Ali Keles with ‘Nightflower’ (2019) by Robin Speijer. Photo credit: Erika Vati, Art Index Rotterdam
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 Ali Keles (Managing Partner Lakeside Capital Partners, age 37)
What does art mean to you?
For me, art is a form of freedom, a way to get out of the everyday concrete reality and to gain experiences in a more abstract way. Art invites one to critical thinking and is a form of recording the reflection of our social consciousness and conscience.
Satijn Panyigay, Twilight Zone, Museum Boijmans van Beuningen 03, 2020, Galerie Caroline O'Breen.
Were you exposed to art while growing up?
Apart from visiting museums, there was not necessarily an active and conscious focus on arts at home. The real start of the development in art came later when I visited the opening of the PAN art fair at the invitation of my close friend Mark Mouthaan and his father Floor. Mainly by looking and experiencing a lot, I slowly but surely found my way.
Where do you read about the latest developments in the art world?
During this pandemic: more and more online. Furthermore, by reading different sections about art in various media, such as newspapers and magazines. In the "old times" by making many visits, including to artists.
Where do you prefer to look at art?
Everywhere really, every context gives its own meaning to art. In museums it is usually admiring without the collecting part of it. At art fairs and galleries you arrive knowing that you could end up purchasing something. Meaning you leave home with a different mindset, while online you can sit at a desk extensively and still quietly discover art. But poking around in the artist's studio gives an extra special feeling, which is almost enchanting.
Joana Schneider, Man who lives in my mouth, Rademakers Gallery.
How often do you buy art each year?
This depends entirely on what is happening during the year, on the works you come across and those of artists you have been working on for some time. In recent years, we have built up a corporate collection, called the Lakeside Collection, and we have become a member of the Netherlands Association of Corporate Art Collections.
Where do you do your buying: in a gallery, at an art fair, at an auction or online?
Mostly in galleries, at art fairs and online at times. Even if we spot the work online, you still want to view it in real life.
Is it important that you and your partner always agree on a purchase?
I am free to make purchases as I see fit; privately too because there is no partner in the picture. Both for my private collection for the corporate collection I am advised by an art consultant. Like a love affair, however, when it comes to art it starts with falling in love.
Robin Speijer, Partie, 2019, Best of Graduates 2019, Galerie Ron Mandos.
Do you have a special relationship with any one gallery?
Ron Mandos, Frank Taal, HazArt and Rademakers in the Netherlands, and internationally with OMR in Mexico, Lisson (which has branches in London, Shanghai and New York) and Anna Zorina in the United States.
If you had an unlimited budget, who would you buy a work from?
It would be enriching if we could add works by Antony Gormley, Yayoi Kusama and Anish Kapoor to the collection.
Who are your favourite artists?
We bought the work "Nightflower" from Robin Speijer immediately upon graduation. The way Robin expresses her fascination for textiles on a canvas is impressive. In 2020, she received the Sacha Tanja Penning, a prize for figurative art.
Joana Schneider is a gifted artist with a penchant for reusing materials. She collects meter-long ship ropes that were used in shipping for many years and later lay ashore.
Satijn Panyigay is a photographer with an impressive eye for serenity, which was also evident from the series of photos she took of the vacant Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam.
Tycho van Zomeren, Greenhouse, 2018, Best Of Graduates 2020, Galerie Ron Mandos.