Art flipper speaks out
Should you be one of the many art lovers who are insulted by the choices of well-paid curators: I have some good news: you have a supporter. His name is Bert Kreuk (52); he is a wealthy Dutch art-collector. He wrote a book* about the greed and the manipulations in the art-world, titled ART FLIPPER. A strange title, but it refers to nickname he was given by his opponents when he stood up against his critics. He had the courage to disclose the backroom politics and the hypes of prestigious galleries. In his book he reveals what happens if you refuse to acknowledge the unwritten and dubious rules of galleries, which are only mend to protect the financial interests and only focus on making money in a way that would be prosecutable if it would happen in the financial world.
Bert Kreuk, successful businessman and art collector
Bert managed to obtain the sales of pouches with cosmetics to airlines and became a multi-millionaire. He sold his profitable business and dedicated his life to collect art. In 1995 he bought his first work, now he owns 800 works, amongst them Piet Mondriaan, Claude Monet, Willem de Kooning, and Damien Hirst. He supports emerging artists, but is very weary of the hype. He always wants to make sure whether or not an artist is sincere. He asks artists to explain their art. And become very irritated when he hears that an artists want to bring the painting ‘to the next level’, or calls the work ‘narrative’ of ‘multi layered practice. Kreuk is a no nonsense kind of man. He sells work when he can find a better piece. For this he is condemned by the art-scene as ‘not done’. “I do not want to possess much of the same artist,” he said in an interview. “If I bought a work which is less than a later work, I sell it and try to get the best price, which allows me to buy new work. It is my collection, so I am entitled to do with it whatever I want.”
Trying to clean up the mess
He stresses that not every gallery is run by crooks. In The Netherlands he never had a bad experience. Thought he does not mention some prestigious gallery-owners by name, the in-crowd will recognize the bad guys. He supplies an example: “In a London gallery I was offered a bronze sculpture of a famous sculptor. He was told that the sculpture was casted when the sculptor was alive, but found out that this happened after she died. The antedating increased the value of the work, but it was fraud. “I was buggered,” he claims.
From another gallery-owner he received a bid on a work that he did not want to sell, only to find out that the present artist was due for an exhibition in the MoMa museum in New Your, which would boost the value of the work. Deceit! In his book he explains this practice, which reveals a lot about the shadowy world behind the scenes. He is regarded as a whistle-blower, but in opinion we cannot have enough of these courageous collectors, trying to clean up the mess in the sophisticated, but dubious art-world.
04. September 2017
I'm just as interested as you in reading it.
If fraud is the dominant price determining mechanism in the art-market, I just wonder, what would happen to the value of art, if we would somehow be able to eliminate the fraud?
I have this uncomfortable feeling that art might become a commodity. Do you share this feeling?
13. August 2017
I am very interested in reading this book. After being in the art business for some 45 years, I have found more fraud than reality. Sad to think that greed drives the art market, but it does, especially in the lower levels of collectable art. Looking forward to better understanding how fraud relates to the higher levels of collectability, especially coming from the prospective of a collector.
09. August 2017
Yes, we'll sure do.. we are on top of it :)
02. August 2017
Sounds Fascinating! Looking forward to the English translation, let us know when it becomes avvailable.
26. June 2017
As far as we know, they are working on the translation now. Should become available pretty soon.
24. June 2017
where I can buy this book in English edition. thx