Interviews | 29.10.2020
We first began our partnership with Dutch brand Cobra Art back in March 2018, and since then our collection of contemporary art has grown into an uber eclectic mix of bold photographic plexiglass pieces, colourful hand painted canvases and showstopping sculptures that each have their own transformative effect on a space. Known for their tongue in cheek style and larger than life vision, Cobra Art offer a rebellious antidote to the traditional art world, which makes them the perfect pairing for Andrew Martin. We caught up with Mike and Jeannette van Rijswijk, the creative minds behind this exceptional brand, to find out more about how the company began and what they look for when sourcing these bold and distinctive pieces.
When did Cobra Art begin and why? What did you feel was missing from the Art world?
Cobra Art was founded in 1983 as a family owned business. Our aim was to create, in partnership with international artists, an exclusive and wide range of affordable art and sell it worldwide to both interior designers and retail customers through interior design stores.
What is the Cobra Art ethos, how would you describe the company in 3 words?
"Candystore for Artlovers!"
Cobra Art offers such an eclectic mix of pieces from artists with a huge range of styles, how do you choose the artists that you work with?
Together with my wife Jeannette, we have so many years of experience in discovering talented new artists worldwide, especially during our travels or on holiday. We read international design and fashion magazines and do lots of research using social media. But in the last 10 years Cobra Art has become well known in the world of art, so now artists also approach us directly!
What do you look out for when creating or sourcing an artist or a new piece of art?
A new artist or art work has to have a clear point of view and must add something new and interesting to the Cobra Art Collection.
What or who are your biggest inspirations?
There isn't really a really a specific person or brand. We believe that inspiration is around us 24/7! Keep your eyes and ears open for new influences, ideas, concepts and trends.
How important is art to interior design, what role does it play in the decoration of our living spaces?
We always consider our art as the finishing touch for every interior project, be it a house, hotel or office. Without art, the space can feel empty, as though it's missing the final touch to really make a statement. Your choice of art is a reflection of your personal taste and style.
You are considered world leaders in plexiglass art - what is it about this material that makes these photographic pieces so special?
With photographic art on Plexiglass it primarily gives the image a rich and colourful feel. We use the very best printing and design techniques to ensure that each artwork looks amazing - we have almost 40 years of experience in that field! Secondly, our plexiglass pieces are each designed with a hidden frame, so you can easily hang them on the wall whilst achieving a really modern, sleek look.
What advice would you give for someone looking to invest in a piece of art for their home who might be struggling to choose?
It is always best to visit an art gallery or quality interiors store in person and find what you love. Particularly with Cobra Art pieces as they really are best to see for real! Then you get the real look and taste of what our artists are trying to achieve.
Popular culture and celebrity seem to be big influences in many of your works of art, for example, Wonderful World, True Legends and We Are The World. These are also some of the most popular pieces with Andrew Martin Customers. Why do you think people are drawn to these works in particular?
They capture the imagination and bring historical figures to life, plus they are stylish, engaging and a true conversation starter. All of our clients recognize the famous actors, musicians, artists etc and the conversation flows from there!
Do you have a favourite piece from your collection?
We love every single one of our pieces - why? When we create an artwork for the Cobra Art collections, each piece has to be good enough for us to want to put into our own home or gallery.
What do you love most about your partnership with Andrew Martin?
Just like at Cobra Art, the brand, the people of Andrew Martin think differently, they have the courage to dare to be different, never accept mediocrity and are always striving for that next level!!