Monday, May 23, 2011


1994. Dutch documentary "Een Rare Zonsondergang".
Part 2: Mo and Torchmeister Adriaan.
See videolinks in the former 2 posts.

Een Rare Zonsondergang (A Strange Sunset)

Part 1 of the dutch documentary about the business of the artworld.
Made by Ali Haselhoef and Inge Willems in 1994.
You can see Adriaan @ 7:45
And Mo @ 8:03 !!! ;-)

Kunst Moet Geil Zijn (Art Has to Be Horny)


An old program by moviemaker Ali Haselhoef (?) for the Dutch TV.
You can see it in 6 parts on YouTube.
PART 1: Adriaan is on @ 7:45 (Yes: that is Mo @ 8:03)
PART 2: (The clip here in this post): Adriaan talks about how art has to be horny. He says: "An impotent artist can not make good art."

Monday, April 5, 2010

From Catherine Dhullu in Africa

I have only heard now about the sad passing of Adriaan. A year late, I know, but I had lost touch with Adriaan... I used to work for Modern Painters and Gallery Guide Europe Magazines, and Adriaan had been a long term client of mine. I had lost touch when I stopped working for the magazines.
I have a few short stories about Adriaan, that I will keep foundly in memory.
The first time I met Adriaan, I was not too sure what to make of him... and I have to say, I was a bit intimidated by his upfront manners. I soon realized not to take this part of him too seriously, and once I got beyond it, Adriaan became that 'special' client of mine!

I remember visiting his office in the gallery whilst on a business trip.... I will ALWAYS remember this office, full of papers and books from floor to ceiling! I was wondering how can one work when there is barely space even on the stool, and I told him: Adriaan, your office is an Art Work in its own right! You must turn it into an Installation piece!
If you have a picture of this office as it was, I'd be glad to see it again! It was really impressive!!!

I remember also some of our email exchanges... Me being in London, we used to chat via emails... We use to joke about football, british folk dances and many other random things. (funny enough, we never talked work!)
He invited me for a beer one time to which I replied: I dont drink beer, but you can come folk dancing with me! and he said: i dont wear kilts! to which i replied: alright, here's the deal: i'll drink a beer if you wear a kilt! He agreed! But unfortunately, that was our last conversation, and I will just have to keep daydreaming about Adriaan wearing a kilt!

I found Memory of those too short moments with Adriaan,

May you rest in Peace,

Catherine Dhullu


Comment by Adriaanisalive:
on these 3 blogs you can see abit of that famous office:

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Today - One year ago - April 3, 2009

Emiel Van Der Pol reminded us correctly on his facebook:

"Today it's exactly one year ago Adriaan van der Have passed away... share your stories here to keep him alive in memory"

Sunday, February 7, 2010

More stories please!

Hello all.

First of all a very belated Happy New Years to you all.

I would love to post more stories.

Adriaan is alive through its successfull artists and the ongoing success of the gallery.

It would be nice if we could keep Adriaan alive on this blog too.

If you have some stories or pictures: get off your lazy butts and send them to me.

If you have been trying to reach this blog the last month: I appologize the old contact email was not working.

You can use my direct email:

Hope to hear from you.

. Wouter

Art Rotterdam

Right now: Torch Crew is showing at ArtRotterdam.

Looovely Tinkebell has some great pictures on her Facebook page.

(showing a few below)

Last year; that was the last ArtFair that Adriaan Torchmeister attended...

He is definitely approving the new Torch booth and its energy.

But ofcourse he will never show his approval; just a grin will tell all.

Torch booths are always busy.

Loretta Lux, Teun Hocks, Tinkebell, Burtinsky: The well known Torch Language

Torch table is always filled with artist's publications. And the in-between late lunches.

Tinkebell The Infidel.
Behind her a great Philip Akkerman installation.

Adriaan watching over it all. He'll never go away.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

The Torch keeps on burning!

Earlier this month: Torch gallery was showing at the Pulse Miami art fair.

The Dutch newspaper NRC Handelsblad sent out their finest art critic to follow the new gallerist Mo Van der Have. In the special weekly cultural section, Sandra Smallenburg wrote this very nice article.

Click on the pictures to see the Dutch original version.
Below the pictures is an English translation.

