My sculptures are spectators and dancers
One does not necessarily get to know the artist through his/her work. I want to express stillness, harmony and light humour. My sculptures are spectators or dancers who dance the dance of life; actually they are Buddhas. But I myself am a workaholic, passionate and restless. I portray a state I desire, but do not possess.
My boats have no oars
My figures are at rest. Their attributes are beds, chairs, sofas, baths and swings. My boats have no oars. They drift with the current, in harmony with the elements, with life itself. The names of my sculptures often refer to time standing still: timeless, time lost, time off … just sitting here.., listening to the summer rain….
The form is just as important as the content
The same theme reduced in one poem to a sentimental tearjerker can be compelling, epic or lyrical in another. The difference lies not in the subject matter, but in the choice and dosage of words and pauses. In visual art, volumes, lines and tension are all important.
I appreciate the craft of art
I value the crafting of art. All the vagueness and pretension surrounding art irritate me. A chair designed in clean lines and carefully made is to me art, just like cooking can be.
Art made simple
I am particularly inspired by pre-Columbian art and also by the old African wood sculptures found in the Tervuren museum. Ethnic art attracts me, because it is sober and simple, almost childlike, but with great expressiveness. You can also see in these sculptures the creative joy with which they were made. I also like Art Brut (Outsider Art), the artwork created by psychiatric patients as shown in the Dr Guislain Museum in Ghent and in children's drawings. I also like allotments, boxwood and yew, pruned into dragons and animals. I realise we are on the brink of kitsch, but that's just a word, like the ugly word artist or the ugly word intellectual.
The top five ugliest words also include the word love and the word god.
Art is a means of communication
Visual art speaks through images. If that language is not universal, cannot be understood by those of average intelligence and an open mind, then the visual image has failed as a means of communication.
I am not a fan of art that you need a degree to appreciate, art which is mainly admired because it confers an intellectual status on the admirer. ‘Egidius, where have you gone?’ Everyone understands that. The poem ‘The Marriage’ by Elsschot is a masterpiece. Everyone with some life experience understands the message. (And that there are practical objections and melancholy between dream and deed that none can explain and which come with the fall of evening...)
go and lie
in a hotel room
with pyjamas on
and let the servant
bring us cake?
This is one of my favourite poems by Judith Herzberg. The lightness, the humour, the childlike simplicity, the poetic, all attract me. I hope my sculptures come across in the same way.
In my visual world there is no hierarchy between humans and animals
I see people and animals as living beings without the sharp dividing line of intelligent and less intelligent. I feel that animals are more in harmony with life than humans. Dogs and cats and monkeys have a sense of humour. For example my dog can sit on a hilltop and take in the landscape with awe.
In "Cannery Row" John Steinbeck introduces a professor who during his morning walk along the beach takes his hat off in greeting to all the stray dogs he meets. And the dogs smile back. People who can't see that dogs laugh need to put on their glasses. Can you imagine arriving home in the evening to a welcome from your partner which is just as enthusiastic as one a dog gives?
Your daily dose of poetry can be picked off on the street
Our lives are too busy to see the poetry of everyday, to stop time and live in the here and now. We have lazy, tired eyes. If we rub the dust from our eyes and squint at life, we can see some marvellous things.