Q&A: ROY RIETSTAP (FOUNDER & CO-OWNER OF MENDO) ON BEYOND MATTER BY LEVI VAN VELUW

On Saturday 11 May MENDO will welcome Dutch multidisciplinary artist Levi van Veluw to their award-winning store located in the nine-streets of Amsterdam for a book signing session of his latest book titled Beyond Matter. MENDO doesn’t invite everyone to come in and sit down for a session, so what made Van Veluw stand out? We posed 5 questions to the founder and co-owner of MENDO, Roy Rietstap, to find out. 

Launch of Beyond Matter – Regular Edition at MENDO

11 May
14:30 – 15:30
MENDO, Berenstraat 11

Launch of Beyond Matter – Special Edition at Galerie Ron Mandos
11 May
16:00 – 18:00
Galerie Ron Mandos, Prinsengracht 282
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Galerie Ron Mandos: Can you tell us about the first time you encountered an artwork by Van Veluw? What kind of impression did the experience leave?

Roy Rietstap: The first time I encountered an artwork by Van Veluw was back in 2010 during his exhibition at Galerie Ron Mandos, on view were his now infamous self-portraits.  I remember cycling past Ron Mandos every day and becoming more and more intrigued by the moss-covered man in the gallery window. To this day I regret not adding a self-portrait by Levi to my personal collection.

Galerie Ron Mandos: How important is art to you and for MENDO?

Roy Rietstap: Everything we do at MENDO revolves around images, around art. Image inspires, stimulates, makes people think and even has the ability to make dreams come true.

Galerie Ron Mandos: What was the first thing that came to mind when you walked into the gallery and saw “Beyond Matter” and what kind of impression did the experience leave this time?

Roy Rietstap: I couldn’t believe what I was seeing! I asked myself “are these artworks really made by Van Veluw?!”. Van Veluw continuously manages to inspires himself. Every time he “rediscovers” himself and stimulates us. Then I often think practically: what kind of material is it? What does he want to say? Why? Then I related his art to my own thoughts. What does it tell me? Order or chaos?

Galerie Ron Mandos: What is your favorite work from the Beyond Matter exhibition?

Roy Rietstap: I’ll probably won’t be the only one saying this, but his installation blew me away. The entrance and the hallway towards the blue grotto, the actual grotto, the colors and the silence. For a moment it felt as if I had left earth and had entered a new world.

Galerie Ron Mandos: How would you describe Beyond Matter to people who have not yet seen the exhibition?

Roy Rietstap: I would definitely not describe it, rather advice to go and see (and experience) Beyond Matter for themselves.

Beyond Matter by Levi van Veluw will be on view until Wednesday 22 May, 2019 at Galerie Ron Mandos.

ABOUT Levi van Veluw

Levi van Veluw was born in 1985, in Hoevelaken, The Netherlands
He lives and works near Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Since graduating in 2007, Levi van Veluw has produced multi-disciplinary works that includes photographs, videos, sculptures, installations and drawings. This varied body of work has been showcased in many different locations across Europe and the United States, earning him a number of nominations and awards.

The artist first became known in 2008 with his solo exhibition Landscapes at Galerie Ron Mandos in Amsterdam. This coincided with him being awarded the International Photo Award in New York for the photo series “Ballpoints”, and the selection of one of his video works for the Whitstable Biennale UK.

In 2010, the work of the artist was showcased in a series of major museum exhibitions, including the exhibition “Dead or Alive” at the Museum of Arts and Design in New York, the Museum of Modern Art in Arnhem and Ars Electronica in Linz.

2013 saw the publication of the book “Origin of the Beginning”. This singular book is a work of art in itself, published in an edition of 1000 hand-signed copies. The book, which is widespread among collectors and enthusiasts, provides an overview of the artist’s work from 2006 to 2013, a rich oeuvre that includes photographs, drawings, installations, sculptures and videos.

The work of Levi Veluw has been exhibited internationally in leading museums and institutions, and is included in both public and private collections, such as the Borusan Collection, Istanbul; Museum Voorlinden, Wassenaar; Museum MORE, Gorssel; the KPMG Art Collection, Amstelveen; the Ekard Collection, Wassenaar; the Lakeside Collection, Rotterdam, and Cobra to Contemporary/The Brown Family Collection. In addition to his work in his individual practice, Levi van Veluw has also worked on commissions for private clients. In this way, he has collaborated, in 2012, with curator Marc Coetzee on the film “Family” in the frame of the “Films4peace” project. In 2014, van Veluw created for Hermès a life-sized site-specific installation for one of their main windows in Shanghai. Van Veluw’s works have also been widely shown at international art fairs such as, among others, The Armory Show New York, Art Brussels, Volta Basel, Unseen Amsterdam and the Barcelona Loop Fair Barcelona.

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