Become part of a worldwide pop-up art gallery called No Man's Art

Become part of a worldwide pop-up art gallery called No Man’s Art

Mar 2, 2012 |  by  |  Art, Event
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For Emmelie Koster, travelling the world to get a degree was not enough, art needed to be involved too. That’s why she founded the pop-up gallery No Man’s Art in which she organizes events for up and coming artists to present them to the world. Hamburg and Mumbai amongst others have seen her venues. I myself was part of No Man’s Art in Hamburg and I truly had a blast. Since graduating, Emmelie has decided to become involved in No Man’s Art on a full-time basis.


Recently I had a chance to catch up with Emmelie, who is now in full swing for the No Man’s Art Amsterdam edition coming up this Sunday. Next stop? Paris. I started with the most difficult question that I could think of when considering art (except for: why do we need it?) and asked her:

How do you differentiate between good and bad art?
“Ha! That is a tricky one. Of course I have clear opinions on what I like and dislike, but if I would use my taste as a reference point for good or bad art I would reduce the value of art to it’s entertainment factor. The value of art lies in so many other factors too, and whether something is good or bad ultimately will depend on all of the factors taken into account cumulatively. Apart from that obvious aesthetic value, other factors are for example the social relevance of the oeuvre, the need of the artist to express himself, the material used, the experience of the artist and of course the originality of the work. There is no clear line that can be drawn between good an bad art, because it is co-dependent on subjective values. I would not dare to call something good or bad art, or even art at all.”

The artists Emmelie works with are not established names as of yet.
“I mostly work with young artists, and sometimes I receive portfolios in which I see works that does not appeal to me at all. You can tell that the artist is studying on something specific. Often anatomy or perspectives. At that point in their artistic education, I feel like there is not a lot of space for evolvement of their own style. That’s OK though.”

Having a gallery is like having a company, and in Emmelie’s case hers resembles a start up.
“Since the start of No Man’s Art in 2010, I know I have learned a lot on more than one level. First of all, I feel like I have evolved a lot as an entrepreneur. It is an interesting job, being a curator. I have two types of customers, the artists and the art buyers, and they are often worlds apart. I have learned how to talk to both groups about the same thing in a completely different manner.”

I learned how to be clear about what I want without being an asshole

“I also think I have toughened up a bit, or at least learned how to be clear about what I want without being an asshole. And of course I have learned a lot about doing business in different countries and cultures. Hamburg, Mumbai and Paris have very little in common when it comes to that. In terms of art, I have learned so much. To be honest, I never had a lot of knowledge about art, artists and the art scene until I started No Man’s Art Gallery. I know that sounds pretty strange, but it’s the truth. I am a lawyer by education and my knowledge of art didn’t extend beyond the basics. Especially at first, I would sometimes run home after a meeting to look up the names of artists that I just heard. That has improved, I now know more about what is going on in the art world.”

Tell us about the upcoming edition of No man’s Art.
“No Man’s Art Gallery has organized a last minute teaser exhibition for the Paris exhibition, but we’re having it take place in Amsterdam. We will be showing the Parisian artists that we picked up in Paris alongside some of our Dutch artists, as well as the participants of the Slum Photography Contest 2011. In the slums of Mumbai, India, we gave 45 children a camera and two film rolls and sent them off to document the things in life they enjoy the most. The result are incredible and on show and for sale at our pop up galleries. The proceeds go directly back into buying new film rolls and development for the kids.”

“This Sunday, the exhibition will open with a party. Lustige Lola & Weltschmerz and Redplanet DJ’s will be DJing. The location of the exhibition is extremely special, I think most of the people from Amsterdam have even never known about it, even though they have walked past it a million times.”


“2012 will be an exciting year for No Man’s Art. After Paris, the next locations aren’t set in stone yet but we are thinking about Brussels, Copenhagen and either Moscow, Bogota or Tirana. We hope to be able to have a teaser for every city in Amsterdam, as that is where our headquarters are. We also hope to be able to organize the Slum Photography Contest once a year. It’s by far the most satisfying project I have ever done and the results have been so amazing. We are also quite busy with our art consultancy assignments for our corporate clients, a branch that I hope will grow even more this year. Exciting times!”

Make sure you check out No Man’s Art Edition Amsterdam this coming Sunday!

No Man’s Art Pop Up Gallery – Teaser party for Paris

When: March 4th, 17:00-23:30
Where: Vondelbunker (beneath bridge of de van Baerlestraat)
Website: No Man’s Art, Facebook event
Tickets: Free
DJs: Lustige Lola & Weltschmerz, DJ Redplanet
Artists: Francesco (FR), Max & Charlotte (FR), Typhaine Augusto (FR), Bertrand Peyrot (FR), Sarah Wijzenbeek (NL), Jouri van Beek(NL), Justus Rijpgaarde (Lyrical Artist, NL)

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