Questions for Suzanne Tromp | Limna

Questions for Suzanne Tromp

Our latest series of Questions for is with Suzanne Tromp, Senior Commissioning Editor at WePresent, the digital arts platform of WeTransfer. As their focus goes beyond painting, her answers also cover recommendations on photography, music and more.

How did you get started doing what you do?

ST: When I first started at WeTransfer I got the fun job of curating the full-screen backgrounds on the site with art, which allowed me to give artists a platform and show their work all over the world. Naturally this evolved in working more closely together with artists and commissioning their work for WePresent.

What’s the first painting you ever bought?

ST: I actually started off buying limited edition prints, for instance Nathaniel Russell’s work. My latest painting I bought is an Artist Proof by the brilliant Dutch artist Rop van Mierlo. It’s a wet-on-wet painting of a panda.

Rop van Mierlo, Panda © Rop van Mierlo.

What’s something you wish you knew when you first started collecting?

ST: That you can actually reach out to an artist to see what they have available rather than going off on what they show on their website.

What’s the most misunderstood aspect of the art market in your opinion?

ST: Buying art doesn’t have to be about collecting – for me in the end it’s about supporting an artist you love while being able to fill my walls with stuff I enjoy looking at daily.

Which painter are you currently really excited about?

ST: Bahati Simoens’s characters are wonderful – I love how she plays with proportions, huge bodies and limbs, with small heads. Her color-use is fantastic, especially the yellow, and I love the quiet scenes she places the people she paints in and how she isn’t afraid to give them space by placing them on one color.

What’s the last art-related Instagram post you liked or account you followed?

ST: @sirkhanedarkroom – this is an amazing initiative where the photographer Serbest Salih teaches kids on the Turkish/Syrian border about analog photography.

Sirkhane Darkroom © Serbest Salih.

What upcoming exhibitions are you looking forward to?

ST: Surinamese School at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam – I was able to get a sneak peak of it a few weeks ago and it’s a beautiful show exploring the key themes of Surinamese painting from 1910 to the 1980s.

Armand Baag, Baag Family Portrait, 1989.png © Armand Baag.

Tell us about an artist who should be getting more attention.

ST: I love the work of María Contreras, a Chilean illustrator who makes mad surrealist work. We featured her on WePresent last year, and commissioned her to make some work as well, and I just hope that others will start to appreciate her work as much as we do as it’s fun and crazy.

María Jesús Contreras, Spraycan © María Jesús Contreras.

What’s the best piece of art-world advice you’ve ever been given?

ST: One thing I always come back to is the understanding when you’re working with an artist, you are not just working with someone just doing their job, because when they’re making an illustration, painting or photograph, they often put their whole being in it – it’s very vulnerable and personal to them and you should never forget that. Not sure if it’s advice, or more something I learnt along the way!

What gives you most confidence in an artist and their work?

ST: Start small, focus on the works that you really wish you had, and go from there.