How did you become Fair Manager for the Affordable Art Fair of Brussels?
I entered Art school at a very young age where I did my high school degree in architectural education at LUCA school of art in Ghent, which is also my hometown. After graduating in communication management in Brussels, where I currently live, I realized some great internships at Sophie Carrée (press and communication agency) and Base Design (Branding agency).
I became the Affordable Art Fair Brussels’ Fair Manager after finishing a 6-month internship program in April 2016. I immediately fell in love with the concept and saw a huge potential and challenge in developing it to a higher level in terms of quality. Organizing my 3th edition this year, I am still as excited as when I started as an intern.
When did you discover this passion for art?
I come from an artistic family, where art, architecture and design are very much appreciated.
My mother always had a huge cultural influence on me. She took me everywhere to give me the best cultural and artistic education she could. From museums, to exhibitions, to operas, ballets, to architectural and art Biennales abroad.
Those passions still run through my veins and I have always said, “I did not want to be the artist but to represent or work with the artists”. This is probably also the reason why I came straight back into the art world after graduating.
You’re yourself at the beginning of your career. Are you able to provide support to young artists?
Besides those organizational engagements, I continuously find the urge to support and encourage young and emerging artists. Therefore, I implemented the “platformprojects” where Masters from the Sint Lucas school of arts Antwerp are able to exhibit their installation at the fair.
Every year we also launch the Young and Emerging Talents Awards, where artists who are not yet represented by any gallery can exhibit and sell their artworks. We facilitate new opportunities to help them progress in the world of art, in order to reach their full potential.
Furthermore, I started my first art collection at 23 years old which constitutes from almost only emerging artists I fell in love with.
I don’t have any specific thoughts when buying an artwork, I just have to be emotionally attracted and attached to it.
Did you have any encounters that marked you in recent years?
In the art world there are new and important encounters every single day. For my part, one encounter will not be more important than another one. It is the whole network that constitutes the importance. It is also that specific network that will lead to new encounters. Being in the art scene, you need to renew yourself year after year. And which also means to renew your network of encounters.
What are your best memories when organizing the Affordable Art Fair?
The best memory I have during the organization of an Art Fair is happening every single year. It is that moment when you see the entire fair rising from nothing into it’s final “product”. After working for a year and pouring blood, sweat and tears into building something that would suit every single participant, partner and visitor. It is that fulfilling moment when you notice happy faces and smiles and you feel the adrenaline rush getting under control.
What does Louise Malfait during her free time?
My favorite thing I do in my spare time is to travel abroad, discovering new fairs and places, shops, cultural spaces, learning about new cultures, influences, going to openings and previews, meeting people and party. I love making new friends and spending time with the old ones.
To me, it’s all about the experience and the moments we share...
And finally, on Sundays, my favorite day of the week, I love to spend time on flea markets looking for new treasures. Walking through the small streets of the city and discovering new places in town.
A word about your curatorial selection for La peau de l’ours?
The first piece of art I bought was made by the artist Benjamin Ottoz, who unconsciously woke something up in me to start collecting. This is also why I chose him to be part of my curatorial selection. I fell in love with both “Serendipity” series where his use of different techniques and mediums fascinated me. He leaves monochromatic variations to structure the space. “Serendipity” almost evoke mountain reliefs or the drapes resonating with the history of painting.
The last exhibition I visited was probably Code Art Fair, in Copenhagen. And yes, it was for pleasure, not for work. It was its second edition and apparently the only international art fair in Scandinavia. It was definitely worth the 48 hours trip.
The exhibition that marked me the most was probably my first Contemporary Art Biennale in Venice, at the age of 7. This was definitely the moment my interest in the art scene really started and would evolve in something later on…
Photos : Miles Fischler