(Translation provided by the kindness of Mr Stijn (



We are all friends

North Miami Avenue and 14th Street is not exactly a place where you would expect an art fair. I have to walk a few blocks from the last stop of Miami's light rail along wastelands and abandoned parking buildings. Tramps and prostitutes are hanging around the stairs to the platform. A couple of kids are spraying a new layer of graffiti onto a wall. Then suddenly, around a corner pops up The Ice Palace, a bright white art-deco building that is home to this week’s Pulse fair.

It is Tuesday, December 1 and just two days before a series of art fairs will take over the city. Art Basel Miami Beach is its largest and most famous, but in its wake there are about twenty other fairs organized.

In this first week of December everyone tries to benefit from the presence of the world's leading collectors and museum authorities in Miami. There is art to be seen in every corner of the city: in the rooms of the luxury hotels in Miami Beach, where the gallery owners share a view of swimming pools, the ocean and palm beaches, as well as in the empty warehouses of rugged Wynwood, just north of downtown Miami.

In front of The Ice Palace, a former ice cream factory, galleries from around the world are loading their precious crates from trucks. Inside the air is sticky and hot. "The air-conditioning is still not on," complains Mo van der Have of Amsterdam's Torch Gallery, who is drinking a coke in his booth amidst empty walls and several wrapped artworks. "They only switch it on just before the VIP opening, for economic considerations."

At 24, Van der Have is no doubt the youngest gallery owner in the show. He is in his senior year studying advertising and marketing, but doubts that he will ever finish it since he’s occupied with Torch seven days a week. "People often think that I am the gallery assistant, or a young artist." Just yesterday, on his birthday, he couldn’t even get a beer. The bartender didn’t believe he was over 21.

Earlier this year Mo succeeded his father Adriaan, who died on April 3 of the rare Kahler’s disease. Van der Have was known as a charming and defiant man with a rather unconventional taste. When he founded Torch in 1984, he was one of the first people who began to sell art photography. Early on he linked big names like Inez van Lamsweerde, Teun Hocks, Anton Corbijn and Loretta Lux to the gallery. Adriaan liked to shock, for example with the campy paintings of the American Terry Rodgers, who so effectively put the feckless decadence of the parties of the rich on canvas. And with Tinkebell, notorious for her purse made of cat fur, he again gave shelter to an artist who was set to provoke.

Mo van der Have didn’t bring the cat purse. "That would only get me into trouble at customs," he says. What he did bring is a stuffed white rabbit created by Tinkebell, which can be wound up and then hops around happily. "European rabbit fur can be imported, I figured that out." Van der Have took the animal to Miami in his hand luggage and customs thought it was a toy. "That saved me money," he laughs "because you pay 6 percent duty on art."

Because the transportation of art is expensive – it costs five to ten thousand Euros to send over a crate of paintings from the Netherlands - Van der Have searched for creative solutions. He points to a couple of man sized cardboard tubes that hold the painting Cupid's Delight (2009) by Terry Rodgers, which should be sold for eighty thousand U.S. dollars, the slats are in one tube and the painted canvas in the other. "I had them send over with Fed-Ex", says Van der Have. "But I got them delivered at a friend’s hotel, because mine is a little too cheap. The tubes barely fit in the elevator. And I had to cram them into a taxi just before. "

He rolled into the art world, says Van der Have. As a small child he already went to international art fairs with his father. "Our vacations were always combined with visits to artists and meetings with museum directors." In recent years Van der Have accompanied his father to places like New York, Dubai and Miami. Last year they got drunk together with the artist Takashi Murakami at a party of the Pulse Fair. His father, already seriously ill, still sat behind his desk at the fair every day and handled business himself. "Although he used to head back to his hotel a little earlier."

His father has never explicitly asked whether he wanted to take over the gallery, says Van der Have. "But I felt I had to do. I've known some artists, such as Teun Hocks, my whole life. They belong to my family. I sent all of them a letter asking what they’d think about me taking over the gallery. They all stayed." He is not planning to adopt a different direction. "What art is concerned, I have similar tastes as my father: transverse, a little kitsch, a little glam."

This year Van der Have made his first own selection for Miami. He chose especially for American work due to transportation costs: a portrait of Loretta Lux, word art from the Canadian Eldon Garnet. A big corner of the stand is reserved for the black and white photographs by New York-based Belgian photographer Wouter Deruytter, that were conveniently piggybacked from Manhattan with a friendly gallery.

