Brussels is one of Europe`s forward-looking capitals – not only for fashion but also for the arts. We have been talking to the power engine behind a brand new fair concept, ACAF`s director Stephanie Manasseh, what to expect when the fair opens its doors mid October.
Why should we book our ticket to Brussels straight away…
The lineup of artists for this year’s edition is fantastic and the most diverse yet. Our jury for 2019 has picked quite the group of international artists coming from all corners of the globe including USA, Israel, India, Cuba, it is all very exciting!
It’s not an art fair as we might know it. What is so special about it…
ACAF is now celebrating our 13th year and we have always stuck to our ethos of showcasing self-representing artists, meaning we work with artists directly and not with galleries. Our jury comprises of leaders in the artworld who help us to handpick our artists. In 2019 we worked with the following people: Simon de Pury (auctioneer, DJ), Sylvain Levy (DSL collection), Serge Tiroche (Tiroche Collection), Kenny Schachter (journalist), Shaune Arp (Gagosian), Sophie Clauwerts (Old masters specialist), John Volleman (art consultant), Federica Beretta (gallery manager), Wilhem Finger and Melita Stamnaki (Curators).
Where to see art outside the fair…
-Galleries: There are so many great galleries in Brussels, too many to mention!
-Museums: Bozar generally has some great shows as does the museum of fine arts, currently showing Wim Delvoye who is one of my favourite artists and buddy of mine. Wiels is also a very good bet.
ADAM- Brussels design museum is off the beaten track but definitely worth a visit.
Where to have the best…
– Girls night out: Best night out is an obvious choice! We are bringing Simon de Pury to Brussels for one night only. Not many people know about this, but Simon who is best known as the ‘Mick Jagger of the artworld’ and auctioneer also moonlights as a DJ. On October 12 we are bringing him to Accessible Art Fair for an evening of fun at Bozar with the all the artists present. Be quick to buy tickets as they are going quick.
– Beauty pampering: L’Atelier de Coloration- this is the best place in Brussels for colour and cut and pampering using French products from Christophe Robin. The Creme à la Figue de Barbarie is just the most sumptuous product out there!
-Food and Hotel: I recommend the Hotel Amigo, Brussels’ leading 5-star Hotel from the Roccoforte Group. ‘A Bar’ is the best hotel bar to kick back and have cocktails, the rooms are gorgeous and overlooking the best sites in Brussels and the food at Bocconi restaurant is authentic and delicious. I hold most of my meetings there and indulge in a staycation 2 times a year.
-Shopping break- The best bet for shopping is around Toison D’or and Avenue Louise. If you are in the mood for a great day out, Maasmechelen Village is a great option. Lots of top brands, great restaurants and only an hour from Brussels.
Art detox- I love to go to Royal La Rasante, owned by the Aspria group for swimming, tennis and spa. It is a true oasis just in the suburb Woluwe St Pierre in Brussels.
Last question: 5 things to look forward to at the fair…
– Bozar: Art Nouveau architectural gem. Horta’s plan was to create a venue to make art accessible to everyone. Which is a great reason for us to hold the fair there!
– Great selection of artists: All artists are present for the duration of the fair. Find out about the work directly from the creators
– Simon de Pury: Party with a legend
– Meet Belgians: We have a huge Belgian following
– Buy art directly from artists: we take no commission on sales, so all proceeds go to the artists