Djamel Merbah – Couleurs d’argile

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Djamel Merbah

Hello! Once again, there is a lot of art to see in Brussels this time of the year. My ‘things to visit’-list is growing almost every day. Besides the main exhibitions at Bozar, Wiels and other big museums, I also want to pay attention to artwork from less known artists. That’s why it seemed worth the effort to check out the work of Djamel Merbah at Espace Magh.

Djamel Merbah was born in Algeria in 1949 and came to Belgium in the 70’s. He graduated at the Académie Royale des Beaux-Art in Brussels and Liège and did several exhibitions in Algeria and Europe. So let’s see what his work is about! (Please note that the paintings where only numbered, so I can’t give you any titles.)

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Fabrice Samyn – Solipsism

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L’envol, 2016, by Fabrice Samyn

Fabrice Samyn

Fabrice Samyn is a Brussels artist who lives and works in the capital. I think I saw one of his art works at Art Brussels this year, but I am not sure. It was sort of by accident that I discovered his exhibition at Meessen De Clercq during the Brussels Gallery Weekend. I was actually looking for another gallery to visit that day. As you might have noticed by now, I only write about artists or exhibitions that I liked. I very much appreciated the work of Fabrice Samyn, so I thought I should write about him as well.

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Paul McCarthy @ Xavier Hufkens

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White Snow, Thumper 1, by Paul McCarthy, 2014-2016

Paul McCarthy

The American artist Paul McCarthy is currently exposing in Brussels! The first time I read something about him was when I did some research for my thesis on public art. Do you know his statue called ‘Santa Claus‘? It’s a huge gnome holding something in his hand that looks like a buttplug. The statue was moved around several times in Rotterdam because a lot of citizens didn’t want it in their neighborhood. They were too shocked by the image. Paul McCarthy also did performances that were often perceived as shocking. For example, one time he showed his buttocks all covered in chocolate sauce! Yummie.

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Belgian Crew street art

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The Great Deal of Pain(t), by El Nino76

Belgian Crew is the name of a street art exhibition that is hold in the Egmont Palace in Brussels. Every summer, the Palace opens its doors to the public when showing the work of different artists.  I never noticed this Palace before even though I walk past it every day to go to work. It’s hidden behind the small park of Petit Sablon, the one with all the statues. It’s only because I saw so many pictures on social media of these marble stairs with the yellow paint spilled on it that I found out about the exhibition. (the blue-orange-purple paintings on the marble background are made by the artist Reset’81)

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TinyMighty Brussels

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Hello everyone! I’m always happy when someone invites me to a vernissage. Especially when it’s an artist presenting his or her own work. Last Friday I went to the opening of ‘Beholder‘, a collaboration between two artists living in Brussels: Maria Gil Ulldemolins & Juan Cañizares. Maria is Spanish and Juan is from Argentina. They met in Brussels and the friendship between them resulted in a very personal exhibition at TinyMighty, Maria’s studio in the city center.

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David Altmejd – Giants

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Did you see the giants yet in the entrance hall of the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium? If not, it’s about time you met them! There are six sculptures from the Canadian artist David Altmejd exposed in this room. The first time I saw a work of art from Altmejd was also in Brussels, when I visited the Vanhaerents Art Collection. It was also a giant sculpture, called Figure with Black Arms and Strawberry. It was a bit creepy, but very interesting to look at. The six sculptures in the museum hall are quite impressive, because they match so well with their surroundings.

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Peter Kogler @ ING Art Center

About Peter Kogler

I went to the ING Art Center without any expectations, because the name Peter Kogler was completely new to me. Since I usually appreciate the exhibitions organized by this art center, I had high hopes. And yes, I have no regrets at all. It was a strange experience, like walking into a different world! Peter Kogler is an Austrian artist who lives in Vienna. It was Jan Hoet that sort of ‘discovered’ Peter Kogler as an interesting artist years ago. He’s a multimedia artist who uses computer technology to make most of his work. Inspired by architecture, he has the habit of transforming whole rooms into his own universe. That’s exactly what he did this time. The whole exhibition space is now one big piece of art. There are curved lines everywhere: on the wall, ceiling and floor. Inside this piece of art, he exposes his sculptures, videos, collages and printed drawings.

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Andres Serrano ‘Meet the artist’

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Hello! A few years ago I saw a documentary about the use of crucifixes in art. They talked about a work of art called ‘Piss Christ‘ from the American artist Andres Serrano. A lot of people were very angry because they thought Piss Christ was an insult to Christianity, so the picture was vandalized. I didn’t really know what to think of it, but it was certainly an image that stayed in my head. When I saw a poster of a new exhibition in the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium, I knew I had to see it! A retrospective about the work of Andres Serrano opened this week and it seems to attract a lot of people. I participated in a ‘Meet the artist’ event with a group of people. We had a guided tour by the artist himself, and I must say he’s a very nice person! Are you ready to meet him?

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Agnès Varda returns to Brussels

Hello everyone! I said it before, but I still think that if there is anything we Belgians can be proud of, it’s our belgian art. In my journey to learn more about belgian artists, Agnès Varda couldn’t be left out. When I was a student, her name was mentioned a few times in a course about visual art. I never saw her work in real life though, until now. There’s an exhibition in the Museum of Elsene/Ixelles called ‘Patates & companies’ (potatoes & company)!

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What can you expect?

I very much appreciated the exhibition because it has a personal touch. Agnès Varda lived in Ixelles when she was a kid and you can feel that she still has a strong connection with the neighborhood, even though she left Belgium a long time ago. 

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