The rent of the booth on the Pulse is the largest expense, about fifteen thousand U.S. dollars (at Art Basel the rent is up to sixty thousand Euros). But Van der Have doesn’t worry about recovering this cost in these recession years. "You don’t do it just for the money. I am here mainly to promote my artists. You meet people here that you can only meet in Miami. It is important to show your face at such fairs year after year and that you attend the dinner parties. People remember whether you have or not. It's like advertising. If you get exposed to a product for twenty times, you'll be tempted to buy it. I hope that also applies to the artwork that I sell."

Thursday, December 3. Suddenly it’s all limousines at the entrance of The Ice Palace and sponsored Audi SUV's driving through the deserted streets of Wynwood. The undeveloped areas are temporarily converted into paid parking space for the luxury fleet of the art fair visitors. On the street corners cars from the Miami Police squad keep guard. The beggars and junkies are nowhere to be seen.

For the VIP preview of the Pulse fair Mo der Have has swapped his jeans and T-shirt for a black shirt and gray suit. The painting of Terry Rodgers, neatly stretched by the artist himself, is now hung pontifical to the left wall of the gallery. The painting’s glamorous and half naked people have to lure the public in from the main path. And with the few square meters of exhibition space packed with people that seems to be working nicely.

"It's going great," beams Van der Have. He just sold the Rodgers for its asking price to a French Russian who has a company in Luxembourg. "He was already on the waiting list for a while," says Van der Have, "and before the show we’ve been exchanging e-mails." One of the chrome text works from Eldon Garnet went out the door for $1500. And Wouter Deruytter sold a picture to a board member of the Art Institute in Chicago for $5000. "This is really good, because she will probably introduce his work to someone from the museum."

Van der Have is assisted by Pearl Albino during the fair week, a young woman who has worked in the gallery of Mary Boone and knows the American market like no other. Since she met Adriaan van der Have in 1997 in New York she has a soft spot for ‘this funny Dutch gallery’ Torch and she’s been helping out each year on the U.S. art fairs circuit. She describes the style of Torch as ‘lots of tits’ and ‘a great combination of humor and sex’.

Smiling widely, Pearl Albino tells about the first time she and Adriaan met, twelve years ago, during the Armory Show. "I was working late on my stand and Adriaan and I were the only ones left in the building and walked out together. In the booths of the rich galleries, who could afford a fixed line, one of the phones rang. Nobody had cell phones back then. Adriaan answered at Pace Wildenstein and said: "Club Satyricon, how may I help you?" And at another: "We’re sold out! Don’t call back!" We ran out laughing and were best friends from that day on."

Adriaan possessed the rare combination of eccentricity and reliability, says Albino. "He always paid his artists on time." Mo is more modest than his father, she says. "But he got the artistic instinct spoon-fed. Two years ago I saw him sell a work of his mother, the artist Mitsy Groenendijk, during the exhibition in Miami. It was a sculpture she had made from one of his old teddy bears and could really talk well about it. I knew then that he had it in him." She whispers: “Did you know that Mo is named after Moe Greene from The Godfather? That was the man who was shot through his eye. Who makes up such things?"

Torch is like a family, agrees Albino. The artists that are on show this week have all come over to the Pulse and hang around the exhibition booth all week. Terry Rodgers and Wouter Deruytter are making pictures of each other, tittering with Tinkebell's rabbit. There are anecdotes about Adriaan exchanged. "When I talk about him, the tears shoot back in my eyes," Eldon Garnet says emotionally. "We are all friends," says Rodgers. "So we hang out with each other as much as we can."

