On Art and Closeness

Andrea von Goetz is an art collector. But the Hamburg native feels most comfortable with the description art accomplice because it has no limits, just like her work. We invited the art accomplice to join us for an interview to talk about art, closeness, passion and zest for life.

You’ve just come back from the sommer.frische.kunst festival – how was it and how are you?

I’m here again to take down the artworks. The festival took place for the twelfth time and was a huge success – high visitor numbers and very good press. For me personally, it’s been an extremely exhausting time – the size this year with 20 artists, the first edition of our art:badgastein art fair and two big public projects – but at the end of the day, it’s all gone really well and I’m happy with it.

What effect does art have on people?

It depends on how you engage with it and what you want from it. There are people who buy art to be inspired, meaning something happens within them perhaps on both an emotional and an intellectual level. Others buy a piece and hang it on the wall. At that point, it’s part of the décor but not really a part of you.

What was your very first piece of art and why did you choose it?

It was a very large piece by the artist Hannah Nitsch, an ink piece, which caught my eye straight away – beautiful yet rather unsettling at the same time. It’s a very special portrait of her daughter.

In your opinion, what are people looking for and can they find it with you, for example in the Collectors Room?

We’ve established a reputation of having a very good feel for new artists. Being the discoverers, you might say. And that attracts a lot of art enthusiasts. They find great works by emerging artists in our exhibitions and maybe buy them partly in the hope that the artists will develop well on the market. Actually, that’s also worked well on our website, starting during the pandemic. We’re exhibiting just such an artist from 6 October in Hamburg – Juno Rothaug.

What are you working on at the moment?

Actually, there are more projects in Austria. Now that my sons in Hamburg have flown the nest, I’ve got more space and flexibility. I’ve also finished another project: Alpenhaus Barbara at the foot of the mountains in Alt-Böckstein, near Bad Gastein. It was originally a forge from 1750, and we’ve totally renovated it over the past few years. With the necessary feel for aesthetics, respect for tradition and of course making use of local craftsmanship, the forge has been turned into a chalet that we’re now renting out.

What makes an artist interesting to you?

When something happens when you’re looking at the artwork. It doesn’t always have to be on an intellectual level. It can also be very emotional. Sometimes, all it takes is for me to smile when I look at it and the message comes across. That was the case with Max Weiss. It doesn’t always have to be strict and academic. But the quality of the work has to be right, and when you’ve been in the art world for over 15 years, you see that quite quickly.

This issue of THE Stylemate is about nagomi, the Japanese path to harmony and zest for life. What do you associate with nagomi?

Zest for life takes priority for me, actually. And I’m lucky enough to do things, professionally and personally, that bring me this joy. With regard to harmony and zest for life, getting older is also a good advisor. You’ve learned that both sides are part of life and that there can be both dark and energetic. But that’s also part of life – you just have to understand it and accept it.

What is nagomi’s role in the current time?

I actually think that everyone has a role and needs to perhaps reconsider themselves and their lives a bit. The fact that we get to live in peace for so long in this free country with so many opportunities is a real gift. It’s better than getting all six numbers on the lottery. Perhaps it’s time to pause and give something back – to people who have to live on the other side. I have friends who do this to the point of self-sacrifice, and I really respect that (Be an Angel).

In which moments do you experience the greatest zest for life?

With the simple things – in nature, in the mountains, by the sea, with my dachshund, with friends and family and when I see that my sons are happy in their lives.

VGS Hamburg

Maria-Louisen-Straße 9

22301 Hamburg

Photo Credits: Florian Kolmer / Benne Ochs / Holger Schmidhuber