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Stunning and enthusiastic, Geraldine Hubot performs with brio her mission of making art accessible to the largest number of people.

It was in the setting of the Bozar Brasserie that we arranged our meeting with Geraldine. A look at the promising beginnings of a brilliant thirty-something at the head of the Brussels edition of the Affordable Art Fair. A sparkling interview, despite her fever of 40°C on the day of our meeting.

What background led you to become the Director of the Brussels Affordable Art Fair?

During my studies in marketing and communications, I had the opportunity to intern for a communications agency that specialised in the luxury sector where i learned my tools there over a bit more than a year.

I later had the chance to work for another agency that corresponded better to my interests: food, beauty, events, culture… Real life! Also, the Affordable Art Fair was one of my clients.

After more than 4 years as press agent, it was time for me to discover other things. I left to live in Hungary, in Budapest, for a year. I learned a lot about myself. This experience pushed me to leave my comfort zone and to encounter a culture that was quite different from what I knew.

Coming back to Belgium, I posted on Facebook (yes, you have to live in your times!) that I was looking for a job. That was when the Affordable Art Fair proposed that I join them as Fair Manager. I was very keen on this environment, so I immediately jumped on the chance. Now it is more than 5 years since the adventure started and since then I have become a Mom and the Director of the fair in Brussels.

When were your first contacts with art?

That’s funny, because I asked myself the same question not long ago. I remember that in our family living room I always knew the book ‘Andy Warhol A Retrospective’ published by the MoMA. I must have been 10 years old when I first flipped through it.

I was fascinated by the colours, the designs and the drawings that I tried to reproduce by drawing.

My parents later took my brother and me to the United States. We visited the MoMA in New York and the Getty Museum in Los Angeles. This was an experience that, at just 15 years old, plunged me into a world that would draw me in more and more.

And then, there is my mother who played an important role and I always visited a lot of exhibits with her.

What is your point of view on supporting young artists?

This is a subject that is extremely important since many young artists do not have the chance to show their work. This is a very difficult environment where certain talents give up because of a lack of financial means and moral support.

In connection with the Young Talents competition of the Affordable Art Fair, we allow young artists to exhibit their works in a space that is entirely dedicated to them. At the same time, they have the opportunity to present their work as well as also being in contact with professionals in the art world. We give these emerging talents the occasion to participate in an international art fair that receives more than 17,000 visitors…

What are the important contacts you have made in the art world?

I meet important contacts in the art world every day, even on vacation! Before working for the Affordable Art Fair, I had the chance to work on a project with the Belgian artist Jean-Luc Moerman. That was my first encounter with an artist.

I immediately adored his brush strokes that are like tattoo motifs, his lines that cross and interweave and I love that his designs are on canvasses, photos, stuffed animals, walls in homes, the bright colours… In short, as Jean-Luc himself said

It goes off in all directions!

Tell us about your favourite memories of organising the Affordable Art Fair…

I would say that my first Fair as Director is a wonderful memory. I was so proud!

A year of preparation working with Louise (Louise Malfait, Fair Manager), to refine every detail. This requires a lot of professional involvement that forces us to make certain concessions from the personal point of view.

For the 9th edition of the Affordable Art Fair, we have invited an artist we discovered on the internet, Emmanuelle Moureaux. The artist has given us the honour of installing her work “100 COLOURS” at the entry to the Fair. This was a very powerful moment for Louise and me.

There is also this rush of adrenaline when the entire team is hanging on their Walkie-Talkies waiting for my “GO” that signals the opening of the Fair.

What does Geraldine Hubot do in her free time?

With a child barely a year old, I have much less free time than before. First of all, I try to spend time with my family. At the weekends, we cook together, read, we take walks with our daughter and often take the car to wander around Antwerp.

A few words on your selection as a curator for La peau de l’ours?

For my selection as a curator, I have chosen the artist, Gregory Decock, for the humour and the positive energy that he gives off through his art. Like when he hijacks roadway signs, where a speed bump becomes Magritte’s hat and a no-entry sign becomes a smile. I particularly like his series of ink on paper “The New Roads.” The artist gives autonomy to his gestures, the ink covers the paper in a haphazard way and results in perfect lines.

This is a work that resembles me: I launch into something and then I see where it leads... while still trying to reach a result.

Memories of exhibitions?

The last exhibition I went to was ‘Elements’ organised by the curator Jennifer Plasman, a friend. She was presenting an artist whom I adore, Sébastien Bonin.

Otherwise, there were the exhibits of Robert Mapplethorpe and Niki de Saint Phalle at the Grand Palais, in Paris.

Photos : Miles Fischler