Special edition featuring 14 Dutch art collectors

Collecting art is a personal journey which each collector navigates differently. However, all have one thing in common: the joy of sharing the fruits of their journey with likeminded.

To bring some of these captivating stories to life we have compiled fourteen interviews with Dutch art collectors, whom are all different but equally passionate about sharing their personal collector journey.

Meet Cyril van Sterkenburg!

Lonneke van der Palen, Open Deur

Name: Cyril van Sterkenburg
Location: Amsterdam
Started collecting in year: 2011
Number of artworks in collection: 20                

As a director of the Amsterdam-based creative agency Vandejong, chairwoman of Stichting Art Projects and art collector, Cyril van Sterkenburg is surrounded by creativity 24 hours a day. For this day and night creative, the future of art is bright. She firmly believes that art has the potential to solve big challenges and that the online market is a gateway for more and more people to understand and appreciate art.

Photos by Laura Hein

What is your earliest memory of art, and what led you to start collecting it?

I started collecting through ‘1000 Drawings’. 1000 Drawings is a cool South African concept that let people (both professionals and amateurs) draw anything, with anything, on anything in the format A5. All drawings are sold at a one-night expo for charity. In collaboration with some friends, I introduced the concept in Europe. It was wonderful to see what happens when everybody feels the need to leave with at least one ‘work of art’.

What is the main motivation behind your collecting?

My work at Vandejong Creative Agency, we work a lot with talented photographers, illustrators, and artists. Combined with our work for photography museum Foam, this resulted in starting Unseen, the platform & fair for new photography. We wanted to create a healthy ecosystem for young photographers. Part of this healthy ecosystem is having both very talented artists and enthusiastic collectors.

Is there a unifying element in your art collection?

Not yet. I like it when art is a bit ‘off’, something that it makes you look at it twice.

What is the main motivation behind your collecting?

If you like the hunt, you love art and you are obsessed, isn’t that a motivation? No deeper motivation is needed in my opinion. I sought and bought art, and that is what I am still doing.

Describe your collection in three words.

Contemporary. Abstract. Strong.

Is there any particular type of art that appeals to you or anything that unites all the works in your collection?

Abstract paintings especially appeal to me, but they don’t have to necessarily be made of paint and linen. The painting may exist of different materials, like tarp, steel, concrete, corrugated plates or epoxy. What unites the collection is the size, the power and the presence of the works. I don’t like small poetic works of art.

Luke Stephenson, An incomplete dictionary of show Birds

How important is it for you to meet the artist behind the artwork?

It is always nice to know the artist, to hear the story behind a work of art or to see where or how it is made. If you have the chance to come in contact with the artist, do it. It will make your work even more valuable to you.

How is the online art market evolving according to you?

Finally there are more and more initiatives. It took so long! I hope that this online art market makes it easier for people to start buying art (to start collecting). So many people do not understand ‘the (unwritten) rules’ of galleries or the art market. Online markets make it easier and more transparent. On the other side, how do you show the impact of an artwork online?

Where do you think the future of the art world is headed?

The future is bright! I think that we will appreciate art and creativity more and more. I think that artists and creatives will play a bigger role in creating new solutions for the big challenges, and that by doing so we will show the different values of art.

Maurice van Es, Sporen

Top three pieces of advice for new collectors

1. Go and see a lot of art. Online, but also go to museums, galleries, fairs, festivals, etc.

2. Join a club! If you are Dutch, start with the Young Collectors Circle. They will learn you the basics and will take you to places. You will develop a taste or a preference, and then you can join a specific club; Club Foam for photography or Young Stedelijk for contemporary art.

3. Have fun.

Top three art destinations

1. Of course you have to come to Unseen Amsterdam, four days of new photography in September.

2. Travel to Design Indaba in Cape Town, they will surprise and inspire you in so many different ways!

3. And if you can find one somewhere around the world: go to A Night of 1000 Drawings. Q Three inspiring artists to watch Kim Boske, Jaap Scheeren, and Annegien van Doorn.

Three inspiring artists to watch

Kim Boske, Jaap Scheeren, and Annegien van Doorn.

Jaap  Scheeren, Gantry Plaza Estate Park