Friday, December 4. The long line of party people who are cueing up in the lobby of the posh Gansevoort South Hotel look like they stepped right out of a painting by Terry Rodgers. Clad in fishnet stockings, platform shoes and silver hot pants they crowd up in the express elevator that leads straight to the Plunge rooftop bar on the eighteenth floor. In this luxurious, ‘adult-only’ tropical playground, with lounge beds lined all along a thirty meter swimming pool and a fabulous view over the beach and downtown Miami, the Pulse Prize is awarded this evening. ‘In memory of Adriaan van der Have’ says the VIP invitation. At nine o’clock Wendy Olsoff from New York’s PPOW Gallery does the honors. She has worked with Torch for years, because both galleries represent artists Ellen Kooi and Teun Hocks. "This award is in memory of my dear friend Adriaan", Olsoff shouts above the din. "A man we can all learn from. A man who truly loved art. A man without any frills.” The Pulse Prize, a check of $2500, goes this year to the Austin, Texas based art collective Okay Mountain. They have transformed the stand of their gallery into a funky little shop full of homemade souvenirs. "This is a winner that Adriaan could have appreciated", Olsoff says. "Nice and strange, the way he liked it.” Mo van der Have is standing a little farther at the bar and surrounded by his gallery family. Terry, Eldon, Wouter, Pearl - they're all present. Van der Have says that he sold a work of Loretta Lux that morning at breakfast. "To an Italian collector who stays in my hotel. He tapped me on the shoulder and said he wanted to buy the Lux. He is going to put it in his house in Brazil."

Then Van der Have apologizes. He spots a collector he has not spoken yet and heads off into the festivities.

Saturday, December 5. On this second to last day of the Pulse fair it is still hectic in the Torch stand. Wouter Deruytter signs his book for a fan, Eldon Garnet checks his e-mails on Wouter's i-Book and Pearl Albino explains the work of Terry Rodgers to a visitor. “We sold a lot more than expected," says Van der Have. "Although it was less crowded than last year. Many of the collectors did not come."

Even Tinkebell’s bunny has found a new owner. Van der Have: "It was bought by a Dutchman. Americans often don’t understand the irony of her work. Miami is the scene of extravagance and Tinkebell takes a proper laugh at that."

Tomorrow is the final day. "That one can still turn out really exciting," says Van der Have. "The visitors have seen everything on the fair and come back to buy that one work." Meanwhile he already started what he calls ‘aftercare’. Catalogs are sent to new customers, pictures of the sold artworks are e-mailed. "You can lose your buyers if you don’t offer them proper aftercare," says Van der Have. "There are always people who back out of a deal." He doesn’t give contracts. "I shake hands with buyers and give them a business card. And they have my word. Sold is sold. Every gallery has its own style. Mine is my handshake and my word."

We are interrupted by a gallery owner from Paris, who flings herself at Van der Have’s neck. "We loved Adriaan so much," she says. "He is so missed." Van der Have later says that this touches him deeply. "Sometimes people in the gallery spontaneously start to cry when they see me. That is quite intense."

Wouter Deruytter started a weblog in memory of Adriaan van der Have:

Very special thanks for the translation by

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Pussy Wagon

Pearl just emailed me this picture of a wild HUMMER. Her message was: "The Torch Car".
Indeed: this was Adriaan's taste and I am sure he is driving with this right now (or being driven!).

It reminds me when I made Adriaan a fun keychain in 2004/2005 with his favorite character Paris Hilton:
Adriaan was so happy with this. He admitted a similar item was his most treasured possession: The Pussy Wagon Key Chain:
It came from the movie KILL BILL where Adriaan's dream car was shown:

Friday, October 2, 2009


I've been waiting for the right alibi to show the work of SIRENEN.
The article below (former post on this blog) of Eva van Berne mentions this work.
Note Adriaan laying on the floor and the lady in the middle is his wife Mitsy!

From the book "The unforgettable fire":
Founded 1991, DE SIRENEN ("The Sirens") was a Dutch female artists' collective initiated by Tjarda Sixma, Anya Janssen and Mitsy Groenendijk. The collaboration dawned spontaneously in 1989 when Sixma, Janssen and Groenendijk saw their work presented together in Amsterdam at the Stedelijk Museum's Barok & Roll.
This group show, curated by Adrian van der Have, was a revelation for the trio. Unbeknownst to each other, all three had been making use of similar visual strategies. ... Each had been seekingto convey an urgent need for self-affirmation and emancipation via depictions of women as (sexually) empowered beings. ...
Catherine Somze

Van stout tot verstild (Eva van Berne)

Van stout tot verstild

diverse kunstenaars - The Unforgettable Fire, 25 jaar TORCH Gallery

door Eva van Berne 12 augustus 2009

Fotografe Margi Geerlinks wilde het 25-jarig bestaan van haar galerie TORCH niet onopgemerkt voorbij laten gaan. Ze nam het initiatief voor een publicatie en een tentoonstelling in de Kunsthal Rotterdam. Beide dragen de titel The Unforgettable Fire en vormen een dubbel eerbetoon aan de galerie en vooral haar eigenzinnige galeriehouder Adriaan van der Have (1958-2009).

