White Snow, Thumper 1, by Paul McCarthy, 2014-2016
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.
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)
(Left image:Madame La Belge)
Hell yes, we all remember the words of Donald Trump saying that the city of Brussels is a hellhole. I saw a lot of funny reactions appearing on social media at that time, coming from citizens and people who are active in the Brussels creative scene. One of them, Dries Tack, decided to create a website called Hellhole.Brussels to promote local artists abroad.
I recently rediscovered this website and I thought it was about time to share it with you.
Cynthia, 1982, by John Kacere
For the first time, a Belgian museum is presenting a retrospective exhibition about photorealistic paintings. The Museum of Ixelles/Elsene in Brussels tells us the story of Photorealism (also known as Hyperrealism), from its origin in the 60’s until now.
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.
Hello everyone! As the city center of Brussels is becoming more and more a place for tourists, I am glad that there are still a few spots I really enjoy visiting. Don’t get me wrong, tourists are more than welcome. It’s just that there are so many chain restaurants now that the real Brussels character is getting lost.
Anyway, AM Sweet is one of those places where I can still feel inspired! It’s located in the Rue des Chartreux and it looks like a little shop where you can buy tea and some sweets. That’s exactly what it is, but it’s also a cosy place to have a drink. Choose a table upstairs where it’s nice and calm. The place reminds me of an appartement I once rented in Paris with Airbnb: very tiny but full of inspiration. It’s probably the presence of art books and the small impressionist painting that make it even more appealing to me.
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.
Hello! This weekend there were no more than 5 art fairs in Brussels! We had Art Brussels, Off Course Brussels, Independent Brussels, Poppostion Off Fair and YIA. All in the same weekend, unbelievable! I managed to visit 3 of them and I want to show you my favorite works of art spotted on these fairs. Hope you like it!
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.
Hello! Today I’m telling you about a great exhibition in the Roberto Polo Gallery. I pass by this gallery every day on my way to work. I never walked in before, until the name of one of my favorite belgian photographers appeared in the window display…!
Carl De Keyzer
I once wrote a small article about Carl De Keyzer at university for a class about photography. To prepare myself, I went to the Munpunt library close to De Brouckère and found 2 books: Moments before the flood (2012) and Congo (Belge)(2009). For his series Moments before the flood, De Keyzer travelled along the European coastline to photograph sea landscapes. In his pictures you can feel the power of nature. There’s a tension between the smallness of human beings and the powerful sea that could swallow a piece of land any time. These are images I won’t forget in a long time. But the second book about the traces of our colonial history in the Congo, was the one that moved me even more. It has some really shocking images about our past that we rarely get to see in a land that tries to hide its colonial history. I hope to own a copy of these books some day! Check the Muntpunt collection if you like to know more about belgian photography 😉 . Carl De Keyzer is a member of the world famous co-operative, called Magnum Photos, founded by one of the most known photographers ever, Henri Cartier-Bresson. But let’s talk about Cuba now!