Ambassadors View Sam van Rooij

Sam van Rooij works in information security management and is a real art fanatic. Sam came into contact with art from an early age and started collecting art early on. He has an eclectic art collection that includes paintings, photography, sculptures and antique objects that he stylishly incorporates into his interior.

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From left to right: Gijs van Lith, Jonas Wijtenburg, Desali, Armando and Isabelle Andriessen.

“I came into contact with art very early on. That's partly because my parents were quite involved with that: with art, but also with interior design and antiques. Young people often experience a bit of anxiety when entering a gallery. Because I already visited galleries when I was just a kid, I never really encountered that threshold.

Since my first acquisition, my collection has gained momentum

I became an ambassador because Young Collectors Circle deserves some attention. I came across it years ago, when I was looking for people who share my interest in art. That was in my student days and I had a hard time sharing my passion for art with the people around me. Online, I came across a Young Collectors Circle salon about collecting art. I went there, along with my younger brother Lex. That was so inspiring! When the Ambassadors Circle was introduced, I thought it was time to start spreading the enthusiasm myself. It's true, Young Collectors Circle opens a lot of doors. From studio visits and private collections to a look behind the scenes in an art depot.”

The collection

“I can still vividly remember buying my very first photo. That was a work by Bastiaan Woudt. His work is strong, always in black and white and a modern nod to pictorialism. I bought that photo at Haute Photographie during Art Rotterdam Week. I couldn't get the image out of my head and decided to buy it at the fair. Since then, my collection has gained momentum.

There has been a development in my collection. Five years ago, I wouldn't have been interested in the work of a number of artists that are now hung on our walls. At the time, I found it a bit more difficult to look beyond the image, to really understand the concept. There has been a change in this, that museum director Charles Esche of the Van Abbemuseum expressed so beautifully recently: a move from aesthetics to ethics. The big questions in art are no longer about form, but rather about themes in the real world (ethics). Quality remains important, that it is truly well made.

A piece will get under my skin, I won't be able to get it out of my head

I've gotten better at being patient, but I can also make rash decisions. It's all about emotion, when it really touches you it happens tó you. Those pieces will get under my skin and I won’t be able to get them out of my head. That is when I really have to do something about it. Usually my wife and I decide together. Still, you should not make concessions, because then you’ll be left with a work that you’ll both appreciate a little.

When we buy something, we are not immediately concerned with where it should hang or stand in our home. An exception to this was a huge painting that we wanted to buy. We really lost some sleep over that. How and where would this work fit? There weren't many places for it in our home. Yet, once it arrived, we were immediately super happy with it. It is important that art has a beautiful place in the house. I really enjoy being able to combine the artworks with design, antiques or naturalia. I think those also qualify as art.”

Tips and tricks

“Looking at art and reading a lot about it truly helps. Research what's going on in the art world and find out more about the artists that intrigue you. Buy less, but better. For example, you may find yourself in a situation where you would like to buy work that is simply too expensive for your budget. You may then decide to buy another work, for a lower price, but it was not your first choice. Sometimes it is better to wait a little longer so that you can buy the work that you actually want.

Don't be shy; it is enriching to step into a gallery and start a chat

There’s really no need to be shy. Cross that threshold, enter a gallery and have a chat. It's not scary at all, but really fun and enriching when you do that. Ask a gallery owner a single question and you'll get a whole backstory. They really don't expect you to buy something right away. Email an artist if you want to look in their studio. People are really open to that.”

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