After a 30-year career in the textile industry, we finally managed to make an old childhood dream come true: ‘out of the blue’ we opened a gallery at the Brussels Sablon. Almost 20 years have gone by, and we have learned that it is necessary to continuously evolve and to only pursue artistic excellence. We believe that art offers spiritual enrichment: you buy art to please yourself, not to boast, not to further expand a collection, not as an investment. You enjoy it every day and make sure you can pass it on to future generations.
Sharing the passion We set great store in establishing personal contact with the visitors during a fair or exhibition with the express purpose of being able to illustrate and convey our passion for art. Hopefully our audience catches a spark of our burning passion. We feel that it is part of our mission to emphasize the artistic quality of a work of art to the general public; To show once again that medieval or ancient art can be ‘alive & kicking’ and doesn’t have to be old-fashioned.
The Missing link We don’t go for the perfection or the traditional objects, nor the precious pieces of great financial value. On the contrary, we try to bring the unexpected, the unusual, but most of all the true artistic objects. Early on, sculptures by De Backker were almost jokingly attributed to ‘The Master of half sculptures’. It became a badge of honour, and one we wear with pride. Perfection has never been an absolute requirement. We prefer to focus on content, emotion, artistic quality and intrinsic beauty. In order to understand where medieval art comes from, we now feel the need to go back further in time to find the ‘missing link’ from early artistic era that leads us to the Romans, Egyptians, Vikings. This view is represented in our collection which contains not only medieval art but also earlier pieces, pre-roman, Byzantine, Lombard, Celtic…
Recently ‘De Backker Medieval Art’ changed its name in ‘De Backker Art’. This may not surprise since we also support a number of contemporary artists whom we admire already for years. We always knew that sooner or later we would follow our hearts and also present a collection of contemporary art to a larger audience. In our choice we were guided not only by our personal taste and the artistic authenticity of the works, but also by our ‘vocation’ to give a forum to relatively ‘unknown’ artists. The pleasure of putting work in the spotlight of a few hard-working and talented artists, transcends all the usual ‘reasonable’ arguments. With this project we not only fulfill the wish of the artists to exhibit their work, but also our own vision that we must and can make an important contribution to this. ‘Artis Amore’ or ‘Love for the Art’ has always been our driving force and a fundamental principle in everything we do.
To pass on the torch There was a time when children followed in their parents’ footsteps. But those times seem long gone now. So we can’t tell how delighted we are to see our son Pieter be such a vital support and above all to notice that his passion tends to surpass ours. There is no doubt that over the years Pieter has earned his rightful place as director of the gallery.
In the exhibition space at our private house, we bring a mix of medieval art combined with contemporary art. It is the best way to show that medieval art definitively earns a place in a modern house. It is always a pleasure to catch up, to deepen relationships and to enjoy beautiful things together. So we gladly invite our friends, collectors and art lovers at our private home where the collection is always on display. Visitors are welcome to visit us after appointment.
Pieter, Luc & Christina De Backker