Auctioneer Spotlight: Wouter and Tineke Coetsee
Many Park West collectors develop friendships with our art teams over the course of their land or sea vacations. Here’s a chance to get to know one Park West auctioneer couple more as they share some of their favorite client memories, travel adventures, and auction moments.
Engaging, fun-loving, and extremely passionate—these are three ways to describe Wouter and Tineke Coetsee. With over four years experience at sea, Wouter and Tineke have brightened the lives (and homes) of hundreds of art collectors, but not without transforming these encounters into lifelong friendships. Embodying the essence of Park West’s mission—making art collecting meaningful, memorable, and fun—these South African natives have found travel companions and even, wedding guests, among their auction attendees.
After a successful contract aboard Royal Caribbean’s Allure of the Seas, Wouter and Tineke are currently enjoying a relaxing vacation before setting sail on their next adventure.
Previous ships: Carnival (CCL) Fascination, CCL Conquest, CCL Breeze, Norwegian (NCL) Escape, NCL Breakaway, Royal Caribbean (RCI) Grandeur of the Seas, RCI Allure of the Seas
Where is your hometown?
Wouter and Tineke: Cape Town, South Africa. We would not want to live anywhere else in the world.
When did you start working as an international art auctioneer on cruise ships?
Wouter: My career with Park West started in 2014. At that time, I was a marketing and communications executive for an educational institution in Cape Town, and Tineke was finishing up her teaching degree. Tineke and I had just become pretty serious (and by that I mean head-over-heels in love), so it was a tough decision to begin a shipboard career while she was still finishing school. Looking back, this was the best decision we could have made as a couple—it allowed us to be a part of such a wonderful family of collectors, colleagues, and mentors. I would not want this journey of ours to change one bit!
Tineke: It was tough to be apart initially for more than six months, but so worth it! Today, we’re married and get to share our love for art and each other while traveling the world. I always gravitated toward teaching, and now I get to share my expertise with art enthusiasts from all walks of life. That is the real beauty of working on cruise ships alongside Park West.
Who is your favorite Park West artist and why?
Wouter: Marc Chagall. His ability to elevate and control color is unparalleled. He is quoted as saying: “If I create from the heart, nearly everything works; if from the head, almost nothing.” He could tell a story that transcended words. I have caught myself getting lost in his poetic depictions of love so many times. What a genius—a magician, even! Behind Chagall, Daniel Wall and Slava Ilyayev are in a tight race for second place.
Tineke: That’s a hard toss-up between Patrick Guyton, Slava Ilyayev, and Pino. Guyton breathes life into his artwork by integrating silver and gold leaf. Ilyayev employs a rainbow palette–each of the pathways in his work parallel our own paths in life. Lastly, Pino captures the most priceless and pure moments in life.
What is your favorite client memory?
Wouter: How can you choose? Tim and Cathy come to mind first. We were fortunate enough to meet them on the CCL Conquest. They started their cruise collecting artwork from Thomas Kinkade. At the end of the week, we all couldn’t bear to say goodbye. About 11 months later, both Tim and Cathy flew from Virginia to Cape Town, so Tim, a pastor, could officiate our wedding. He married us! Another collector couple, Bob and Donna, flew in from New York to attend our wedding too. I find that to be quite amazing.
Tineke and I actually got engaged during my Grand Finale Art Auction mystery presentation on RCI’s Grandeur of the Seas. I was shaking like a leaf—no other “mystery” has made me that nervous.
Out of all the places you’ve traveled, where is your favorite port?
Wouter: Iceland and Alaska are two of the most jaw-dropping places I have ever seen. From hiking to the top of Reykjavik’s volcano to seeing nature show off her beauty in Alaska, these are two ports I will cherish forever. They also showed me how big God is, it’s hard to explain in words.
Tineke: I love Alaska. The air is so fresh and the countryside is bursting with beauty. We once kayaked next to humpback whales, which was exciting and frightening at the same time. Wouter, of course, wanted to get as close to the whales as possible. I was screaming so much!
What does life look like when you’re home on vacation?
Wouter: I cannot sit still. I am always on the move—whether it’s playing golf, braaing (barbequing), or just being out-and-about with family. Tineke, on the other hand, loves naps. She encourages me to be a busy body.
Tineke: I love sleeping in and taking multiple naps. I’m happy to enjoy being home while Wouter is exploring. Too bad he opens the door louder than any other individual…
Please tell us about your experience aboard the Allure of the Seas—one of the largest cruise ships in the world:
Wouter: The Allure of the Seas has been one of our absolute favorite ships. It’s so large, I often forget we’re even at sea. It’s a destination in itself. The collection on board is amazing and the team is unbelievably dedicated. Our colleagues’ passion for what they do is evident—their goal is for all of our collectors to leave the gallery happy. Overall, the support we’ve received from all sides is truly amazing. It makes life on one of the largest cruise ships in the world so easy!
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