Maarten Vanden Eynde at Gallery Meessen De Clercq

07/05/2016

I love Belgian artist Maarten Vanden Eynde (obviously talking about his work here) and not only because he is an environmental activist but also because his pieces usually have a message and therefore a deeper meaning. The show is called "Catastrophic Casualties & Casual Catastrophes". Also here I need to express my thankfulness to one of the wonderful people working at this gallery, who took the time to show me around and patiently listened to my remarks and questions. Thank you, Stephanie Roisin. You can see these works until July 16th 2016.

 

These works are made from malachite. They were actually not carved by the artist himself but by workers in Congo (we all know the link with Belgian history) who received the actual cellphone as a method of payment for their work. These art pieces, besides being very visually pleasing, are supposed to remind us of the fact that our (over-) use of electronical equipment and our constant need for the latest gadgets create a huge amount of waste that our kids will have to deal with.

 

 

Maybe this is a gap in the market? I would certainly like a phone that looks like this. How cool!

 

 

They appear to be the trophies of a hunter but when you have a closer look you realise that (luckily!) they are all actually simply sticks and twigs from all over the world.

 

 

The plate will not tell you the name of the poor animal but of the place where this piece of wood was found.

 

 

This is a lace version of an atomic bombs as they were used for instance in Hiroshima. It is of course a highly satirical comparison between the lace, which was originally mainly produced by nuns, women who certainly stand for goodness, patience and a gentle soul whereas an atomic bomb is the obvious opposite.

 

 

Here you see an actual picture of the explosion of an atomic bomb (seen from a great distance), printed on lead. I think it's kind of scary how pretty and harmless it looks, like a flower or something.

 

 

The bible used to be the most widely spread book in the world... now it's the IKEA catalogue (and before that it was Harry Potter... no kidding!). What does that tell us about the world we live in?

 

 

Different artist but I think you can figure this out for yourself.

 

 

This artist very carefully scraped away the world from the pages of an old atlas. This is all that's left of it. Kind of makes you think, no?

 

 

In the back room they are currently displaying works by Nicolas Lamas (also Belgian). This shows the inside of a beautiful, dark blue bowling ball and reminds us of the fact that the highly polished surface hides the rather ugly core, made of plastic (and plastic is the enemy, I guess we can all agree on that one).

 

 

This sculpture shows a man's shoe with a semi-precious gem stuffed into it... but it also reminds me of a torn off foot, which of course immediately gives this work an eerie connotation. So simple and yet so strong.

 

 

 

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