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April 4, 2013

Meet the Locals #01 Justin Ten Haaf, owner of a contemporary art gallery in Amsterdam

Cristina Vezzaro

1Sono ad Amsterdam che cammino e continuo a perdermi. È una questione scientifica, così mi hanno spiegato. Se in una città organizzata perlopiù secondo arterie perpendicolari e parallele ci si può dirigere da A a B con tutta una serie di riferimenti concreti (anche in assenza di un buon senso dell’orientamento), tipo la posizione del sole, ad Amsterdam si è costretti a seguire l’andamento dei canali, tutt’altro che regolare, e si finisce per perdere l’orientamento rispetto al sole, e quindi in generale rispetto alla destinazione B che si intende raggiungere.

Per fortuna, perdersi ha i suoi vantaggi. È così, infatti, che scopro un’area interessante della città che poi ricostruisco essere non lontano dall’area molto alla moda di Jordan, dove trovo questa galleria d’arte contemporanea ancora aperta di venerdì sera. In questo momento sono esposte fotografie formato gigante di un artista tedesco, e quando scambio quattro chiacchiere con il gallerista, scopro che, oltre a parlare anche un po’ di italiano, è una persona molto interessante e abbiamo in comune più di una cosa.

Con lui inauguro per franzmagazine una nuova sezione dedicata alla gente che incontro durante i miei viaggi.

Your name, age and job?

Justin Ten Haaf, 36 years old. I own a contemporary art gallery.

Where are you from?

I am from Amsterdam.

What would you do if you did not own a contemporary art gallery?

If I were not an art dealer, I might have become a firefighter, what I liked when I was 8 years old….

How long have you lived in Amsterdam and why did you first come?

I have been living in Amsterdam for the past ten years. I came here to study first and stuck around after living in many different places around the world.

What is the best thing to do in Amsterdam?

The best thing to do in Amsterdam is going with a boat through the canals on a sunny day and drifting away seeing the city at different times.

Is there something you don’t like about Amsterdam?

The thing that bothers me most in Amsterdam is the weather, it can be rainy for weeks on end.

Where would you live if not in Amsterdam?

If i didn’t live in Amsterdam, I would be living in New York City.

Have you ever been to Bolzano/Bozen – South Tyrol/Südtirol/Alto Adige – Italy?

I have been to Trento, a beautiful city under the Alps.

What did you like / did not like about it?

I loved the mystic energy, the nice panorama, the food and the wines. I liked everything about Trento, maybe I need to go back to have a bad experience … I have been to Trento in summer, I would like to see it in wintertime, with snow on the mountains, it must be very special.

Anything else you would like to add?

Justin ten Haaf, Ten Haaf Projects art gallery Amsterdam.


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There is one comment for this article.
  • Gloria Landale · 

    Hello Justin . I have been thinking for many hours about contacting you. I stayed with your Father over the Christmas period and at some point He spoke with one of his sons in a boat off the coast of somewhere, I dont know if it was you or Meneleaus prob wrong spelling. However. Your Father has not been well and before anyone else contacts you . I am sorry to say He died sometime in the middle of the night yesterday, I know you had years with going back and forth. However He is gone and the local police had to break into his place so this is to let you know . What else can I say, I only spoke to you once on the phone a long time ago. nothing can explain or order your Father . but I guess you already know that . Glo

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