Yesterday, Dutch-born New York-based photographed made a note-worthy announcement on his LinkedIn profile: “The ministry of foreign affairs of The Netherlands have assigned me to follow The Dutch King and Queen on their recent trip to Grand Rapids and Chicago. I have learned a lot and am very grateful for this trust in my work.”

About three years ago, I met Richard as per the introduction of Robert Kloos, the long-time Director for Visual Arts, Architecture and Design at the Consulate General of the Netherlands in New York City. I had heard about Koek’s work as a rising star of portrait photography… but later came to learn about his more recent, experimental photographic and publishing projects, including the newly minted Koek NYC: “A Yearly Magazine celebrating NYC featuring the work of Photographer RICHARD KOEK in collaboration with emerging artists he encounters in New York.

Congratulations, Richard. Your success is much-deserved!

In late December 2012, Richard agreed to participate in MUSEUMVIEWS‘ Artists Q&A series:

MV – What are favorite movie(s) & director(s)?
So many but seriously since JAWS I do not enjoy swimming anymore.

MV – What are your favorite book(s) & author(s)?
In George Orwell’s 1984: Smith’s devotion for big brother in the last page made me cry.

MV – Which is your favorite cultural centre or museum?
The KROLLER MULLER sculpture garden located in the centre of National Park De Hoge Veluwe in The Netherlands.

MV – What has been our most aesthetically (sensual, spiritual, intellectual) inspired experience?
Once I was drunk, hiding in an alley, in pouring rain while the cops were looking for me.

MV – What is your art (books, movie, exhibition, museum, etc) wish list?
To never loose sight, to be seen and to be an inspiration to others.

MV – Who is the artist or character (in any medium) with whom you most identify?
The way I believe August Sander saw the world. I identify with something in everyone and hope people identify with something in my work.

MV – What is the city in which you feel most inspired?
At the moment West Nyack this micro universe called THE PALISADES MALL.

MV – Who have been the influential persons in your life?
My mother and father. I promised myself not to be either of them.

MV – What are the most challenging aspects of working in the art world (& its institutions)?
Pausing the stream of images in my head, making something workable with the ideas and inspirations and going to sleep on time ;)

MV – What is the most gratifying aspect of being a part of the art world (& its institutions)?
The ability to show work that inspires people to find words to tell their own stories. That my work heals and makes me and others genuinely happy.

MV – What is the one thing that you always carry with you.
My MTA card and my ATM card

MV – What are arts patrons’ responsibilities, if any?
Simply to enjoy what they buy or collect for any reason they find fit and to share this with others.

MV – What are artists’ responsibilities to their art or(?) to society, if any?
My responsibility is universal and not special. To stay grateful. Grateful to be able to do what I love most, in a country I love most. To be loving towards others (well maybe except my neighbor who lets her dogs shit on our communal terrace).

MV – What are you art world pet peeves?
Too much explaining of what it means and what the concept is and talk about why I should love it particularly. Art should touch on a meta level and totally speak for itself. In Art to me it is yea or nay. I have not studied with the right vocabulary to find the right words…