Artland magazine 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 Menno Pijpers!

The Doubter

Name: Menno Pijpers
Location: Rotterdam
Started collecting in year:  When I was 12 years old
Number of artworks in collection: 18  

Menno Pijpers, an art collector and a business development manager at Osudio in Amsterdam, looks for young artists that represent the age he lives in. He closely follows their development and compares it with his own path of life. This has resulted in a confronting, outspoken and real art collection, which, in his own words, is a sort of social experiment filled with passion.

© Sébastien Van Malleghem


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

My family consists of a mixture of collectors, gallerists, and artists. It made art a constant element in my life. I only became aware of what it meant to me, and the joy I got out of collecting it, when I was around 18 years old. As we live in an individualistic society, buying and owning works of art, I discovered, was a way to express myself through artworks made by others. What does that say about me?

What is the main motivation behind your collecting?

Being surrounded by the artworks and having it reflect where I am in my life at that point. And also, obviously just because I love beautiful things and having such unique objects nearby is a total thrill. Besides that, I like to young find artists who truly represent the day and age we live in. When they evolve, I evolve with them, and it is interesting to see if we evolved in the same direction or took different turns. Call it a social experiment filled with passion if you will.

Is there a unifying element in your art collection?

A lot of portraits and ‘dark’ work. Some may call it depressing.

Is there a piece in your collection you have a particularly strong attachment to?

A painting done by my uncle Rudy Pijpers. He painted my great grandmother in the morgue. It’s really subtle, and you will not see it immediately. Because of the fact that it is so personal, I am strongly attached to it.

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

I think knowing what the artists represents is most important. With all the information available, you do not necessarily need to meet the artist. Some things might just disappoint you when you experience it in real life.

Are there any particular artists who play a significant role in your collection and whose development you have followed closely?

Yes, the Belgian artist/photographer Sébastien van Malleghem.

How has your taste changed since you started collecting?

It has evolved into something more socially aware. I am looking to the works that show how today’s life is. It should represent something. As a twenty year old youngster, I would only look for the striking image, not so much the story.

How is the online art market evolving according to you?

As long as the market is run by a handful of influential people, who control the market and prices and are reluctant to be more transparent, I do not see it happening any time soon, apart from having the function of informing and storytelling about artists. If the online market really wants to kick off, it should look for alternative business models that open up the art market and provide access to information and opportunity for buying/investing.

In your opinion, what is the role of an art collector in the making of art history?

Depends if he/she is a introvert or extrovert. If you are willing to show your work and take credit for the collection, you might just have an impact. Many art collectors keep works away from the public and therefore only contribute in a negative way.

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

The world online will play a larger role in the creation of art. Inspiration and contribution will be allowed to flow freely on the web and future technologies like Blockchain. It is hard to predict the future in the current pace, but be ready for some major shifts that nobody is able to imagine.

Describe your collection in three words

Confronting. Outspoken. Real.

Top three art destinations

Berlin, New York, and London.

Three inspiring artists to watch

Sébastien van Malleghem, Truc Anh, and Esiri Erheriene-Essi.

Kumi Oguro, Island