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 Jeroen Princen (Attorney, age 55)
What does art mean to you?
As a lawyer I have been working with companies in difficulty for years. Curator, but not in the arts. Art is my medicine for enjoying life: a source that keeps on giving. Art is the gate to a more beautiful and better world. Art gives you confidence in humanity and on balance I am an optimist and bon vivant.
Katinka Lampe, 4055201, 2020, Galerie Ron Mandos.
Were you exposed to art while growing up?
Fortunately, I got the sense of beauty from my parents. They have seen Rotterdam bombed out, after that you automatically start looking for beauty. On holidays, it was just impossible to pass by a gothic church without stopping. Also, there was always theatre, classical music and jazz, and we always watched Toppop together.
Where do you read about the latest developments in the art world?
Fortunately, NRC Handelsblad and Trouw pay a lot of attention to art. Galleries send me information and I also visit many museums. I tune in for the documentaries of "2Doc" and "Close Up" on television, such as the beautiful documentary about Christo. I check exhibition agendas online and study artists' oeuvres. On Instagram I follow artists, galleries and museums, which also gives instant pleasure.
Pieter Hugo, The Asylum Seeker. Hermosillo, 2019, Cokkie Snoei.
Where do you prefer to look at art?
I like to view a museum exhibition alone as it is more of a contemplative or educational experience. The late Hans Sonnenberg of Galerie Delta initiated me into figurative painting, Mirjam de Winter of PHŒBUS•Rotterdam taught me to look at abstract art and at work with a small but meaningful gesture. At Upstream Gallery in Amsterdam and Dürst Britt & Mayhew in The Hague I can also talk about art and always learn something new.
Alexandra Roozen, Plain Dust, 2020, NL = US Art.
How often do you buy art each year?
I never counted, but I buy at least ten works a year. I sometimes say, "The last thing I need is a new work of art, and the first thing I buy is a new work of art."
Koen Vermeule, Road, 2019, BorzoGallery.
Where do you do your buying: in a gallery, at an art fair, at an auction or online?
I prefer to buy from a gallery. A good gallery owner adds something to the work of art and the oeuvre of the artist. And I don't like having to say directly to an artist that the work doesn't really appeal to me.
Is it important that you and your partner always agree on a purchase?
Fortunately, my wife gives me carte blanche. Buying art is not a democratic process for me. We do discuss what I display in plain sight at home.
Frank Ammerlaan, Model for Concensus #3, 2017, Upstream Gallery.
Do you have a special relationship with any one gallery?
In Rotterdam I have been going to Cokkie Snoei, Wilfried Lentz and PHŒBUS•Rotterdam for a long time. Ron Mandos once moved from Rotterdam to Amsterdam, and I still love to visit him there. In Amsterdam, I mainly follow Upstream, Hofland, Onrust and Stigter Van Doesburg.
If you had an unlimited budget, who would you buy a work from?
I never really think like that. I buy what I can afford. However, a painting by Lucian Freud, David Hockney or Nicolas de Staël would make me very happy. Or else, a very large dark painting by Pierre Soulages: don't forget to visit his beautiful museum in Rodez, in the South of France.
Anne Wenzel, Under Construction (Fuck The Dictator), 2018, AKINCI.
Who are your favourite artists?
I love the children and adolescents of Katinka Lampe, who knows how to paint their expression with thin layers of paint.
The endless and empty landscapes of Koen Vermeule give me a fresh breath of air.
At Frank Taal gallery in Rotterdam, I love Daniël Mullen’s multicoloured paintings with countless fields.
Daniel Mullen, Rose, 2020, Frank Taal Galerie.