'...I was always more drawn to modern art. But I love all art. I'll go to any museum; whether they show ancient or modern art. But I specialized in modern art, because it's always excited me; like its new ways of making, new ways of viewing things. That's always fascinated me. And I was always, during my studies, always writing about new art and avant-garde art. Surrealism was a huge interest of mine. Futurism; Dadaism; all these 'isms' from the 20s. And then, of course, conceptual art from the 60s. These new types of ideas have always excited me; made me want to push boundaries, and stretch ideas, of what art is, and can be.'
—Anne de Jong
For the sixth episode of 'Dutch Art & Design Today', I sat down with Anne de Jong; Gallery Manager and Curator at Upstream Gallery in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. I first became aware of Anne's work when I stopped by the exhibition 'Future Bodies' at the gallery in October of 2022; an exhibit about the human body in relation to technology, as manifested in works created by eight different artists that encompassed the show. The exhibition was the first that Anne has curated at Upstream Gallery, where she has worked since 2015. Anne studied art history, then modern and contemporary art, at the University of Amsterdam, where she received her BA and MA degrees, and where she developed her academic interest in digital art, spurring from her love of art 'isms'.
In this episode, we discuss her love of art and how she came to be collaborating with, what is arguably one of the most digitally progressive art galleries in Amsterdam; her ideas behind the curation process of staging the exhibit 'Future Bodies', and why she included the artists she did; her thoughts on art and the blockchain; and what makes Upstream the leading Dutch gallery in the field of digital artist representation. In her role, she collaborates with some of the leading artists working in digital formats—including NFTs—today; such as Jan Robert Leegte and Harm van den Dorpel. To conclude; Anne discusses her thoughts on NFTs; and we both share a moment of joy when we learn we both own an NFT, from Marina Abramovic's genesis Tezos NFT collection, 'The Hero'.
'Dutch Art & Design Today' is published by Semicolon-Press.