artist / participant

press release

Belgian artist Michaël Aerts (°1979) makes sculptures and drawings. In both disciplines references to the European cultural and historical past play a very prominent role. Looking at the past, the artist especially focuses on the potential of the meaning, the symbols, codes, forms and functions of that heritage for the art and artist of the 21st century.Michaël Aerts’ monumental sculptures are formally based on historic models (such as the bust, the obelisk, the temple, …) but are produced in flight case materials as used for transportation crates for delicate instruments and tools. In doing so the artist projects a typical contemporary aspect of mobility onto the old and stable model of sculpture.The direct impulse for the series of drawings from the exhibition Ridge Ecstacy was the invitation to make drawings for the year-book of a company from the nearby city of Waregem. The artist was especially inspired by the company’s name Argus. Argus Panoptes (he who sees all) is a giant from the Greek mythology. He was famous for his hundred eyes, of which never more than two were asleep. Apart from the omnipresent Argus eyes most of the motives in the drawings of this show recall themes that recurrently appear in the artist’s drawing oeuvre: the black umbrella, the black-and-white tiled floor, rocky landscapes, antique and decorative medallions and banderoles, elements of cartography, mushrooms (often disguised as penises), etc. In the course of the years Michaël Aerts’ drawings became more and more elaborate. With gesso’s, acrylics, mediums, (color) pencils, wax sticks and varnishes, he creates almost alchemistic works that excel – if not by their content - by their rich and material aspects.

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Michael Aerts - Ridge Ecstacy - New drawings and paintings