Have you been to Amsterdam before? If you haven’t – you must go. It’s the most colourful city I have been so far, and by colourful I don’t mean that the city from above looking like a rainbow. What I mean by colourful is the detail in the small things like cafés, tiny cute hidden restaurants, little graffitis saying yellow from the corner of a small street, cute bike decorations and of course galleries.
You are probably familiar with the famous Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh Museum, Stedelik Museum Amsterdam and Anne Frank Museum. I was too and even after 7 visits to this beautiful city, I didn’t really go to all of them because I was already familiar enough with the content from the Internet. I’m sure I would have been surprised by some beautiful piece of art nobody took a picture of. But there is a beauty in the small galleries, the ones positioned next to a cheese shop or hidden on the second floor of a building on the main road. My last visit to Amsterdam was amazing because I had the chance to explore them.
Here I am, walking the streets by myself at lunchtime, while my friend is working, without a particular destination in mind. I had my camera so I observed the details every street would greet me with. Every street had a certain charm, a character and sense of own existence that made you guess what type of people live there. One street will have paved road, kids playing football and a carrying mother bringing them sandwiches and orange juice. The next will be greeting you with a local café next to a shop for baby clothes. Wherever you go, always look back before crossing because bikes are literally everywhere.
So I was walking and saw this corner gallery. I went down the stairs and I was pleased to see that this was a very cosy place with interesting art. I wasn’t just going to leave as a painting caught my eye straight away. Whilst staring at it, the owner was speaking with a friend or a customer (I couldn’t tell as they spoke Dutch). When his friend left, I asked who’s the painting belonging to. He told me (and I didn’t remember the name). I carried on with the next one, and the next one, until I stopped on a needle on a wall with a hanging mushroom. It was so vivid, colourful and real that I had to ask. It was his. Amazing. His name was Matthijs Stam and the gallery – Galerie Atelier Stam
In the corner of the gallery, there was a “half-finished piece of art. The paint was still wet on the table beside it, brushes next to them in a cup. After a long conversation about the nowadays interest in art, places he draws and bringing light to them, I asked if I could take a picture of him drawing. He felt comfortable with the idea. Below I have some pictures of him.
After this, he gave me a map with all little galleries around the are that I can explore. So I was on EXPEDITION. Not really, but it became an interesting purpose to walk the streets – with purpose. Here are some photos from the rest of my journey.