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 Sam van Rooij!

Sam van Rooij

Name: Sam van Rooij
Location: Rotterdam
Started collecting in year:  Not at a certain moment in time, my collection just began growing

When purchasing a new piece of art, Sam van Rooij is driven by a particular feeling that arises in his body and mind. A feeling that hits him hard and fills him with excitement. Then he knows; it is time to add a new work to his collection. This dedicated collector truly believes that there is something to buy for everyone and stress the importance of not being shy to enter a gallery. There is nothing to fear and the reward is huge.

Photos by Robin Noordam

Sam van Rooij's art collection

What is your earliest memory of art, and what led you to start collecting it?
It is hard to recall, but I remember one moment as a kid, when I was sitting next to my dad at an auction. He was bidding on an antique piece of art, and I found the whole experience really fascinating. My father ended up buying the artwork, which is probably still at my parents’s home. Just like them, I like to be surrounded with beautiful and inspiring pieces, be it art, antiquities or exotica. In my opinion, it enriches life.

What is the main motivation behind your collecting?
I am not driven by a specific theme, such as the environment, surrealist paintings, or female figures, although the latter really appeals to me. Rather, it has to do with a feeling. The moment an artwork hits you and the feeling will not go away, then you know you have to buy it.

Is there a unifying element in your art collection?
For me, every piece in my collection should evoke a feeling and speak to my emotions. Whether that is related to a good memory or depicting struggles.

Sam van Rooij's art collection

Bastiaan Woudt, Jade // Klaas Gubbels, Kopje

Is there a piece in your collection you have a particularly strong attachment to?
Definitely the sculpture by Klaas Gubbels that my girlfriend and I bought when we started living together! Or…
the first photograph I bought, one by Bastiaan Woudt. Or… my most recent acquisition, an oil painting by Armando. In any case, one of those three.
How important is it for you to meet the artist behind the artwork?
It is not important in regards to eventually buying the work, but it is always great to meet the artists to get insights into their visions and ideas.

Are there any particular artists who play a significant role in your collection and whose development you have followed closely?
No artist currently has the lead in our collection; it just develops on its own accord. Of course, some artists are followed more closely than others.

Sam van Rooij's art collection

How has your taste changed since you started collecting?
Earlier, my works just needed to appeal to me on an aesthetic level. That changed. As said before, emotion is key.

How is the online art market evolving according to you?
It’s growing so fast. Everything is at your fingertips. And although I want to experience the art in real life, the internet helps me knowing where to find the things I love.

In your opinion, what is the role of an art collector in the making of art history?
Without collectors, there would not be a living to make for artists. Although we have seen examples of artists who were very unpopular during their own lifetime and
gained appreciation after their death. That is harsh of course. I think, in general, collectors are very important to artists. They are the ones supporting them before the big cultural institutions do. However, looking at the course of art history, it were not the collectors determining the art history. It were the artists themselves!

Sam van Rooij's art collection

Desiree Tonnaer, Wikkelfiguur

Where do you think the future of the art world is headed?
Physical auctions will disappear and people will buy art more than ever. Collecting art is no longer only for the upper classes. In every price range, there is something to buy for everyone. Until a new medium/technique is discovered, photography will grow in popularity.

Describe your collection in three words.
Eclectic. Contemporary. Antiques.

Top three pieces of advice for new collectors
1. Buy less but more qualitatively

2. Follow your gut feeling

3. Do not be shy to enter the galleries!
Top three art destinations
NMAC Foundation in Southern Spain, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam, and any private collection.

Three inspiring artists to watch
Bastiaan Woudt, JR, and Jaromír Novotný.

Sam van Rooij's art collection

Armando, Schwarz