Alex Reding (Nosbaum Reding Gallery): The Mohican
According to Alex Reding, gallery owner, entrepreneur, and creator of Luxembourg Art Week, "To last in art, I think you have to have an inexhaustible source of energy." Interview.
Why did you choose to pursue a career in art?
Everything starts with motivation. In my case, I draw it from a deep belief that culture is the basis of our living together. Human life is not possible without culture. We have strong structures like democracy and the constitution but recent times have shown that if culture is not lived by everyone, the constitution is worthless. They do what they want. From this observation, I felt the need for a radical commitment to freedom of expression, societal issues, diversity, creativity, open-mindedness, respect for others, and acceptance of difference. It is only in culture that these values are present and constantly discussed. I observe, for example, that political parties, that were alternative, become more arrogant and impose their mindset over time. The fight for the presence of culture in everyday life offers an effective safeguard against these drifts.
“Everything starts with motivation.”
How can this commitment be reconciled with the commercial aspect of art?
Culture must receive funding. The gallery owner's role is to promote the artist, to help him produce, and to provide him with the necessary income to live and exist. The only alternative would be to be dependent on the state. Personally, I would never accept such a system. I think that freedom is essential in artistic creation. As a gallery owner, I am here to raise the question of income and find solutions. The redistribution system in our sector seems to me to be very direct and efficient, with 50% going to the producer and an optimal valuation of the sale price. But beyond the financial framework, the most important thing is motivation, passion, perseverance, and the will to convince. To last in art, I think you need to have an inexhaustible source of energy. Even more so because in the Grand Duchy, everything is public, which makes life complicated for private individuals: The competition is enormous and the difficulties numerous. That said, in the end, the choice of our leaders to have a strong cultural presence seems to me to be commendable.
Can you tell your story in a few words?
I studied fine arts at Paris 1, which usually opens a big door to teaching, but I went on to study fine arts in Düsseldorf. Before opening the gallery, I combined teaching with my own creations, but I realized that I could better commit myself to others. The Nosbaum Reding Gallery opened in 2000. In 2015, I launched the Luxembourg Art Week project, and I still have one or another project in the pipeline, such as the launch of our gallery in Brussels last year or a house in the Vosges to host artmaking and residency projects. The most important thing is to satisfy the constant expectation of renewal among collectors
See the full photoshoot here