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 love for art in this section. This week it’s Bart Biermans (52), architect at HUB
What does art mean to you?
Art is an extremely focused expression of observing and participating in the world. People tend to think that the artist's gaze is free and unfettered. I think art is very meticulous and always shows it’s true colour. There is a lot of courage in that, and there is a lot of discipline behind it.
Were you exposed to art while growing up?
My parents read a lot, listen to music, go to see contemporary dance performances. What my parents taught me is that art is an integral part of life and is not inferior to any other field.
Where do you read about the latest developments in the art world?
My main source of information is talking to artists, gallery owners, curators and collectors. There are a lot of passionate and generous people around, so there is a lot to learn. In addition, Instagram, HART Magazine, gallery newsletters and websites such as GalleryViewer, Artsy and Artnet.
Where do you prefer to look at art?
First and foremost, it remains important to experience the work physically, but it cannot be denied that Instagram provides a lot of 'leads' to new work.
How often do you buy art each year?
I buy several works a year. I try to focus on post-war Belgian art. It therefore concerns work by young contemporary talent as well as artists such as Philippe Van Snick, Joris Ghekiere, Raphaël Buedts, Jef Verheyen and Léon Wuidar.
Where do you do your buying: in a gallery, at an art fair, at an auction or online?
Mostly in a gallery, rarely at an art fair.
Is it important that you and your partner always agree on a purchase?
I buy for myself. Afterwards, the work will become part of my life with my two children. Sometimes they find my choice a bit strange and that's fine, strange can be beautiful too, as long as we can discuss it. We also actively live with it, art is literally everywhere in our house.
Do you have a special relationship with any one gallery?
PLUS-ONE, Sofie Van de Velde, Base-Alpha, Tatjana Pieters, but Greta Meert and rodolphe janssen as well. Besides these galleries there are, of course, great initiatives that are exploring and assuming new positions, such as TICK TACK and Lichtekooi.
If you had an unlimited budget, whose work would you buy?
It is tempting to name big names from the art canon. It would be satisfying to establish an internationally oriented art making place, where young artists can work on social themes and art in public space. So I would actually buy time. For artists, and also a little bit for myself.
Who are your favourite artists?
I find Carole Vanderlinden’s joy of painting very appealing. A shade, a colour… can be the reason for a spontaneous trajectory. The work is a path.
< Filip Vervaet's work somehow has 'digital' connotations, while it is very well executed, almost classical, sculpture.
< I have to confess that I didn’t fall for her work at first, but for me Charline Tyberghein’s current exhibition at Sofie Van de Velde shows such momentum in her work… it makes me very silent. Really powerful stuff. It also shows that you are always learning and can always look better, if you want to.