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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
ST: @sirkhanedarkroom – this is an amazing initiative where the photographer Serbest Salih teaches kids on the Turkish/Syrian border about analog photography.
© Serbest Salih.
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.
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.
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!
ST: Start small, focus on the works that you really wish you had, and go from there.