Art Basel can keep the sunshine. On the shores of the Belgian coast, Art Nocturne is one of Europe’s most prestigious international fine art and antiques fairs. Held between August 6- 15 in CC Scharpoord and Hotel La Réserve in a place called Knokke, the event takes its namesake from its nocturnal habits: it deals in Van Gogh’s exclusively during the dusky hours of 4pm to 9pm.
Perhaps I’m suggesting this because I’ve just concluded my Sunday evening ritual of True Blood and tea, but this – otherwise, an informal fête – tweaked my imagination because it strikes me as an event where jet-setting moneyed vampire types like sexy (yet cute and vulnerable, Eric Northman go antiquing.
Allow me my fantasies.
Much of the art at this year’s Nocturne will be contemporary. Nevertheless, the 50-plus fine arts and antiques dealers from around the world will also be showcasing specialized treasures ranging from Asian art to art deco.
Not just anyone can sell, unless you made a cameo appearance in Interview With a Vampire or Dracula (sorry, Twilight’s a bit too tweeny for this crowd). Participants are hand-selected by an international forum that considers the dialogue between ancient and contemporary art in good taste. Nocturne is considered a buyers’ fair, rather than an exposition.
Some vampy finds I could sink my teeth into include this selection from De Pauw-Müller, which trades in “Haute Epoque Sculptures,” and works of art from the 14th to 18th centuries.
As well as this fine piece of hedendaagse kunst (contemporary art, silly mortal) from Galerie van Campen & Rochtus.
The early period furniture and objets d’art from Jan Roelofs Antiquairs are worth a fair maiden or two (even a Sookie).
Finally, this TK from Sem Art Gallery in Monaco just about says it all.
A fang-bangers paradise?