The Heroine’s Journey of Annemarie Zethof

What is the best thing that I love about my work?
That I am engaged with beautiful images every day.
What is my idea of perfect happiness?
First of all, I think that perfection is unobtainable, let alone perfect happiness. Happiness for me is hidden in small things and moments and is gone before you realise. Moments such as spending time with my daughters, enjoying a delicious cup of double espresso macchiato, escaping daily life for 2 days with my husband and sitting in the sun on a terrace.
What is my greatest fear?
That my daughters will be forced to live in a world full of violence and inequality.
What is the trait that I most deplore in myself?
My impatience.
Which living persons in my profession do i most admire?
Gallerists who have survived the first 5 years, who have succeeded in running a successful photography gallery and have an exquisite taste for photography talent, for example Roger Szmulewicz from Gallery Fifiy-One in Antwerp, Nina Grundemark and Dorothée Nilsson who run the gallery Grundemark Nilsson in Stockholm and Berlin.
What is my greatest extravagance?
Perfume from Le Labo.
On what occasion would I lie?
I prevent lying as much as possible but I would if I could spare my loved-ones grief.
What is the thing that I dislike the most in my work?
The tiny organisational tasks that take a lot of your daily time.
When and where was I the happiest, in my work?
I can’t pinpoint one occasion, but I am extremely happy when we receive positive comments on our exhibitions or stand during fairs and the sales are good as well. That’s a moment when everything comes together and that is very satisfying.
If I could, what would I change about myself?
My impatience and worrying.
What is my greatest achievement in work?
To have created – together with my husband Martijn van Pieterson – the concept of IBASHO, a gallery specialised in Japanese photography, which has been received well within Belgium and internationally.
Where would I most like to live?
In a place with clean air, beautiful nature, nice climate, no violence and equality for everyone. Would that be New-Zealand perhaps? However, living in Antwerp has been wonderful.
What is my most treasured possession?
My wedding ring.
What is my most marked characteristic?
Being very thorough and well prepared.
What is my most inspirational location, in my city? 
Graanmarkt 13, a concept store, B&B and restaurant. Everything feels right about that place.
What is my favourite place to eat and drink, in my city?
There are too many places in Antwerp to eat and drink well. Graanmarkt 13 is one of my favourites as well as Ko’uzi and Le John.
What books influenced my life and how?
‘Memoirs of a Dutiful Daughter’ by Simone de Beauvoir. In this first part of her autobiography I felt compelled by Simone’s search for and attempts to ‘become the person who you truly are’ (quote by Carl Jung) at such an early age. It inspired me to find my own way despite other people’s expectations and opinions.
‘Levels of Life’ by Julian Barnes in which book the grief of having lost loved-ones was described exactly as how I felt it.
‘Camera Lucida’ by Roland Barthes gave me profound ideas on how to approach photography.
Who are my favorite writers?
Many, but to name a few: Haruki Murakami, Julian Barnes, David Mitchell, John Coetzee.
You Only Die Once. What music would I listen on my last day?
‘Is that all there’ is by Peggy Lee.
Who are my heroes and heroines in real life?
Leaders with strong moral compasses, such as Barack Obama and Angela Merkel.
Which movie would i recommend to see once in a lifetime?
Any movie by the Coen Brothers, but especially ‘The Big Lebowsky’.
What role plays art in my life and work?
Art plays an integral part of my life. Not only have I been collecting art as of the age of 22, but as a gallery owner it is also paramount in my work.
Who is my greatest fan, sponsor, partner in crime?
My husband and better half, Martijn van Pieterson
Whom would I like to work with in 2017?
I would love to work with the artists Rinko Kawauchi and Lieko Shiga.
Which people in my profession would i love to meet in 2017?
I would love to meet Yumi Goto from the Reminders Photography Stronghold and of course the big names in Japanese photography, such as Daido Moriyama, Hiroshi Sugimoto and Nobuyoshi Araki.
What project, in 2017, am I looking forward to work on?

The group exhibition ‘Female Force from Japan’ that will run in IBASHO in the month of June.

Where can you see me or my work in 2017?
Come to IBASHO gallery in Antwerp, Tolstraat 67 or visit us at the fairs Photo London in May and at UNSEEN in September in Amsterdam. You can also see what we do at our website:
What do the words “Passion Never Retires” mean to me?
A lot. I have chosen this career because I am passionate about art and I would love to continue working until I am in my eighties.
Which creative heroines should Peter invite to tell their story?
Gili Crouwel, co-owner and co-creator of The Gallery Club.
How can you contact me?
You can email me at or call me at +32 (0) 32162028

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