2_3_DiscoverBenelux_Issue14_January2015_Scan Magazine 1 26/01/2015 19:19 Page 62
Discover Benelux | Culture | Columns
Art without a capital TEXT: MATT ANTONIAK | PHOTO: NBTC
London is the arts capital of Britain, Paris the arts capital of France, but where is the arts capital of Belgium and the Netherlands? The truth is, there is no standout candidate for this title. Instead, the whole region is one great big bubbling artistic hub, that nurtures both a home-grown scene and attracts international aficionados.
ent. S.M.A.K in Ghent, Zeno X and Tim Van Laere in Antwerp continue to provide blockbuster exhibitions year on year, featuring the likes of established artists Marlene Dumas, Luc Tuymans and Berlinde de Bruckyere, whilst the remarkable Dhondt-Dhaenens in the tiny village of
Brussels and Amsterdam are of course big players, but in no way do they dwarf the rest of the region. The Hague is home to the illustrious Mauritshuis and Rotterdam has Boijmans van Beuningen: two monolithic art institutions. There is still much more on offer in the form of contemporary galleries dotted around that pull in big names and promote local tal-
Deurle is testament to just how thriving the art scene is in the region, hosting names like Maria Lassnig and Sterling Ruby within the past 12 months. Most importantly, and the driving force behind this booming arts scene, are the galleries that showcase the glut of talented young artists in the region. Naming Witte de With, BAK, Croxhapox and Lokaal01 is to just dip your toe into the ocean of other galleries that continue to push art forward from the grassroots. These are the key factors that keep Belgium and the Netherlands an artistic stronghold within Europe, and the indeed the world. Long may it continue!
How to get rich in the Netherlands TEXT: SIMON WOOLCOT | PHOTO: NBTC
There are two almost guaranteed ways to get rich in the Netherlands 1. Open a bakery 2. Invent a spread to put on bread You may wonder why I suggest these two options. The Dutch are the largest consumers of bread and all things to put on bread on planet Earth and probably beyond. If you walk into any supermarket, you will see an entire aisle dedicated to all manner of things to spread and sprinkle on bread. The creativity on display here is amazing: chocolate or forest fruit flavoured flakes (really), Mexican, tomato cucumber, and many other exotic acquired taste spreads. The Dutch take their sandwich flavours seriously, go to the spread section of any su-
62 | Issue 14 | February 2015
permarket and you’ll see flavour connoisseurs acting as if they are choosing fine wine in a Bordeaux vineyard. “Shall I choose peanut butter, chocolate flakes or a Mexican sandwich spread?” The selection of spreads and flavours available is breathtaking. Below a small sample. - Mediterranean - Tomatoes and onions - Courgette curry Another, little known fact about Dutch culinary tastes that often comes as a shock to expats is that at lunchtime it’s quite common to see grown men and women eating slices of bread covered with chocolate flakes. The combination of savoury and sweet goes down very well here, and is a
firm favourite and offered in nearly all workplace canteens. Decisions, decisions. Forget investing in stocks, invent a sandwich spread. The more appalling it sounds, the more likely you are to have a success on your hands. Happy investing. amsterdamshallowman.com
Promoting Belgium, The Netherlands, Luxembourg and France.