Mette Samkalden with Mei Mao in front of a work by Arash Fakhim, left a work by Marie Civikov and Jan Hoek, picture by: Lucas Hardonk.
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 Mette Samkalden (Director This Art Fair, 33)
What does art mean to you?
Artists let me look at the world in different ways. Art can touch me, move me and open my eyes. A colleague aptly described the effect of art as "going from the head to the heart."
Arash Fakhim, Nightmare on worringer strasse, 2019, No Man's Art Gallery.
Did you get an appreciation of art from your parents?
As a child, my parents took me to museums in Amsterdam, and on holidays we invariably visited museums. There were even journeys for which seeing a certain exhibition was the direct cause. A retrospective of Salvador Dalí in Brussels, for example, but also the Dokumenta in Kassel, or the excavations of Olympia on the Peloponnese.
Anouk van Zwieten, Full of Splendor, 2018, tegenboschvanvreden.
Where do you get your information about the ups and downs in the art world from?
I visit a lot of exhibitions, fairs, workshops, but I also read about developments and trends in newspapers, blogs and sites.
Where do you prefer to see art?
I prefer to see art in the artist's studio, when the paint is still wet and the glue still needs to dry. At the same time, the peace and freedom of movement of an exhibition space can do art well. The choices that a (good) curator or gallery owner makes give art a new context and greater depth.
How many times a year do you buy art? Do you buy editioned work or do you prefer unique works
I buy two to three works a year. In addition, every now and then I do a job for artists or organizations that partly pay me in art. It does not pay the rent, but it is food for the soul.
Koen Delaere, Further 2019, Gerhard Hofland.
And where do you buy: in the gallery, at an art fair, at an auction or online?
Many of the works that I have at home, were either bought from artists I know personally or were gifted to me by artists. In addition, I buy at least one work during my "own" exhibition, at This Art Fair.
Ryo Kinoshita, Testatrixes in the fog, 2019, Galerie Fons Welters
Is it important that you and your partner agree on a purchase?
The big advantage of not having a relationship is that you do not have to discuss a purchase. I don't have to take anyone into account.
Is there a gallery you have a special connection with?
I love galleries that follow their own path and make clear artistic choices. No Man’s Art Gallery is an example of this: a unique art space in Amsterdam West where owners Emmelie and Lih-Lan simultaneously run a bar adjacent to the gallery. A place with a programme full of young, international artists, that gets more exciting every year. For me, dudokdegroot is the most cordial gallery in Amsterdam, and at Vriend van Bavink I am surprised by the variety in the programme and the enthusiasm of the founders. The dinners that co-owner Ruben cooks for customers and relations are always special.
Anders Dickson, Untethered star-gazer and companion, 2018, Annet Gelink Gallery.
If you had an unlimited budget, who would you buy a work from?
I wouldn't say no to a Grayson Perry tapestry. As a contrast, a work by James Turrell would not be out of place. Less monumental in size, but just as grand are the beautiful, meditative paintings of the Korean Lee Ufan and Wang Guangle’s Coffin Paintings, with thick layers of paint.
Who are your favourite artists?
I love the textures of Koen Delaere: painted layer by layer over layer.
Just like the concrete, plastic, epoxy and foam that Arash Fakhim works with, avoiding literal and figurative flatness, structure and neat lines.
In similar vein, yet different, I am a fan of the lamps by Bertjan Pot, which were on display at the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, and last year at Art Rotterdam.
Kubilay Mert Ural, Untitled, 2019, Ellen de Bruijne Projects.