Monday Thoughts: Johannes VenDerBeek

Johannes VanDerbeek is one of the most compelling young artists in the world and I want to tell you a little more about him. But, before I do, I also want to tell you right at the top of this note that his new exhibition opens this Thursday at Marinaro NYC and you need to go see it for yourself.

I met Johannes in 2011 when I was early into my compulsive exploration of contemporary art and my focus was to figure out “what was well done AND what was for me.” This dual challenge would ultimately help guide me as a collector but also allow me to challenge my senses when I was impulsively interested in an artwork.

One of my first amazing studio visits was to Johannes’ studio at the urging of his gallerists Zach Feuer and Lauren Marinaro. They told me that Johannes was leaving for three months and just had a studio visit from a museum so that I would get a great look at a studio installation that was really thoughtfully put together. You don’t always get this…sometimes it’s work in progress, other times it’s new stuff that artists haven’t quite figured out. The place was set up like a MOMA or Whitney Museum installation.

I bought the installation. That day I became a real art collector. But, the key ingredient was Johannes. Smart, vibrant, interesting, different and built to make one of a kind materials and artworks for the long haul. We have since become great friends and I am a huge advocate for him.

Go see this show…his work is one part of the moment, one part throwback to modern art and one part unique and unlike anything you will ever see. Come hang with me…I am a fan and excited for this event.

Opening Reception
Thursday, February 23, 6-8PM

Marinao NYC
319 Grand Street, 2nd Floor
New York, NY 10002

PS: Johannes spent time with our Advanced Teen Artists at One River last year and it was an amazing experience for all of these kids. Check out highlights from his studio visit here.

Matt Ross
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