By the age of 25 Lawrence Van Hagen made a name for himself in the art world; curating the What’s Up exhibitions – which is dedicated to supporting emerging artists – and founding LVH Art. His unorthodox approach to curation and apt eye for a superlative piece of art are just two of the qualities that have made Lawrence a stand-out amongst his peers. With an undeniably refined sense of style that’s contrasted with an air of nonchalance and youthful charm, Lawrence Van Hagen is sure to become a principal player in the style scene as well as the art.
You’ve made a name for yourself in the art world at such a young age and in such a nuanced way. When did you initially become interested in art collecting and curating exhibitions?
I have been brought up around art. My family has been collecting for a very long time so it really is a part of my upbringing. I was often gifted a work of art for my birthday, which incentivised me in developing my own eye, taste and collection. Furthermore, I would always travel with my mother to art fairs, art exhibitions, artist studio visits and so on. I decided to curate exhibitions when I was in the process of raising funds for a travel start-up. Instead of always suggesting to friends what artists to look out for, I came with the idea of curating a selling exhibition called ‘What’s Up’ showcasing what I personally believe are the artists that one should look out for at this present time. The first exhibition was held in two different spaces in Soho, London exhibiting over fifty artists and ended up being a great success, which lead me to curate a second show in London about six months later. Enjoying curating the shows so much made me decide to focus on these exhibitions full time. I now curate on average three to four exhibitions a year between London, New York, Hong Kong and Seoul.
Along with a good eye for art, you also have a great sense of style. How did you develop your sense of style?
I have developed over the years a much more classical approach to my style. As I started working at a young age, I thought it was important that I always be well dressed, hence why you will always see me in a tailored suit around fairs or work dinners to look more serious. When it comes to beachwear, I tend to always have a linen shirt at hand, a couple of spare swimming trunks and a nice pair of linen shorts at any given day.
Brazil has an amazing art scene with wonderful artists. Two years ago I curated ‘What’s Up – The Americas’showcasing a number of great Brazilian artists.
Do you think there is a relationship between fine art and fashion?
100% – I believe all brands should collaborate with artists in all different shapes and forms. Whether an artist works on a collection or even on placing art in the boutiques. It is important to find a synergy that can not only help an artist with further visibility but create an interesting edge for the brand.
What’s your favourite holiday destination?
It is hard to choose one but I can name a few places I have been to in the recent years and loved La Ferme de George in Atins next to Lencois Maranhenses in Brazil, Adrere Ammelal on the Siwa Oasis in Egypt, Cuixmala in Careyes, Mexico, and Svalbard Island in Norway (it’s the northernmost inhabited place on earth).
If you could be anywhere in the world right now where would that be?
On a boat cruising the islands of Raja Ampat in Indonesia.
You recently took ‘What’s Up’ to Hong Kong, would you take it Rio de Janeiro in the future?
Maybe one day! Brazil has an amazing art scene with wonderful artists. Two years ago I curated ‘What’s Up – The Americas’ showcasing fifty artists from North, Central and South America showcasing a number of great Brazilian artists.
What items do you always pack in your suitcase?
QMS Skincare, a pair of Loro Piana shoes (winter or summer), and a nice suit wherever I am going.
What are your favourite Frescobol Carioca items?
The linen shirts are a must as well as the bathing suits. My summer outfits would not be complete without those items.