Harold t’Kint de Roodenbeke, Chairman of the Brussels Art Fair (BRAFA): “This year, BRAFA is celebrating its sixtieth edition. There are many responsibilities that come with organising a significant cultural event. Our primary preoccupations are as always quality, diversity of style and period, and eclecticism. We are also staging The Belgian Collector, an exceptional exhibition, designed by the Belgian King Baudouin Foundation. This will bring together a number of major works held in private Belgian collections, some of which have never been shown to the public.
By organising the exhibition, we wanted to pay homage to the collector in a general way, for they play a vital role in the conservation and transmission of cultural heritage. You only have to wander through museums around the world and look at the provenance of the works on display for this to become manifest. So many invaluable public collections would never have been possible without the input of private collectors. It is thanks to their patience, obsession and discerning gaze that many works of art and even artists have come to light.
Their passion is shared, of course, by art and antique dealers, who are equally driven by obsession: determined to unearth the ultimate object or artwork both for their own pleasure and that of others. I believe that the lynchpin of fairs like ours is the way they reunite dealers, collectors and art-lovers. I see art and antique dealers primarily as transmitters of passion for beautiful things. Their patient work involves tracking artworks down, research and study. Sharing of their knowledge is key. Visitors should never hesitate to ask questions: there is no question too big or too small for those passionate about their field. Art objects are like orphans looking for a family – the dealers have brought them in and hope to place them where they will be loved!”
Harold t’Kint de Roodenbeke founded gallery Harold t’Kint de Roodenbeke in 1995. His gallery specializes in Belgian and international art dating from the 20th century.
BRAFA Takes place between 24 January and 1 February 2015 at the Tour & Taxis site in Brussels. More information at www.brafa.be.