Mad world.

Yesterday was a dark day in our history.

The terrorist attacks in Brussels were frightening, and we’ve never felt this war getting as close as it has yesterday. All my thoughts go out to everyone who suffered from these barbaric acts.

I keep reading this in the media: ‘It wasn’t a matter of if, if was a matter of when‘. How scary is that?

Almost immediately, the world wide web was filled with outpourings of emotion and displays of solidarity. One of the most remarkable things was how united all the Belgian people grew throughout the day: “Tous ensemble, Bruxelles ma Belle”. Basically, we were saying this: Dear terrorists. We are strong, we are united, we love each other, you can’t break us and we WILL get through this. I’m thankful we responded in such a resilient way, and I hope we can keep reacting as we did in the future.

I’m sorry if the painting that comes along with this post makes you feel uncomfortable. Making people feel comfortable was never my intention when painting it. The idea came from having seen a documentary made by VICE, about small children in Syria being prepared for their holy war. I felt so struck and emotional by it that it had me thinking: do we really want our kids growing up in this world? How do we explain all the bad things that are happening? How do we convince them that life is something beautiful and that the world is a wonderful place? I don’t have an exact answer to this, but I think the first step is: by believing it ourselves. By using the same resilience and strength we portrayed yesterday. By keeping ourselves united and showing eath other love and respect.

Belgium, be safe and keep strong.


Throwback Thursday: Project warfume agent – Agent Orange

Most people know me for my paintings on plexiglass. But every year I work on a special project, to explore new ideas and new materials.

From 2011-2012, I worked on a project called ‘Project Warfume Agent’. For this particular project, I explored the correlation between the long term destructive force of chemical warfare agents in times of war, and advertisement in our modern society.

The series shows eight one-off custom designed perfume bottles labelled with their corresponding logos of toxic gasses. Each bottle contains subtle hints with information regarding the warfare agent, and the packaging refers to its type, origin and use of the toxic gas.

All the pieces have been made using steel, glass, aluminum, gloss paint, varnish, stainless steel, spray nozzle, recycled gas bottle, sterling silver, Swarovski crystals, photopaper, vinyl, velvet, brass, polyamide, transparent resin, wood, hay, styrofoam and plexiglass

In this post, I’d like to tell you a bit more about one particular piece called ‘Agent Orange’.

AGENT ORANGE

A bit of history

Agent Orange

“Agent Orange—or Herbicide Orange (HO)—is one of the herbicides and defoliants used by the U.S. military as part of its herbicidal warfareprogram, Operation Ranch Hand, during the Vietnam War from 1961 to 1971.[2] It was a mixture of equal parts of two herbicides, 2,4,5-Tand 2,4-D.
During the late 1940s and 1950s, the US and Britain collaborated on development of herbicides with potential applications in warfare. Some of those products were brought to market as herbicides. The British were the first to employ herbicides and defoliants to destroy the crops, bushes, and trees of communist insurgents in Malaya during the Malayan Emergency. These operations laid the groundwork for the subsequent use of Agent Orange and other defoliant formulations by the US.”

Agent Orange was manufactured for the U.S. Department of Defense primarily by Monsanto Corporation and Dow Chemical. It was given its name from the color of the orange-striped barrels in which it was shipped, and was by far the most widely used of the so-called “Rainbow Herbicides”.

 

Call Me Frank’s interpretation – Agent Orange


Take your best shot at being Frank: And the winner is…

During the opening night of ArtUp Lille 2016 I let people have their own shot at being Frank. I would like to thank everyone who participated in making their very own ‘Call me Frank’ piece and creating a fun atmosphere. 

After a long and difficult deliberation I would like to congratulate shooter n°20 for making the winning piece. I hope you will enjoy your prize for many years to come.

Follow the link below for the full coverage of the evening.

take your best shot at being frank

Currently working on: Jane Doe XL

Let the madness begin…

This week I started working on a new Jane Doe piece measuring 200 by 160 centimeters. It’s the beginning of a long, slow and meticulous process that involves mixing and applying large amounts of different shades of different colors. At the moment, I have mixed and applied 14 different colors on the painting, and have approximately 265 to go…  You’ll have to bear with me for the final result, but if you’re curious about what it’ll look like visit the Jane Doe page for other examples and for more information about this type of work. 

more john and jane does

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