Meet Marijke, the director of the Philippe Van Snick Estate.
As director of the Philippe Van Snick Estate, I am dedicated to keeping the artistic legacy of my beloved partner, artist Philippe Van Snick, alive.
Together with a team, I work on the professionalisation of the Estate to be able to care for the works and to answer questions and invitations that come our way. The care for the integrity of the work is important to me. I have a lot of respect for the oeuvre Philippe left behind. He put so much of his energy and life into it. It deserves to remain visible and accessible today and also in the future. There is still so much research to do.
By devoting much of my time and energy to the Estate, I continue to encounter Philippe. The love continues, it just found a different form.
A large part of your time is spent coordinating and carrying out activities for the Estate. What do you like to do in your free time?
I am studying photography at the academy in Anderlecht. I am not interested in the technical aspect of the camera, but rather in the concept and content of the photos. My activities are part of my grieving process. I always take photos and make recordings with my iPhone, even when Philippe was still alive. We played with this a lot in the studio. Philippe read a poem and I filmed it, or I asked him to talk about his paintings.
I also really enjoy going to the cinema and exhibitions. I take great pleasure in doing these things on my own. When you do it alone, you can follow your own rhythm and stay close to yourself. However, doing such activities in good company interests me as well. Exchanging thoughts with others on what I see and experience is of great importance to me.
Photography is something you spend a lot of time on. What attracts your attention and inspires you when taking photographs?
I have been shaped by living with an artist. This influenced my way of looking at an image and feeling spaces in relation to art. The intimacy of my home and the traces of daily life are the main subjects of my practice. I seek to carefully step back from Philippe’s inner world and make it my own. With the guidance and encouragement of my teachers at the academy, I want to connect my past, present and future in this personal project.
The team was very impressed with your style. Where do you find your unique clothing style?
The couture of established fashion brands is an important inspiration to me. I like to scroll through images online or browse magazines such as Vogue. This input gradually forms an idea in my mind, which I then allow to mature for some time. When I come across clothing that fits my ideas, I think of how I can change it. I have a tailor who helps me with realising what I envisioned. This process of being inspired, thinking out a concept and executing into to something concrete gives me enormous satisfaction.
Which designers inspire you?
I'm a fan of Prada, and I have to say, as well as of Balenciaga, Martin Margiela and Vivienne Westwood. I like a bit of a 'hard' look. The punk style appeals to me, especially in the form of fishnet stockings and leather. The way I integrate this in my outfits is rather minimal and with a desire to wear it with grace.
The bag you're wearing in the photo bears your name. What kind of bag person are you?
Beautiful bags are a rare find for me. A bag should be sleek with straight corners. I don't take much with me. There's a bit of makeup and a small wallet, just like in the photos. I don't want to go digging in my handbag. Accessories are very important to me, and a bag is one of them, but also heavy rings, gloves, and sunglasses. I like simple clothes. The accessories determine the outfit.
The photos were taken in Brussels, a city where you have lived for almost 40 years. Which places do you like to visit in Brussels?
I came here in 1984. Wow, even I am surprised. I like to go to the Josaphatpark with my daughter Laura and my grandson Menno. There are some nice cafes over there as well. Together with the bookstore Passa Porta, Bozar is one of my favourite places here in Brussels. There is the bookshop, the museum, the cinema, the concert hall and Café Victor. Both Passa Porta and BOZAR have a certain casualness, which makes me feel comfortable.
One last question, what are you looking forward to in the future?
At 65, I started a new job, something I never expected. My wish is that I can find a good balance between the Estate and my personal life. When establishing the Philippe Van Snick Estate, I had so many questions. Therefore, I have surrounded myself with a fantastic team. I am convinced that the combination of my personal involvement, knowledge and experiences with the support of professional expertise ensures the continuity of Philippe’s work. I am eager to find pleasure again in the small things in daily life, both on my own and with my children and grandchildren.
Visit Marijke's favourite places in Brussels: Josaphatpark / Passa Porta Bookstore / BOZAR Art Center / Victor Café
Stay up-to-date with Marijke: @marijkedekeukeleire
Stay up-to-date with the Philippe Van Snick Estate: Philippe Van Snick Estate / @philippe_vansnick