Van der Have was zelf nog nauw betrokken was bij de totstandkoming van de tentoonstelling en catalogus. Hij selecteerde de 26 kunstenaars, een voor elk jaar uit het bestaan van de galerie, die op de tentoonstelling te zien zijn en leverde input voor de vorm en inhoud van de catalogus. De opening heeft hij net niet meer mee kunnen maken. Hij overleed op 3 april na een tijd ernstig ziek te zijn geweest. The Unforgettable Fire toont vooral hoe veelzijdig zijn belangstelling was.

Adriaan van der Have & TORCH
Adriaan van der Have staat vooral bekend als de galeriehouder die als een van de eersten in Nederland de potentie van fotografie als kunstvorm zag. Hoewel het aanvankelijk lastig was om met dit medium genoeg brood op de plank te krijgen bleek Van der Have een vooruitziende blik te hebben. De fotografie werd steeds populairder en is tegenwoordig niet meer weg te denken uit de kunstwereld. Nederland kent verschillende musea die zich richten op (kunst)fotografie en ook in de handel doet het medium het goed. In plaats van de prominente positie van TORCH als fotogalerie te gelde te maken heeft Van der Have heeft zich nooit tot een medium of stijl beperkt. Juist toen de fotografie een succes bleek en mensen het in zijn galerie gingen verwachten keek hij uit naar andere zaken. Hij vond dat juist het feit dat het onverwachte TORCH interessant maakte.

Eind jaren zeventig studeerde Van der Have kunstgeschiedenis aan de Vrije Universiteit. Hij maakte deze studie niet af maar begon samen met studievriend Jos Smit een bedrijfje. In het voorpand van de galerie van Wim van Krimpen vestigden zij Art Unlimited, een (kunst)kaarten- en posterwinkel. Later richtte hij zich ook op lijstenmakerij en kunsthandel. In 1984 startte hij TORCH Gallery in Amsterdam. Op de eerste tentoonstelling toonde Van der Have werk van Alan David-Tu, een Britse modefotograaf die mysterieuze portretten creëerde. Daarna volgden onder meer de curieuze stillevens van Henk Tas, de digitaal gemanipuleerde foto's van Inez van Lamsweerde en de feeërieke onderwater films van Danielle Kwaaitaal. Hij maakte naam als eigenzinnige en tegendraadse promotor van de geënsceneerde fotografie. Daarbij ging hij, met een volgens eigen zeggen 'intuïtieve benadering', op zoek naar de grenzen van wat als kunst en fotografie beschouwd werd.

Zowel qua kunstenaars als qua afzetmarkt beperkte Van der Have zich niet tot Nederland. In zijn stal bevinden zich bijvoorbeeld veel Amerikanen, waaronder Terry Rogers, Anthony Goicolea en voormalig pornoactrice Annie Sprinkle. Voor veel van zijn buitenlandse kunstenaars bleek in Nederland een markt te vinden. Anderzijds zocht Van der Have ook de internationale markt op voor zijn Nederlandse kunstenaars. Eind jaren tachtig had hij samen met galeriehouder Milco Onrust een vestiging in Keulen. Ook nam hij regelmatig deel aan internationale beurzen. In het begin deelde hij vaak een stand met Cokkie Snoei. Later wierp hij zich ook op als promotor van verschillende beurzen. De PULSE Contemporary Art Fair in Miami en New York zal in december dit jaar de PULSE prize ter ere van Van der Have uitreiken.

The Unforgettable Fire
Als dank voor zijn jarenlange inzet voor haar en de andere kunstenaars uit zijn stal nam Margi Geerlinks het initiatief om iets te doen met het naderende jubileum van TORCH. In haar geëmotioneerde openingsspeech in de Kunsthal memoreert ze vooral zijn tomeloze inzet om 'zijn' kunstenaars op de kaart te zetten. ‘Keep de fire burning' staat te lezen op de speciaal voor deze gelegenheid gedrukte t-shirts die veel van de kunstenaars dragen. Wim van Krimpen noemt in zijn toespraak Van der Have's keuze voor fotografie ‘dapper en uitdagend' en ziet de tentoonstelling als een hommage aan het werk van galeriehouders.

