France vs Germany

This week I read a headline which really surprised me: “Germany most popular holiday destination for the Dutch”. For decades, France has been the most popular holiday destination. I’ve experienced that myself as well: year in, year out, my parents took me to France. This by the way, goes for many people I know. This phenomenon even resulted in one of our national, often ridiculed, stereotype, namely the Dutch that go on a camping holiday with their caravan. Well, apparently times has changed.

Lieke in DüsseldorfFrance had to give up their top position, not to Italy or Spain or other warm destinations, but to Germany! This surprised me a lot, because when I tell people around me that I often go on holidays to Germany, they even ask my why I would want to go there? I guess more and more people are finding out that our neighbour country isn’t that old-fashioned and stiff as one might think. I personally love Germany, the language, the variety of landscapes, the people etc. I for example have been surprised by the beauty of Stuttgart, the party spirit in Cologne, the architecture in Hamburg and Düsseldorf and the liveliness in Berlin. Therefore I am happy that so many people go there, so they can see for themselves what a great country it is! The included picture is of me on a recent trip to Düsseldorf, where I was enjoying the beautiful view.

Affordable art – contradictio in termino?

I’ve been gone for a while, which was mainly due to my master thesis, a trip to Cambridge and London and a severe tonsil infection more recently. While being in London, I was reading my favourite English newspaper, The Guardian. I came across a little piece about the chance to own an original work of art by renowned artists like Damien Hirst, Julian Opie or Manolo Blahnik for just 40 GBP.

RCA Secret postcardHow is that possible? Since 1994, the Royal College of Art organises an exhibition called the ‘Secret Show‘. RCA describes it as the following: “RCA Secret is an annual contemporary art exhibition consisting of around 2,500 original postcard-sized artworks, made and donated by professional artists, designers and illustrators, plus up-and-coming graduates from the Royal College of Art. The cards are exhibited for a week in the RCA galleries and are then sold to the public in a huge sale, with every postcard costing just £40, regardless of whether it has been made by a well-known artist or a young art student. There is a catch, the cards are only signed at the back, so buyers don’t know whether their choice is a famous artist or an unknown art student until they have bought the card.”

RCA Secret Show

Isn’t that great? It’s all about giving people the chance to buy an original but yet affordable piece of art. Another good thing about it is that the money they make is put into a RCA student fund for upcoming artists, so they are given a chance to establish their-selves as well. The show is open untill November 23, the sale will take place November 24. I think this is a great initiative, too bad we don’t have something like that in the Netherlands.