Artists

Selection of artists, artists in residence: Mauro Perucchetti, Renaud Delorme, Martijn Hesseling.

De Backer Gallery has also a collection of acquired works by other artists. We will soon publish more information about the art-section.



Biography Philippe Pasqua
Through his extraordinary journey, Philippe Pasqua has emerged as one of the major artists of his generation.
From the beginning, his art made a great impression and challenged the certainties of those who rubbed shoulders with him, like the great critic Pierre Restany.
With Pasqua, the taste for the monumental goes hand in hand with an attraction towards what is most vulnerable – bodies and faces, sometimes with stigmatising differences that the artist adopts and magnifies through his painting: for example, portraits of transsexuals, people with Downs syndrome, or people who are blind.
Handicaps, differences, obscenity or the sacred: each canvas is the fruit of a struggle, a tension between what can be shown and “tolerated”, and what is socially repressed or concealed.
Pasqua’s painting strikes the visitor like an almost physical impact, but also like a vision that is at the same time explosive and incisive. The monumental format of the artist’s canvases is dictated by the breadth of his gestures — a dance where brutality and finesse, trance and lucidity alternate.
He begins by painting the sort of fetishes or enigmatic silhouettes that evoke voodoo. Then, gradually, his gaze turns to those who are standing around him. He interferes with the twists and turns of people’s intimate depths, going right into the innermost areas of their being.
As a counterpoint to this physical work, there are his grand drawings. The face or the body becomes a halo, mist, smoke, stroke, vibration. It is no longer so much a case of flesh as of sketched contours and delicate textures.

 

There are also the “palimpsests” – works on paper mixing silk-painting techniques, printing and painting, where the painter goes back over his own work and adds patches of colour to them or redesigns them.
Another major aspect of Pasqua’s work lies in his series of “vanities”. The technique employed evokes that of the silver- and goldsmiths of the Middle Ages working on a reliquary, and also some kind of shamanic ritual. He covers human skulls with gold or silver leaf. Sometimes, he covers them in skins and then tattoos them. Then there is the delicate stage where the skulls are decorated with preserved butterflies, with their outstretched wings and their iridescent colours: the light is refracted on their coloured, powdery surface, or falls into the deep shadows in the eye sockets. He also sometimes pours liquid paint in a thick stream that covers everything and submerges it.

 

For several years, the artist has also been going to Carrara frequently, where he sculpts skulls weighing several tons that are like massive stars radiating telluric energy. At the foundry, he produces large bronze casts that are then plunged into baths of chrome. The skulls that emerge — human or animal, like that of the hippopotamus — become like mirrors: sometimes you only see their blinding reflection, sometimes they disappear, so that what they are reflecting emerges. And on approaching them, inevitably it is our own image that we see.
 
Biography Koen Vanmechelen

Koen Vanmechelen is one of today’s artists that no longer chooses for just one medium to work in, but instead has developed a unique mix of different media. His works range from highly expressive paintings and drawings, to photography, video, installations, works in glass and a recurring wooden sculpture. What connects all these different ways of expressing himself is the chicken and the egg. Over the years they have become an important symbol that has enabled the artist to make a connection to scientific, political, philosophical and ethical issues. The intricate system that he thus developed is the subject of the debates, conversations and lectures the artist organizes or takes part in to shape his philosophical universe.

Before he started his all-embracing project, he made wooden constructions, assemblages, and cages for poultry, staying close to the tradition of the Belgian assemblage artists.
Nowadays his work can be divided in three main categories: Golem, the principle of the creating man, is the point of departure for the whole of his work and is still an important pillar. The Cosmopolitan Chicken Project (CCP) is the core in which Vanmechelen works around an extensive breeding programme with chicken breeds from all over the world. By doing so he asks attention for crossing borders in all means of the word and above all a mutual understanding. Medusa is the so called scientific part that used to be called The Walking Egg and can be seen as the think tank behind the CCP.