De foto op de uitnodiging is gemaakt door Anton Corbijn en toont Van der Have als cowboy in de polder. De prachtige titel van de tentoonstelling en publicatie verwijst niet alleen naar de naam van de galerie, maar ook naar het album van U2 dat uitkwam in hetzelfde jaar dat TORCH Gallery opende en waarvoor Corbijn de foto's maakte. Op de tentoonstelling hangt een foto van U2 met hun vaders en een curieus zelfportret van Corbijn in blackface. Dit laatste is niet het enige werk op de tentoonstelling dat vanwege een vervreemdend of opmerkelijk karakter de aandacht trekt. Van der Have hield wel van een beetje fout en stout. Bijvoorbeeld de geënsceneerde foto van een klein meisje in een miss-verkiezing van de Sanchez Brothers, de 'tit prints' van Annie Sprinkle of de foto's van De Sirenen, waaronder ook Van der Haves vrouw Mitsy. Op een van de foto's zien we de galeriehouder liggend onder de voeten van zijn vrouw en twee collega sirenen. Aan de andere kant had hij ook veel kunstenaars in zijn stal die juist rustig en verfijnd werk maken, zoals het werk van Ellen Kooi, de zwart-wit fotografie van Wouter Deruytter en de verfijnde kinderportretjes van Loretta Lux.

In TORCH Gallery waren de werken van deze kunstenaars doorgaans in solo-exposities te bezichtigen. Op de tentoonstelling in de Kunsthal Rotterdam zijn zesentwintig van hen met een of enkele werken vertegenwoordigd. Dit levert nogal een allegaartje op waarvan de indeling hoofdzakelijk door de tentoonstellingsruimte bepaald is en minder door de chronologie op basis waarvan de kunstenaars zijn uitgekozen. De jaren, een voor elk jaar van het bestaan van de galerie, waaraan de kunstenaars gekoppeld zijn hangen door elkaar heen. Er is niet duidelijk een ontwikkeling zichtbaar, maar vooral veelzijdigheid. In de catalogus die is uitgegeven door Art Unlimited komen meer kunstenaars aan bod en zijn beschouwende en anekdotische teksten van verschillende auteurs opgenomen. De kunst staat centraal en krijgt de ruimte. De korte introductie gewijd aan Van der Have is bescheiden en informeel. De laatste tentoonstelling samengesteld door Van der Have in zijn galerie is die van Terry Rodgers, nog te zien tot 28 augustus 2009. Het is daarna aan zijn zoon Mo die hij het afgelopen jaar heeft ingewerkt om de stoute schoenen aan te trekken en de fakkel brandend te houden. Van der Have zelf leeft voorlopig voort in het door Wouter Deruytter opgerichte weblog 'Adriaan is Alive', waar zijn kunstenaars en vrienden foto's en herinneringen plaatsen.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

THE BOOK: The Unforgettable Fire

25 years TORCH Gallery.

This wonderful book was presented on the opening at the Kunsthal Museum in Rotterdam.

192 pages of interviews, anecdotes, emails & pictures with Adriaan.
Ofcourse also many reproductions of most artists that Torch has shown
with new essays on the artists.
Adriaan would say "Een dikke boterham!"

Most we have to thank Margi Geerlinks who started this whole project and made this book.

The book is smartly designed by Marnix Dees & Theo Ruys.

You can order the book at the website from Artunlimited. Or e-mail Gino.

Designers of the book: Marnix & Theo

Margi Geerlinks did the impossible to pull this all off.

The Unforgettable Fire -Rotterdam- 29May2009 (part 5)

The amazing architecture of Rem Koolhaas

The Unforgettable Fire -Rotterdam- 29May2009 (part 4)

Margi and Mitsy

Susan A. Zadeh (EyeMazing Magazine)

The Rodgers and The Wilcovaks

Mo and 1/2 of PPOW,NY

Estelle and Terry Rodgers
In front of Anton Corbijn's portrait of Adriaan