Why gallerist Jean Moust loves art?

09.05.2018 - Dries Tack

For 30 years now Jean Moust has been dealing in antiques. More precisely, XVII century Flemish and Dutch paintings. With that much experience under his belt, he’s certainly an expert in the field.

Still, his specialization is doesn’t limit him. The gallerist also deals in what he calls “eccentricities and curiosities in painting” (XIX-XX centuries). “I do that to attract a younger public. And it works,” assures Moust.

The eccentricities got us curious as well while the following interview assured Jean Moust’s passion for art.

Jacobus Jansz. Storck, A view of Amsterdam: the Herring Packers Tower (Haringpakkerstoren) and The New Town Tavern (de Nieuwe Stadsherberg), oil on canvas: 81 X 112 cm

Jacobus Jansz. Storck, A view of Amsterdam: the Herring Packers Tower (Haringpakkerstoren) and The New Town Tavern (de Nieuwe Stadsherberg), oil on canvas: 81 X 112 cm

How would you describe what you do to a 5-year-old?

I deal in paintings of a period which was incredibly important both in Flanders and in Holland. The quality of the paintings in that period was incredibly high. And then I started buying anything that I like, which is fun. After 30 years I can do what I want!

Do you think art can save the world?

Absolutely. People get smarter because of art, because of history, because of everything they learn from art. Because art is about beauty, it’s about peace, about sharing - it’s good. There’s nothing negative about art.

Which Belgian artist do you admire?

Jesus, which one do I not admire? It’s like asking a parent which child they prefer, you can’t ask me that!

Unidentified Flemish painter circa 1620/1625, Portrait of an elegant woman, oil on canvas: 122,3 X 91,8 cm

Unidentified Flemish painter circa 1620/1625, Portrait of an elegant woman, oil on canvas: 122,3 X 91,8 cm

Which Belgian gallery or museum do you like?

I hope that the Fine Arts Museum in Antwerp, when it opens, that that one will be stunning. I loved what the Dutch did with their Rijksmuseum and I hope we can have the same effect here. That one also took many years to be renovated, so I hope ours will be as stunning. The new curator of the Antwerp museum used to work for the museum of Bruges, so that’s promising.

Who do you think should be banned from the art world?

Damien Hirst and Jeff Koons. I would not ban them as I am fundamentally democratic, but I do not like their art, or, let's say, their workshop's production.

What was the first piece that you got for your first collection?

It was a large painting by Van Beller, who is, honestly, a very bad painter. Still, every painter has made at least one masterpiece. And I think I have his one. It’s a stunning, very poetic sort of piece, and it’s very beautiful. You know, art is something, that just works on you. It’s mysterious that way. But yes, I still own the painting, it's in my office now. I bought it when I was about 20-21 years old and I’m 56 now. And I still love it. I see it every day and I still love it.

Harald Jerichau, Camels amongst the ruins of the Temple of Artemis in Sardis in Turkey, oil on canvas: 38,3 X 51,8 cm

Harald Jerichau, Camels amongst the ruins of the Temple of Artemis in Sardis in Turkey, oil on canvas: 38,3 X 51,8 cm

What is your favourite work of art?

Caravaggio’s painting in the San Luigi church in Rome.

Who do you think is your biggest competitor?

Don’t have any - only friends. I think I’ve got the huge advantage compared to the generations before me. Back then, gallerists of the same specialty were all enemies to each other. They would have killed one another. I am younger and I have younger colleagues and we’re all friends.

Which Belgian talent should we interview next?

Could you please bring Jaques Brel back?

 

Jean Moust Gallery
Mariastraat 15
8000 Bruges
Belgium

More info: Official Page
Pictures © Jean Moust

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