[ interview Arty-Farty.fun's Etienne Verbist 

by Amelie Eise, author at Umbigo ]

posted 4 march 2021

introduction by Amelie.

The challenges of a pandemic have brought out the best (and sometimes the worst) in people. In any case, most people have learned something, either about themselves, or about something they have always had an interest in but never had the time for. 

Music and the arts, streamed from all over the world, inspiration and creativity, have been the salt and pepper, the chili and garlic of the last few months, of a daily routine that seemed dull in its repetition.

In times when most restaurants and fitness studios are also closed, food has become an additional source of satisfaction.

The main ingredient to most people’s wellbeing however was and is, humour. 

It is therefore with gratitude and amusement I’d like to interview two “witlofs “ (chicorys) from Belgium, namely Etienne Verbist and Trikke Van Roey, ARTVENTURERS with a healthy curiosity matched by their appetite and a great sense of humour. 

Their project arty-farty.fun is exploring every opportunity for an interesting exhibition visit paired with a culinary experience

They are ambassadors for some of the best Belgian characteristics, not taking themselves too seriously, yet having a sense for quality, exploration and yes, conquest.

[ the interview ]

According to a standard definition, „Arty Farty“ means "trying too hard to make other people admire your artistic knowledge or ability". It is rather a negative term. Why call your initiative „Arty Farty Fun“?

We called our project “arty farty fun”  because we want to make people smile / laugh, while we give a critical insight into the art world. We act like a court jester who gives expert art advice. We understand the complex ecosystem of the art economy but we are not guided by our ears or by what we are told, but rather by our own eyes and insight. We look at the art world from the perspective of the seven sins, namely lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, envy and pride, and we apply our vision based on the seven virtues, namely chastity, temperance, charity, diligence, patience, kindness, and humility. Practicing them is said to protect one against temptation from the seven deadly sins.
So we have pre-apocaliptic fun.

Who are you guys and why do you do what you do?

 We are two friends, one is a nitwit to art, the other is a nitwit in web technology. With that combination of characters, we want to guide others in the search for beauty and exquisite pleasure in an uninhibited way. We challenge each other in the only educational way: we kick the other’s ass.


In your artventures you visit very different types of museums.

How do you select the art events you cover? Are there special criteria?

Our criteria are very basic:  we select an art event based on high potential in discovery, learning, sharing, eating, drinking and socialising, all these mixed with an unmistaken potential for fun. 

Who is your target audience? Have you received responses by your readers?

Our target audience is not the art afficionados who go from one event to the next to applaud one another and show off their knowledge. Instead, we ´d like to target „normal“people, even the average football fan, we want to soften their hard edges in order to change their perception, get their ethics right through art.

Have you received some responses by your readers?

We have a fan club, roadies who want to travel with us, groupies.

Every now and then we receive panties from ladies who want to give us a  performance - nu artistique.

In your mission statement you state „it's all about artventure ~ writing articles on art ~ causeries on art ~ shooting pics of art ~ debriefing & eating & lodging Burgundian style, always faithful to our simple adagio: if we believe in it, we post it “.  What is the importance of Art?

Essential for life.

Do you personally like all the art you are writing about? Do you have personal favourites?

No, the art we are writing about is just an -artventure- a discovery tour for reflection. Of course we have personal favourites but we want to work and discover with an open mind,  without being bound by our own groaning.

Do you see yourselves as Art critics?

Of course, we believe being very good unbiased judges. 


Why „eating & lodging Burgundian style “and what does that mean?

We go for the full monty, after all, we stay Belgian.

What do you believe in?

In ourselves.


Many exhibitions you visit are in Belgium and nearby. Do you see yourselves as “Art-Ambassadors” for Belgium?

Absolutely, who else has our skills.


When the actual restrictions fall (hopefully soon), what expeditions are next on arty farty fun’s Agenda?

 We hope to tackle as much as possible by visiting all European art capitals! Venice, Paris, Berlin, Rome, Firenze, London, Budapest .. in order to make our European culture strong again.

 ~ Thank you for the interview and keeping us inspired ~