Park West Auctioneer Spotlight: Meg and Jacques de Kock

 In Art & Gallery News, Cruise Art Auctions at Sea

Park West Auctioneers Meg and Jacques de Kock on board the Carnival Fantasy posing with artist Romero Britto’s “Lovely Dog.”

Park West’s onboard art teams take great pride in building meaningful relationships with our collectors. For over 50 years, they’ve experienced firsthand just how personal art collecting can be. That’s why, every month, we take time to dive into the lives of our top auctioneers!

For our June Auctioneer Spotlight, we’re shining our light on Meg and Jacques de Kock! We invite you to learn more about this dynamic duo, including some of their favorite Park West moments, what their life at home looks like when they aren’t traveling the world, and how they both became international art auctioneers!

Previous ships as auctioneer: Carnival (CCL) Fantasy, Island Princess, CCL Magic

Where is your hometown?

Meg: Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape, South Africa

Jacques: Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape, South Africa

 

When did you start working as an international art auctioneer?

Meg: I began my career with Park West Gallery in March of 2018. Prior to that, I worked for Red Bull International as a regional manager, which actually helped make the transition into the high-pressure lifestyle on a ship relatively seamless.

Jacques and I had always said we would join Park West and become auctioneers one day. We completed our first contract and then made the step up to auctioneers and have loved every moment of the journey thus far!

Jacques: During an international auctioneering course I enrolled in, I heard about an opportunity to auction fine art sailing the seven seas. After that, I desperately wanted to join Park West. I began preparing by taking short courses like Toastmasters, voice artistry and marketing to better prepare myself. Once I reached the required age, I applied and began working with Park West in 2011.

After completing three contracts, I moved back home to finish my studies in education. However, being back home created a great desire to return to Park West alongside my Fiancé Meg and become an auctioneer. We have now been auctioneers for several years, and it has been the most incredible journey of our lives!

Meg and Jacques at their wedding in 2019

Who is your favorite Park West artist and why?

Meg: I’m a huge Slava Ilyayev fan! His artwork stood out to me from day one because I understand the technique and skill that goes into making something so detailed. It is very timeless to me and almost whimsical the way he applies the paint. He remains true to a signature style, but his artwork differs greatly in composition, tonality and hue, which I love!

Jacques: This is always such a tough question! Whenever we receive new artwork on board, the whole team gets together and we are always flabbergasted at each new artwork we unveil to one another. If I absolutely had to choose one artist, I would have to say Patrick Guyton because all of his artwork is unique, delicate and astoundingly awe-inspiring. The way light passes through each artwork like electricity is a modern play on chiaroscuro, yet instead of light and shadow, he uses oxidation and re-oxidation.

 

Do you have a favorite client memory?

Meg: I have so many memories that have impacted me, but I would have to say meeting awesome collectors like Chuck and Mary Ann and Bryan and Donna had such a lasting impression on me. It is very special to meet clients who naturally turn into lifelong friends we still chat regularly to this day! J

Jacques: Meeting any collector who becomes a lifelong friend throughout our travels has been phenomenal, however my favorite client memory would have to be assisting a celebrity on the Allure of the Seas to acquire artwork by Romero Britto. She tried to use an alias, so I played along pretending to not know who she was, and she enjoyed just chatting with the team about everyday life.

Out of all of your adventures around the world, what has been your favorite port and why?

Meg: Since I am from South Africa, our climate is similar to many places Jacques and I have cruised to…until we hit Alaska! Alaska is a sight for sore eyes with a beautiful landscape we otherwise would never have experienced in our lifetime. I don’t think I could narrow it down to a favorite port, but I can say that Alaska is definitely one for the books!

Jacques: Absolutely agree with Meg on this one, Alaska was something to behold. A specific port I enjoy though would be Cozumel. The people, activities and the memories I’ve made there are truly something special.

Meg and Jacques in Skagway, Alaska!

What does life look like when you’re home and not working?

Meg: Jacques and I are fortunate to have all of our family in our hometown of Port Elizabeth, so being at home means spending a ton of time with our families and newly born nieces and nephews!

We love being outside, so camping and hiking are musts for us while exploring our beautiful country and visiting friends who are dispersed around South Africa as well.

Jacques: I am a huge sports fan and both Meg and I are competitive. We love to play golf, tennis, table tennis, golf and more golf!

We love hanging out with family and friends and light a braai (barbeque for those who don’t know) whenever we are together. We truly enjoy socializing and having as many laughs as possible, I’m a huge believer in the fact that laughter is the best medicine!

 

Tell us one thing about living and working at sea that would surprise most people.

Meg: You would think that never having to cook for yourself would be fun, but I miss cooking for Jacques and I so much when I’m on the ship!

Jacques: At any given time, there is well over 40 nationalities onboard a cruise ship, which leads to a beautiful amalgamation of various cultures and goes to show just how easily we could achieve world peace (I promise I’m not trying to win a beauty pageant with that answer).

Meg and Jacques enjoying some relaxing time at Mambo Beach in Curacao

Anything else you’d like to share about yourself with our collectors?

Meg: Providing people with the everlasting memories that come through collecting art is a special part of what we do. It is so much more than just art. It’s the creation of memories each time you look up at an artwork you’ve collected and the remembrance of great smiles and wonderful people. For Jacques and I, it’s the gifts of friendships that have been created that will last a lifetime.

Jacques: Amen to what Meg said above! Art has always played a huge role in my life from being a musician to trying my hand at painting to now being an international art auctioneer. Through all of this I have come to realize something:

In the midst of everything going on around us it can be hard to decide what is real, what is temporary and where we are going. Then there’s the feeling you get when you find an artwork that speaks to you, it’s unequivocally real, it lasts forever and it takes you exactly where you need to go.” – Jacques de Kock

 

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Detail from Stephen Fishwick's "Stars and Stripes." From Park West Gallery's American Spirit Collection