, it would be Guido van der Werve's chessboard.
Who are your favourite artists?
I really enjoyed the melting ice painting installation by Daan den Houter, who is represented by Galerie Frank Taal. Layer by layer he has done his very best on those paintings; he takes them out of the freezer and hangs them on a hook. And then, after a while, slowly but surely, the decline begins.
Everyone knows the photos of Ed van der Elsken, of course. Less known - but just as good and with more of an edge – are the works of his Rotterdam contemporary Peter Martens, nostalgically fun for me as a Rotterdammer.
Last year, the title of Erik van Lieshout's exhibition at Annet Gelink made me laugh. Art Blasé - that’s exactly the way it is.