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Digital Subscriptions > Newsweek International > 12th May 2017 > The Show Man Axel Vervoordt is an interior designer. So how come his exhibitions are so good?

The Show Man Axel Vervoordt is an interior designer. So how come his exhibitions are so good?

INTERVIEW

@radicalstates

IN THE BEGINNING there was intuition. It’s where innovation starts, when a scientist seizes upon a sudden hypothesis, or when an artist arranges an image on a canvas. And it is where the influential Belgian interior designer, antiquaire and art dealer Axel Vervoordt begins. “Intuition has always been my leader in life,” he says.

It’s led him a long way. Vervoordt, now 69, began his career as a teenager in the mid-1960s, buying flow and selling high on European antiques and paintings (aged 21, he made a $47,600 profit on a Magritte he’d bought for $2,400). Soon enough, customers were asking him to help arrange their treasures for him, then to design rooms, then whole houses. By the late 1990s, the influence of his taste in interiors—mixing contemporary and ancient art, and blending muted colors, smooth stone surfaces and bare wood loors into a restful, lush yet minimal aesthetic—had moved across Europe and on to America. Since then, clients have included Sting, Robert De Niro and Kanye West. Most recently, Architectural Digest included him in its 2017 AD100 hall of fame.

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