“Cross-breeding is the one thing” says Koen Vanmechelen: “We need to cross breed across the boundaries if we want the world not to perish. We need to think cosmopolitical. Nothing is as beautiful as joining with other cultures and take energy from this”.
The first, primitive chicken, the 'Red Jungle Fowl', still lives near the Himalaya. In Nepal Koen Vanmechelen was able to film a Red Jungle Fowl family. In contrast with domesticated chickens the Red Jungle Fowl is monogamous. As the fowl still lives in the wild, monogamy may be even a stronger characteristic than the polygamous element. The super bastard or Cosmopolitan Chicken is no return to the primitive fowl, but a new start.
For his first cross-breeding Koen Vanmechelen chose the 'Mechelse Koekoek', the pride of Flemish chicken breeding and a relative in name to the artist. It was cross-bred in 1998 with the 'poulet de Bresse', a first-rate French chicken. Their cross-breeding, the 'Mechelse Bresse', was later cross-bred with the English 'Redcap'. This 'Mechelse Redcap’, uniting Belgian, French and English nationalities was crossbred with the American 'Jersey Giant' which is not surprisingly the biggest chicken on earth. Only in case a border is actually being crossed, the artist indeed shows the whole breeding process, from the hatching of the eggs until the breaking out of the chicks. More cross breedings were made with the 'Dresdner Huhn', the Dutch 'Uilebaard’ and a Brasilean chicken which is a samba chicken.

 
Biography Martijn Hesseling

Martijn Hesseling (°Ede, NL, 1971)

Education:
1991 – 1996 AKI, Academie voor Beeldende kunst, Enschede.
1995 – 1997 Dutch Art Institute (AKI2) Enschede (postgraduate).

Solo-exhibitions:
1996 Gallery De Villa, Enschede.
1997 De Kunstvlaai, Amsterdam.
1997 De eeuwig durende drang naar een gezond nageslacht.
Een poging tot bezwering van het dreigende verval.
Fondation la Dalle, Amsterdam.
1998 Gezond vlees, Exposorium VU, Amsterdam.
2003 Gallery Van Dedem en Tielkemeijer, Olst
2005/2006 Today, Martin van Zomeren/gmvz, Amsterdam

Group exhibitions:
1996 Selection final exams 1996, het Hooghuis, Arnhem.
1996 Het neusje van de zalm, Arti et Amicitiae, Amsterdam.
1999 Uitgelicht, De Kunstvlaai, Amsterdam.
1999 Uitgelicht, De Kunstrai, Amsterdam.
2003 Art Cologne, Keulen.
2004 Made in Holland, Künstlerhaus Metternich, Koblenz
2005 Kunstrai / Art Amsterdam, Amsterdam
2005 Shredder, Martin van Zomeren/gmvz, Amsterdam
2006 Things we have seen in Holland, Kravets/Wehby Gallery, New York
2006 Art Rotterdam, Rotterdam
2006 Fiac, Paris
2006 Nada, Maimi
2007 Art Rotterdam, Rotterdam
2008 Nada, Miami
2008 Art Forum Berlin
2009 Any kind of cruelty, Martin van Zomeren/gmvz, Amsterdam
2011 Art Paris, Grand Palais, Paris FR

 
Biogaphy Renaud Delorme

Renaud Delorme (°Marseille (FR), 1970.

Education:
licence d'art plastiques, Université de Saint-Denis.
école d’art et technologie de l’image, Université de Paris VIII.

Exhibitions:
2011: Art Paris, Grand Palais, Paris, FR
2010: Art Paris, Grand Palais, Paris, FR
2008: Lille European Art Fair, Lille (FR)
2007: Absolute Art Gallery, Knokke
2005-'06-'07: Lineart International Art Fair, Ghent (B)
2003: Galerie Epry/Cayla, Paris (FR)
2002 Stonned galerie, London (UK)
2001 Salon d’ Auteuil "art 2000" (FR)
2000 Salon international d’art contemporain de Monte-Carlo (FR)
1999 Gallery Muriel Boris, Los Angeles (USA)
1997 Visart 97 (FR)
1997 "Rencontres 97", Arcueil (FR)
1996 Collective in Vitry (FR)

Prizes:
2000 Prix de l’A.D.A.G.P.

1999 université PARIS-DAUPHINE: First prize of the jury and first prize of the public.

 


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