I’m participating in the Trajector Art Fair, an alternative fair during Art Brussels in Hotel Bloom!, Rue Royale 250, Brussels the 23rd – the 25th of april 2010. Below is the programme of the fair:
Friday 23 April 2010
16:00 – Press Preview & VIP reception
18:00 – 22:00 vernissage; exhibition open to public
19:00 – ‘art dinner’ deal in SMOODS (55 euro; 3 courses), open to the public, reservations available here…
22:00 – VIP dinner in SMOODS [not open to the public; invite only] Bar in SMOODS [dj’s; open to public until 01:00]
Saturday 24 April 2010
11:00 to 20:00 Fair and Taut Programme open to public.
20:00 – ‘art dinner’ in SMOODS open to ticket-holding public; afterparty.
Trajector has programmed the Art Brussels official party, co-event taking place at Wiels on this evening.
Sunday 25 April 2010
11:00 to 18:00 Fair and Taut Programme open to public.
My work can be found in one of the hotel rooms on the first floor. I’m at the moment working on an installation for this space, which involves a large drawing, an animationprojection and a small installation with nine smaller drawings.
NOTE D.D. APRIL 20: I’ve abandoned this drawing since there wasn’t any way to integrate it into the space properly and the drawing suddenly seemed out of context
The large drawing is based loosely on this magnificent painting by Marten de Vos:
Temptation of St Antony, Marten de Vos
1591-1594, Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten, Antwerp
For reasons that are misty to me this image of the painting is actually mirrored (it’s the only image I could find on the internet of this painting). The colors are in reality much less red and yellow, it’s been restaurated, I suppose and it now looks frightingly modern. It refers ofcourse to the works of Hieronimus Bosch, but the style of painting is much more contemporary. A lot of the figures in the painting look almost like they could pop up as a Pokémon figure. I suspect Marten de Vos was a guy with a good sense of humour.
The nine smaller drawings are based on a trademark of the Flemish Primitives: the sculptural monumentality of the way cloth – dresses, capes, drapes, curtains – is handled. Cloth almost never looks ‘natural’ in Flemish Primitive paintings or sculptures – actually not many things look natural in this era – but seems to be static and made of sheets of metal. Sometimes large parts of the images consist out of this version of cloth, which doesn’t make it cloth anymore, but a cathedral of folds and wrinkles. Very abstract, almost like a 3D rendering. Love that.
One of the most amazing paintings of the Flemish Primitive era I think is this famous one:
Virgin and Child, Jean Fouquet
around 1450, Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten, Antwerp
This painting is part of a diptych. It’s a crazy painting in so many respects: the red and blue demonic cherubs, the marble-like skin, the placement and shape of the breasts, the expressions of the faces and the stylistic abstraction of the image as a whole. The colors are in reality a little bit cooler. You can see what I mean by the cloth-handling of those days in the folds of the Virgin’s cape beneath the Child.
Anyway, I’m twisting this whole Flemish Primitives era around until it fits my own universe. Because the rooms in this (I think rather ugly) design hotel Bloom! have a lot of visual problems to overcome, like green wall to wall carpeting and green curtains that can’t be removed because they might – yes – wrinkle, it’s kind of a puzzle to get this installation to work.
Talking about Flemish Primitives: there’s a new band, called the Eat Lions from Belgium, that in my opinion embodies a new rise of the Flemish Primitives in both music and video. Here’s the music video, which is technically not very good, but interesting nonetheless: