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A Day in the Art Life of Liv Vaisberg

The ‘A Day in the Art Life’ series is meant to convey a sense of the life of an art world figure. What we’re hoping is to have a bit of the flavour of one’s routine , or perhaps an idealised version of a day in your life in the city in which you live and work, sprinkled in with more philosophical musings.

Liv Vaisberg is an artistic director and initiator of projects based in Rotterdam, NL. She is the co-founder of fairs including COLLECTIBLE, A Performance Affair and POPPOSITIONS (all in Brussels) which proposed new formats for commercial contexts. She has recently co-founded the Huidenclub, a space for production and exhibitions in Rotterdam Delfshaven.

My day begins with… A coffee in bed on my lucky days, or by my bay window slowly waking up while watching birds fighting or dogs passing by. I am not a morning person, so I need to wake up very slowly, at least when I am not travelling, which is rare. I love living in my neighbourhood, even if I am very near the city centre of Rotterdam, it feels like the countryside here. I usually attempt to do some yoga or have a healthy walk in the park, but rarely pursue it.

When I need to feel inspired, I… Walk to the lake round the corner and gaze at the city in the distance or take the bike to cycle along the river Rotte, that gave the name to the city, or the Maas in the harbour. I guess any place with water does the trick. One of the reasons I enjoy living in the Netherlands is that there is water everywhere.

Wide angle view of the lake and the city in the distance.


6th Edition of COLLECTIBLE at Tour and Taxis.

Lukas Hofmann presented by SVIT. Courtesy of Jeroen Verrecht.

APA Bureau. Courtesy of Jeroen Verrecht.

Some of my best ideas come… I know it sounds cliché but my best ideas often come from my morning shower, as well as my long bike rides when I cycle all the way to the Huidenclub, the new art and design space I co-launched with the architect Chantal Schoenmakers. On my commute I cross many colourful districts of Rotterdam. It makes me feel alive and usually I use this time to have long brainstorming conversations with my partner in crime of COLLECTIBLE, Clélie Debehault. We almost never meet, except on exotic trips, but we speak daily to get our best ideas out.

The art spaces I enjoy going to… There are so many art spaces I enjoy as part of my daily life. Locally, I love Melly for their international programme, TENT for their local support, Tale of a Tub for their commitment, Brutus for their craze and energy. I also love Extra City in Antwerp, Whitechapel and Camden Art Center in London, and MD Bar in Cologne if that counts as an art space.

The place that means a lot to me… My godmother’s place in the south of France, a secret haven in a part of Provence no one ever goes to, not even 4G reaches there. And our yearly post-holiday trip to little-known Danish islands, my son’s favourite, where there is no one and nothing to do so we can live in the moment without planning the day. Considering I spend my year travelling continuously for work, low-key holidays in hidden places are my favourite.

I have a collection of… Stones, 3D ceramics, and emerging artists and designers I love, sometimes work with, and want to support. Being the (co-)initiator of so many fairs, it is hard to not continuously buy…temptation is everywhere, and my husband is not helping, on the contrary - he is also easily tempted. He usually sends me this message when I send him shots of temptation from fairs worldwide: “Stop shopping, start working!” I always reply: “Shopping is working!”

An abstract painting in shades of pink placed in the corner of a white-walled room. A ceramic object on a wall-mounted pink shelf opposite.

The artwork/object/thing that I could never part with… I get attached once I get something. An exquisite corpse drawing by Nina van de Ven, everything Sarah van Marcke, my Johan Viladrich made-to-measure table, a suitcase by Vytautas Kumža and my great-grandma’s engagement ring.

If I could, I would collect… So much! Not the big names, but I would like to buy more from artists and designers I wish to support. I would also collect performance, a lot of it. This is why I set up A Performance Affair with Will Kerr, to shift the perspective on collecting performance, to show how it can be done like any other art form.

My idea of happiness… If I may say it, my life right now. As long as I can continue this whole array of projects, keep taking on new endeavours, and travel while having a lot of spontaneous outings and pj days with my husband and son.

Snapshots from Liv Vaisberg’s house. Courtesy of Florine van Rees.



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