interviews

‘Such a godsend!’

Merel Coebergh. Foto: Ernst van Deursen Merel Coebergh. Foto: Ernst van Deursen

‘The Kunstkoop is a relief, especially for a young gallery, because this incentive reinforces the start.’ In 2015, Curator Jaring Dürst Britt, together with art critic Alexander Mayhew, opened gallery Dürst Britt & Mayhew in The Hague. ‘It really makes a difference when you can pay off such a sum over a period of three years, without the mounting costs of interest, which the fund pays for. Art then also becomes accessible to art lovers with a modest income.’

‘With the KunstKoop, I had the courage to do it’

In this way, a painting by Jacqueline de Jong, made with photographic and painting techniques, ended up at Merel Coebergh’s. She saw it at the Unseen photo event in Amsterdam and immediately fell in love. ‘I had often stood with artworks in my hands before. I studied art history and, after that, I further developed my eye for art, but my doubts were always too great: can I really afford it, will I be able to make it? With the KunstKoop, I had the courage to make the decision.’

She returned a couple of times because she was so drawn to the work. But: ‘I was really sold right away. Especially when I heard the title. Potato Flower walking away; that has a joke in it of course, but on the other hand: throughout my childhood I believed in garden dwarfs and elves, and in this work I also see such a nature’s creature. The work now hangs right above my desk and it makes me really happy. Besides my job at a design agency, I study design and interior design at KASK in Gent. This artwork, which I could not possibly have purchased without the KunstKoop, stimulates me to push myself to the limit when pursuing my dreams. It is also dangerous, by the way, that is what my friends warned me for: buying art is contagious; it makes you want more.’