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Saturday Interview – Juriaan Dijkman Amersfoort Art

Posted by Content Amersfoort

During this delightful tropical period, we meet Juriaan Dijkman. The gallery owner of Amersfoort Art Gallery not only has a knack for art, but he is also a big fan of Formula One. Jur shares with us his favorite spots in Amersfoort, such as the Krommestraat with its diversity of businesses. And a hilarious evening at a retro cinema in the Ardennes is featured. And what of his chance encounter with the Northern Lights … in Friesland?

What can we wake you up in the middle of the night for?
‘I’m more of an evening person than a morning person. In a few weeks, I will set my alarm for the Formula One Japan Grand Prix. Sunday morning 06:00: does that count as the middle of the night? For me it does, haha. Especially a rain race makes me totally happy.’

Did you experience anything special this summer?
“With my family I was in the Ardennes. The weather, like here, was frankly rather disappointing. After a day of mountain biking and a partially rained-out barbecue, I wanted to surprise our teenagers with an evening of cinema. Quite a challenge, since in Belgium most films are dubbed. In Hotton, we found a movie theater that seemed unchanged since the 1940s. Plush chairs, cardboard images of Marilyn Monroe and Charlie Chaplin next to the screen, and so on. The tickets were still those real “tickets,” as booking online proved to be a drama and ultimately impossible. It was not a spectacular outing, but we all laughed tremendously at the whole ambiance. Truly hilarious. Oh, and the movie? That was Barbie. And to be honest, I quite liked it!

If you could meet a famous painter from history, who would it be and what would you ask him or her?
‘Another fun question! I often visit artists’ studios and I sometimes wonder what the difference is between then and now. Although techniques, especially over the past few decades, have changed tremendously, I wonder if studios have undergone a similar transformation. Of course, if you had the chance to take a look at Rembrandt or Van Gogh, no one would pass it up. But I choose a more recent past: I would ask Andy Warhol if I could spend a day at The Factory in New York. I would like to experience the art of screen printing and lithography there, while looking around left and right in hopes of bumping into David Bowie or Mick Jagger!

Which city or country inspires you most artistically and why?
‘New York really has an awesome vibe and Barcelona not only has an amazing Picasso Museum, but also mostly breathes Gaudí. He has, in my opinion, really left a great mark on the city. If you weren’t already a lover of art there, you will become one. In terms of inspiration, I think Berlin is more up my alley. The cultural diversity there is enormous; from traditional museums to vibrant Street Art and alternative art scenes.

What is your favorite place in Amersfoort and why?
‘In the gallery, we refer many visitors from outside Amersfoort to hotspots such as the Koppelpoort and the Kamperbinnenpoort. Grabbing a terrace on the Court or in the Onze Lieve Vrouwekerkhof I can recommend to everyone. Still, the Krommestraat ends up giving me the real Amersfoort feeling; a diversity of businesses, from jewelry store to vinyl store, and somewhere in between you’ll find Koos Haarwinkel, my favorite hair salon. When you think of contrarian, crooked, diverse and special, you quickly come to me with the Krommestraat.

Do you have a bucket list? And if so: what’s at the top of that list?
‘A bucket list? Am I that old already? At the end of February we were in Friesland and at the end of the evening I saw a special sunset. The next morning I read in the paper that it was the Northern Lights! This way, I’m not going to cross those off my list. I would prefer to see the Northern Lights from Iceland. Must be possible!

What do you do to relax after a busy week?
‘Saturday is the last day of the week the gallery is open. For me, that is also often the most fun and ultimately usually the most hectic day. Afterwards, nice long dinners with friends or family; then I definitely unwind.

If you could go back in time to relive a moment in your own life, which moment would you choose and why?
‘This question makes me think. If you go back in time, you run the risk of redoing things you would have liked to do differently or fixing your mistakes. Or you relive great moments, only to realize that they may not have been as great as you thought, or that they won’t return. No, I’m not that concerned with the past. You can influence your future. I find that much more interesting and challenging.’

Which entrepreneur would you like to trade places with for a day?
There are plenty of inspiring people in the world, but let’s keep it within the city limits. I think Ramon Morelisse is an excellent entrepreneur. He and his wife have set up a fantastic business. The store has a great, almost homey, atmosphere. A day walking around among all that high-end equipment, that really seems like something for me!