Eating famous apple pie with gallery owner



Photography Joep
Location Kers Gallery, Lindengracht 148, Amsterdam.

Annelien, owner of Kers Gallery leaves us with a happy feeling. Is it the colorful art or her open personality? During our visit, Kers Gallery features the art of Iwan Smit, Femke Schaap and Bas Kosters. Annelien Kers has been working with a wide range of artists over the past six years. Time to ask her all about it. And good news, Kers Gallery will select work to “pop up” in our store next Fall.

So, what’s up with this famous apple pie?
Buying art is like a party, which of course needs to celebrated with a piece of apple pie.

It was yummie!
So how did you end up owning a contemporary art’s gallery?
After finishing my Master degree in Arts History and graduating the Willem de Kooning (Arts) Academy I established an auction for young artists called ONGEKEND Young Masters @ Auction. The exhibitions and auctions took place in big empty vacant buildings like the former ‘Art Otel’ and the former NRC (Dutch national newspaper) office. The auctions were successful and the unknown artists got invited to exhibit in galleries. I thought: “I can do that too!”. I started with several pop-up galleries at the Van Baerlestraat (Amsterdam), Van Hoytemastraat (The Hague), and Utrecht Central Station. Eventually I decided to settle in Amsterdam at the Lindengracht in the heart of the Jordaan. The area fits my gallery best. The combination of the location and the unique atmosphere of the Jordaan area were decisive.

What do you think makes your gallery unique?
For me the content is more important than the form. I have a no nonsense approach. I don’t think art should always be handled with white gloves. I look at the artistic value of art pieces in stead of to the monetary value.

How would you describe yourself as a character? How does this influence the way you curate?
Sweet, honest and I tend to see the good in people, these are not the best qualities for a business woman in the tough world of art. Still I am quite satisfied with the way things are going and the way my gallery after 5 years still is growing.

To which famous person would you like to sell a piece of art? Which piece and why?
I would like to sell to Glenn D Lowry, director of MOMA (New York). To sell David Bade’s community art seems a nice challenge. In these art projects Bade converts his social skills to make a group of youngsters, local residents, students or other groups to stimulate their imagination. For example I recently sold an art work to the Gemeentemuseum The Hague which wasn’t finished. The art work literarily said “this will become a painting with your co-operation.

In which way do you think there is a link between art and fashion trends? Does one influence the other?
In both cases the market is determined by a few big influential players and the rest is destined to follow. Within that play field everybody is free to do what they stand for. Both worlds operate in the same way,they are very much alike.

In the art world you must get inspired by pieces everyday, is there something in fashion that inspires you? A designer or maybe you fell in love with an Objet Trouvé? ;)
I am a big fan of fashion designer Dries van Noten. He knows how to make a garment a piece of art. Therefor to me it was not a surprise to see the work of his sources of inspiration: Yves Klein, Damien Hirst, Mark Rothko, Pablo Picasso, Thierry De Cordieer, Victyor Vasarely at his museum exhibition 'Inspirations' in Paris.
At Objet Trouvé I discovered the designer Ulla Johnson. I like her fabrics with lots of flowers and her feminine style. The spontaneous style and the bright colors of Bas Kosters make me happy all the time.

We are always looking for “Objet Trouvés” (hidden treasures), did you ever discover a new artist that is famous now?
Two years ago I noticed Iris Kensmil, currently exhibiting at the Bienniale in Venice. I showed her work before in the “KERSENTUIN” (an exhibition I made). I immediately recognized her potential. Also the American artist Katherine Bradford exhibited in my Gallery and is well known now in the US.

What are your ambitions for your future?
I would like to become an important international player in the world of art. Having this position would give me the opportunity to show more community art projects. For me this would create more importance of social impact in the currently business orientated world of art.

Where would you like to wake up tomorrow?
I wake up next to my two children Jan (4), Joline (2) and my husband Riemer every day. This makes me very happy. Because of this joyful home base I can focus entirely on my Gallery.



‘I don't think art should
always be handled with
white gloves'

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