Interview with Daniel Gould about His Life and his Artistic Experience in Amsterdam

By Radostina Kushelieva

In an interview, Daniel Gould introduced himself and his artistic experiences as well as how he came up with the idea for his blog. He also tells us the story of the documentary movie “I LOVE ART.”

Daniel R. Gould is an conceptualist artist, collector and he writes about the subject. Gould’s dream, as a young boy, was to become a cartoonist. His passions were drawing, design and coin collecting-the latter would be a training program for his building an art collection. His parents, though, insisted that there were no money in anything having to do with the art world.

He spent his youth in Motown Detroit. He entered unviversity in a pre-law program, but instead of going to law school, after graduation, he entered a graduate program, American Studies, at Saint Louis University, because its concept inspired him. But, with the expectation of his second of three children, he left school to begin a career in the publishing industry. 

He first came to Amsterdam when he was promoted by Plenum Publishing Corporation to be their European Sales and Marketing Manager. A divison of the company was Da Capo Press which was, at the time, a publisher of books in art, photography, architecture and music. Its publisher became his mentor for his art education. After three years, he went back to the states, but he would return, to the Netherlands, to work for a now defunct Dutch publisher of English books as their international marketing director.

During the 80s, he published “Amsterdam TODAY,” which was the first English language magazine in Amsterdam. It was a going-out guide and an overview of Amsterdam’ cultural life. At the same time, he went back to one of his first love: Drawing. Over the next five years, he played with styles and symbols. Then he discovered his “voice and vocabulary” and, since, has produced over 6,000 drawings, collages and objects.

He is a well-known figure on the Amsterdam’ art scene.  He attends nearly all openings of exhibitions. Gould describes the exercise as a “cheap education” and one that is on-going.

The Documentary Film:  “I LOVE ART”

Gould told us the story behind the movie, “I LOVE ART”. Originally, it was meant to be a documentary about galleries, museums and the capricious Amsterdam’ art scene. And it became that and much more much to his chagrin.

Gould had conceived of a concept to promote his art work internationally. He would mount the “World’s Biggest First Exhibition for an Artist” an hang 1,001 pieces. He made a list of 22 galleries he knew to be sympathic to his conceptual style and showed each 20 A4 drawings: Five offered him a solo exhibition and seven dropped him from their mailing lists. Over the years, that followed, another eight galleries would offer to hang his work, but none were atuned to “The World’s Biggest…” One said, “It’s soooo American!” and another, “It’s too populist.” 

The 3D List

Every week, 40+ weeks/year, Gould composes and writes a newsletter of, approximately, 16 pages regarding openings at galleries, art spaces and museums. It all started six years ago. Four people would call him, religiously, every week, wanting a list of the openings. The phone calls were inconvenient and, because of a language discibility, sometimes tedious. He asked for their e-mail addresses. The word got around and within six months he was mailing to over 60 names. But he also noticed that few of these people showed up at openings and added the rubric, “What You Missed Last Week” which describes what he has seen gallery-by-gallery. A year ago, the figure was at 850 and he decided it was time to put the list on line:

“Gould’s 3D List” is very popular. A recent one month period showed a total of 2,700 hits. Two thirds were made from the Netherlands and 30% from outside the country: USA, Denmark, UK, Germany, Russia, Canada, Poland, Turkey, France and China. He is flummoxed to explain this international interest.

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