COLLECTOR // Jetteke van Lexmond

Stepping into the home of style icon Jetteke van Lexmond, husband Alex Jaspers and their two sons, there’s a feeling of serenity and easy living, a natural flow - without it being simplistic or forcefully on trend. Shelves filled with art- and photography books, kids drawings, big gemstones and magazine cutouts as a constant source of inspiration. There’s a perfect balance of art and personal objects, showcasing how life is best to be lived. 

Even though you’re in the middle of Amsterdam, your home feels like a little safe haven, full of beautiful objects and memorabilia. What is your secret to creating a home?
My home is a collection of memories from my life; work, travels and family. There are no secrets, there are no rules. I don’t like to limit myself though, or put myself in a box. Not with the way I dress or with decorating my house, nor with the objects I collect or the art that I put on my walls. Whether it’s a vintage piece that I found at a flea market in France or a picture by my dear friend Paul Bellaart of when I was pregnant with my firstborn, memories are what make a house a home. 

Is that also what attracts you to certain art pieces? Memories, stories, narratives?
Ofcourse, memories are stories from the past. Every object, every art piece, everything that I bring into our home has a story, a certain energy or personal reference. I bring local items back home from my travels, but I also buy pieces that I feel an instant connection to. One of the first pieces of art that I purchased was a big sculpture by the Zwimbabnese artist Bernard Matemera. I found it at a little coastal town in Holland called Bergen cycling through the area with my family. I don’t just love the way it looks, but I also love that I got it on a very memorable trip with my parents. I think there’s something special about sculptures. It’s this notion of perfection to stop chipping away just at the right time. You feel the energy of the artist and even the way his mind works in an object. Bernard took this kind of rough material and turned it into something full of emotions.

What role does art play in your life?
We try to live a life full of art and creativity. Ever since the kids were little we have taken them to a museum every week. We show them one painting, object or photograph and tell them a little bit about that piece. Not to overwhelm them too much, but to get them interested in art. Now they love going to museums and art is a language we speak at home. My husband Alex is very creative, always working with his hands; embroidering, painting jeans, up-cycling fabrics for our family brand Saturdays & Sundays. I think it’s so powerful for kids to see a man, their father, be soft and gentle, to see him be creative and think out of the box. Art is an expression of how you feel. A life without art is very boring and dull. 

Your walls are filled with family portraits, photos by artists like Desirée Dolron and Hayley Eichenbaum, but also a picture of Kate Moss by the famous Arthur Elgort.
Arthur is actually a dear friend of mine. In my early years in the fashion industry I was doing a shoot for Vogue in New York and I arrived at the location with just two suitcases. Whereas stylist Grace Coddington had been there the day before with sixteen suitcases. I knew what I needed so I didn’t bring that much. The first thing Arthur said: ‘You must be a very good stylist, I’ve never seen someone come in with just two suitcases styling an entire shoot for Vogue.” That really broke the ice and we hit it off like we were old friends. We’ve stayed in touch ever since and whenever I’m in New York I try to visit him. His work is so powerful, he makes people feel at ease, something that really shows in his pictures.  

I also love the stillness in Hayley Eichenbaum’s images, and again the story behind the photo. There’s so much research that goes into her work. She’ll look for bright days, cloudy days, the position of the sun and even the moon. I’ve been studying the moon for a while now for the moon calendar that I created with my sister, and I know how difficult it is to really capture her in all of her essence. Lafayette Mall is such a striking image because of that big ball of light. There’s a calmness and balance, but also a sense of mystery. The moon looks almost like the sun, it’s a very captivating image.

Any advice for young collectors?
Buy something you love, you have to have a heart connection to it. It doesn't matter if it’s a big artist or a flea market piece. I love for example Conie Vallese, a very famous Argentinian artist who works with a range of mediums and very distinct graphic forms and abstract shapes. Her work touches me because of it’s vulnerability, and because it makes me look different at the world. On the other hand there’s so much art in nature. I’m obsessed with Coco de Mer for example, these huge plant seeds found in the Seychelles. They look so sensual and feminine but also grounded and strong. There is no definition of what’s art, what is on trend or what has value. All those things are objective and have a personal value. If you like something and it has the right energy you want to bring into your home, go for it! 

Must see post pandemic shows?
Not really an expo, more a definitely must visit. In the South of France, in Vence, there’s this little church called the Matisse Chapel. It was built somewhere in the early fifties of the last century by Henri Matisse. You can see some of his originals and even Matisse himself called it his "masterpiece". Can you imagine the privilege to live so close to a place like that, but even visiting is so inspiring and mind blowing.

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