Fosbury & Sons and art: We had a talk with am designs
Here at Fosbury & Sons, art and design goes hand in hand. As you walk through every location of F&S, you’ll discover fine selected art pieces even in the smallest corner. Our partner am designs recently replaced several pieces in our beloved Harmony to blow a new wind. And the result speaks for itself! We had a talk with Arnaud Mertens from am designs.
am designs founded several years ago by Mark Mertens has been growing at a rapid pace. Today the company is well known for designing both residential and hotel projects. The company always stayed close to its roots, which were set by its founder. am designs' work is much more a philosophy of life, creating timeless living spaces and products which are in perfect balance with the lifestyle of its owners. This is realized by bringing rare objects with a “soul” and materials in its purest form, together with basic architectural structures.
How did you develop your interest in art and design?
"I have always had a strong passion for architecture and art. The patterns that occur in art, architecture and the natural world have a fascinating, inspiring impact on me. Art and design have always been one of the foundations of our company. We think that both go hand in hand. Each interior needs art to create a stronger character and each art piece needs an environment to exploit/discover its full potential."
Where do you get your inspiration from?
"We find our inspiration in ancient cultures, contemporary architecture, art and in our rich Belgian heritage. But also a long walk with my dog at the seaside can clear my mind, or a special place I encounter when I’m travelling can spark a lot of new ideas."
What values or principles do you keep in mind when selecting artists and artworks?
"I think life is about seeing opportunities and making the most out of these opportunities. I had the chance to realize my dreams because my passion became my profession. So I love to give young artists the opportunity to develop themselves by giving them a platform. We want to boost their young artistic careers by presenting their works in a non-traditional art gallery environment, through solo art exhibitions.
am studio came from a desire to provide the timeless living spaces we realize through am designs, with timeless art pieces. We are looking for specific craftsmanship and love to mix styles and time periods by using art pieces and decoration. In my opinion, fine art has more potential to embrace the artists’ emotions and can contain more depth and concept than any other medium."
How did am designs end up partnering with Fosbury & Sons?
"Besides our Antwerp based studio we were looking for one of a kind, unique locations to expose the work of the artists we represent. Since we live close to Fosbury & Sons and have visited the Antwerp location several times, we knew they appreciate sophisticated design and architecture. So a partnership seemed logical and felt like a natural match."
What makes this collaboration so gratifying?
"We help Fosbury & Sons to create a warm and inspiring environment for their customers/partners/visitors, so in a way we are helping them to make people feel at ease and inspire them through art. On the other hand, F&S helps us to create even more opportunities for our (often young) artists by giving them a unique platform and help them boosting their career."
Which location of Fosbury & Sons do you like the most?
"Since I am born and raised in Antwerp, and we live just around the corner, it goes without saying that I choose for the Harmony location in Antwerp. I love the Harmony building, which was an original design from Léon Stynen. The location is a perfect reflection of the vibrant neighborhood where it is located, it is always buzzing just like her surroundings."