Amsterdam Art Weekend – a new perspective of contemporary art world

Amsterdam Art Weekend is a four days event that happens every year and transforms Amsterdam in a huge art marketplace with more than 100 events occurring during these days.

The 2016 event guide had included several exhibitions, performances, film screenings, lectures and tours for every tastes and different levels of maturity ad knowledge. Programs were segmented by themes like Paintings and drawings and Photography or by location in order to meet different audiences.

It is an amazing opportunity to interact directly with the artists, to understand their way of thinking and to discover what is happening in the contemporary art.

Diversity of works present during Amsterdam art Weekend is superb. I had the opportunity to meet with different types of artists in different stages of their careers what gave me a new perspective of how people and techniques progress in the contemporary art market.

Here are some exhibitions that still remain in my memory

One of my favorite exhibitions was presented in Stigter Van Doesburg by Helen Verhoeven. “Libby Libby Libby” was the name chosen by the artist for her collection about a young and beautiful café employee. It was very interesting to hear Helen Verhoeven talking about her life as an artist and to see how her paintings are connected to her as a woman. Each painting was a small representation of her, showing the simplicity and naturalism that characterizes her and the fears and challenges felt since her youth until she had become a mature woman.

The way of how the exhibition was thought revealed the stage of maturity of Helen Verhoeven’s career. There was logic and harmony in everything shown; the ceramic sculptures positioned perfectly as if they couldn’t be in any other place, were seemed to be taken from the paintings in the walls.


In the Spirit of Nature, one more excellent exhibition presented in the Museum for Photography, Huis Marseille, includes the work of 3 famous photographers, from which I distinguish Rotimi Fani-Kayode, a Nigerian artist that focused his work exploring sensitive matters as race, sexuality, pleasure, desire, and identity.

He lived most of his live in London, the place chosen to escape from the pressure felt to become a respectably married and successful professional. In 1989, with 34 years old, Rotimi died victim of AIDS. One year before, in 1988 Fani-Kayode became the co-founder and chairman of Autograph ABP – the Association of Black Photographers in London.20161127_130548.jpg

Martin Gusinde and Mario Cravo Neto, the other two photographers that joined Fani-Kayode in Spirit of Nature have both incredible oeuvres, too. Martin Gusinde photos are dedicated to Selk’nam, one of the three aboriginal tribes in Tierra del Fuego that were violently tortured by gold diggers and cattle farmers. With this collection Mario Guisend tried to show the brutality and repression provoked by excess of power and desire for wealth, also visible in Rotimi images.

Shores Like You is a respectable work from Scarlett Hooft Graafland, also in exhibition in the Museum for Photography, Huis Marseille, that includes photographs she made on Socotra, in the Vanuatu archipelago, and in the Dubai desert. The protagonists of Scarlett photos are frequently “women” and other objects that demonstrate to

There is an interesting connection between Spirit of Nature and Shores Like You as both share the attempt to expose the global problems, religious differences and spiritual values.

Berend Strik, a Dutch painter from 1960, was probably one of the most interesting artists that I met during Amsterdam Art Weekend. His oeuvres exposed in Galerie Fons Welters were a result of a long work of research that culminated in an original composition. Each painting tells us a story from someone in the world. The wooden floor full of inks, the burned piece from a studio in Brazil or the camera lens used by an artist for his works are examples of the objects that helped Berend Strik to reinvest himself in the contemporary art world.

It is interesting to compare Berend Strik with Helen Verhoeven, both Dutch artists with prominent careers but so different at the same time. While Helen Verhoeven is seemed to be in one of her highest moments hiding her insecurities through his paintings full of emotions and live, Berend Strik is the opposite. His uncertainties are related with his future and are kept with him. Berend Strik paintings are full of personality, imagination and creativity.



Life of Illusion in a world in war

One of the most inspiring and extraordinary exhibitions in the Amsterdam’s Foam Photography Museum I ever saw was exposed in 2014 and is called The Enclave.

The Enclave is the Richard Mosse’s work in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, about the almost forgotten Congolese war, revealing the author’s efforts in to reveal rebel enclaves and sites of human rights violations.

After almost 3 years all the elements from this exhibition remain unforgettable for me. The illusion created by the use of the psychedelic magenta colour in contrast with seriousness and brutality of the topic covered provided me with an experience of pleasure, discomfort and embarrassment.

The Enclave was a genuine challenge to my senses and an unpretentious exploration of my human side and my conscience.

April 2014, Amsterdam