What happens if you ask your mother to be your ‘plus one’ for the opening party of a major art exhibition? Well, you have a great evening for starters. Because if your mother is anything like mine, you’ll first spend an hour driving to Amsterdam together and catching up on everything that’s been going on in your lives. And since you left early and traffic is a lot lighter than you thought, you’ll have some time left and have an impromptu drink together at the Lloyd Hotel – sweet! Next, as if by magic, you find a parking place right in front of the entrance of (I kid you not) and as is that’s not good enough, you’re able to skip the line because you have a VIP ticket. That, my dear readers, is exactly what happened when my mother and I went to opening party of Big Art in Amsterdam.

What also happened, is that we had such a good time together, we sort of forgot to check out the names of the artists whose oversized art works were featured at Big Art (some of which were even for sale). It’s not that we didn’t discuss which works we liked best and why. We did. A lot. I genuinely love talking about art with my mother. She’s open-minded, straight to the point and a sharp observer.  We also took our time to take in the view of the amazing Herengracht location of Big Art. It’s quite something when you love Amsterdam like we do. But again, we were so busy shooting the breeze that I didn’t realize I missed all the artists’ names until it was too late (that would be this morning when I started writing this blogpost). I just spent a good two hours checking out the websites of all the artists that we featured at Big Art and finding out which name belonged to which work. It was an amazing experience. So much beauty, so many thought-provoking ideas. But then again, with a curator like Anne van der Zwaag, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that you’ll end up with more visual food for thought than you’ll ever need.

You can visit Big Art at Herengracht 182 in Amsterdam until 15 October 2017. Don’t forget to bring your mother – you’ll have a great time together. But do me a favor, will you? Check out the names of the artists, or even better…buy one of their works! 

Christie van der Haak — Galerie Maurits van de Laar, Steven Aalders — Slewe Galerie, Kimball Gunnar Holth — Galerie van Gelder, Niek Hendrix — Galerie Roger Katwijk, Ewerdt Hilgemann — Art Affairs, Delphine Courtillot — C&H gallery, Eveline Visser — Cokkie Snoei, Josephine St. Seine — Rademakers Gallery, Robbert de Goede — Galerie Franzis Engels, Gavin Turk — Serieuze Zaken Studioos, Zaida Oenema — RAM & ramfoundation, Paul Drissen — Slewe Galerie, Sigrid van Woudenberg — Galerie Helder, David Bade — Kers Gallery, Maze de Boer — Galerie dudokdegroot, Ton Slits — Galerie Bart, Jan Wattjes — Livingstone gallery, Pieter Obels — Galerie Roger Katwijk, Michael Jacklin — Slewe Gallery, Sylvie Fleury — Galerie van Gelder, P J Bruyniks — Witteveen visual art, Rik Smits — Galerie Ron Mandos, Koos Breukel — Serieuze Zaken Studioos, Floor van Keulen — Kers Gallery, Roland Sohier — Witteveen visual art, Cathalijn Wouters — Rademakers Gallery, Bonno van Doorn — C&H gallery, Willem van Weeghel — Galerie Franzis Engels, Stefan Yordanov — Kers Gallery, Albert Westerhoff — galerie with tsjalling, Salim Bayri — Galerie van Gelder, Jan Eric Visser — RAM & ramfoundation, Joel Mpah Dooh — Galerie SANAA, Marije Gertenbach — Galerie dudokdegroot, Ron Amir — Serieuze Zaken Studioos, Pieter W Postma — Kers Gallery, Gerard Koek — Galerie Bart, Ruta Butkute — C&H gallery, Katrin Korfmann — Art Affairs, Mathieu Klomp — Kers Gallery, Mari Stoel — Ten Haaf Projects, Jouni Toni — Galerie SANAA, Jan ten Have — Galerie Frank Taal, Alfredo Häberli — Quodes, Richard Hutten — Serieuze Zaken Studioos, Jaap Scheeren, Jólan van der Wiel,Femmie Duiven, Floris Hovers, Jans Muskee, Luuk Bode, Wieland Vogel, VANTOT, Lucia Luptáková, Nicolas Chuard, Paul Nassenstein, Rolf Bruggink, Cornelius, Rive Roshan, Petra Hart, Marijn Akkermans, THE SOFT WORLD, Arjen Lancel, DROPSTUFF.nl a.o.

Big Art – as seen by Anneke and Patrick Kooiman

This is my mother posing in a room filled with art by Bonno van Doorn. Me: “Great colors!” My mother: “What is it supposed to be saying to me?” Both of us: “Let’s ignore the giant painting with the penis and keep on talking.” 

Joop ScheerenJoop Scheeren

Press the red button and a guy in his underwear falls from the ceiling into a giant stack of eggs – a great idea by Jaap Scheeren. Me: “Mom, can I press the button one more time?” My mother: “You’ve done it five times already but okay!”

Beautiful Human Being

Me: “What a beautiful human being you turned out to be!” My mother: “No, what a beautiful human being YOU turned out to be!” Yup, we both loved this piece by Cornelius!

Femmie Duiven Big Art

Me about After Party by Femmie Duiven.: “This candle wax rug looks amazing, doesn’t it?” My mother: “Absolutely.” 

Big Art

Me about a painting by Jans Muskee: “This looks very Zeitgeisty, don’t you think? My mother: “I can’t figure out what flowers go best in this new vase I bought the other day!”

Stefan Yordanov neon deerStefan Yordanov neon deer

Me about a two-headed neon skeleton by Stefan Yordanov: “You just know this is going to be all over Instagram – I can’t stop looking at it!” My mother: “Okay, I need an Instagram account now. Tell me how it works when we drive back home.”