Today I show you my impressions of Art Brussels, the contemporary art fair at Brussels Expo. Last year I went for the first time and I really liked it. For this year I received free tickets, so I was curious to discover what’s new. The goal of the art fair is off course to sell art to the visitors. Even if you don’t have a budget to buy anything (like me), it’s still worth taking a look. I especially appreciate the fact that there are many Belgian galleries present, and a lot of young artists. The only thing that can be annoying is the fact that some of the visitors are a bit snobby, like on every art fair. But don’t be bothered by it! I think it’s rather funny how people try to outclass each other :). Art Brussels is only 3 days, so there isn’t much time left to go see for yourself. Let me show you a few of the artists I (re)discovered.
Carlos Aires is an artist who isn’t afraid of using controversy. His work is often about the abuse of power, rewriting history, exposing lies and the existence of stereotypes. As you can see in the pictures, he often uses bank notes to make a statement. In this case he talks about the abuses of King Leopold II in Congo and the complicated relationship between the two countries.
This drawing is made by a Spanish artist who lives in Molenbeek. Emilio is inspired by this multicultural environment and his work is about migration, identity and boundaries. You might know him from his performance Checkpoint Charlie in 2008 in Brussels. He just had an exhibition in the Centrale for Contemporary Art (close to Place Saint-Cathérine) and I’m sure that we will hear from him again.
This photograph was a discovery for me. I had never heard of Sammy Baloji before. He’s a photographer from Lubumbashi, Congo, where he still lives today. I’m curious to find out more about him. (The blue lines in the picture are just reflections of the light, you might see them coming back in other pictures).
I’ve seen a few works that attracted my attention, but I couldn’t always figure out who made them. If you know the name of the artist, please leave a comment and let me know.
A parody on the work of the belgian surrealist Magritte?
Two works by the same artist (the fish were alive).
Fred Eerdekens is a Belgian artist. You can recognize his work immediately because of the iron wires he uses. The wires itself don’t have much meaning. You can look at it as an image, or as a meaningful word or sentence. The meaning is created by the shadow.
David Gilbert is an American artist but that’s practically all I know about him. Something to discover very soon.
Hmm Renzo Martens… I still don’t know what to think about him. After seeing his movie ‘Enjoy Poverty’ I felt really confused, even after watching it a second time. He criticizes the role of western countries in Africa, like the money that is used for development. He has some good points, but at the same time he acts like a real colonist. Here for example, he sells faces of African plantation workers made in chocolate, for € 39, 95 a piece. I hope that one day I will understand what he is really about.
This work is called ‘Come to daddy’. Never heard of the artist before, but I will do some research to find out more about him.
I hope you liked seeing a few of my favorite artworks of Art Brussels. If you would like to go next year, it might be a good idea to ask people if they have a free entrance ticket (for example on Freecycle Brussels). I noticed a lot of people at the entrance who had too many free tickets that they couldn’t all use. If not, the entrance fee is € 20.
See you next time!