“I want to explain something that is beyond everyday life, but to explain it, I use the most everyday things possible.” – Wim Delvoye
Wim Delvoye is one of the most provocative and profound conceptual artists, whose ironical interpretations refill the daily objects with a new meaning.
Delvoye’s unpredictable experiments turn the gas cylinders to Delft tiles, transform the shovels and ironing boards into the ancient shields, convert the construction machinery – cranes, dump trucks and concrete mixers – into the airy structures decorated with an interwoven ornament of the Gothic architecture.
One of the artist’s sources of inspiration is a fascination of ancient architecture, from the early Baroque to the refined elements of the Gothic. The ‘Dumptruck’ sculpture is an example from the artist’s gothic series in which he seamlessly combines the forms of industrial machinery with medieval design. Delvoye transforms a practical vehicle into a perplexing, medieval labyrinth of metal. The polyhedral spires, sharp silhouettes, stained glass roses of the Gothic cathedrals come to new incarnation in Delvoye’s monumental sculptures.
“I’m extremely fascinated with the theories of evolution. I read all of the Darwin books and the Richard Dawkins books, as well as others. As an artist, I’m also interested in religion because art is another form of religion.” – Wim Delvoye
The impeccable work alongside the use of advanced industrial technologies in the making of objects made it possible to Delvoye to embody one of the most famous symbols of humanity in a more complex geometric form – a Möbius strip or DNA sequence. The ‘Crucifixes’ series is a juxtaposition of the factual (the science) and the spiritual (the religion) – a biomorphic shape attached to a geometric form where figuration and geometry are combined. The work demonstrates visible connection between a well-known religious image of crucifixion and a sophisticated DNA string, which is still a medical mystery.
“Pneu” is a series of hand-carved car tires with intricate patterns and floral motifs. Carefully sculpting the rubber of each tire, Delvoye removes gradated sections of the material’s surface. The tires still resemble their original circular shape; however, they take on the appearance of cast metal or carved wood.
“With my way of working, you don’t define yourself by a material but by a way of thinking and working. This allows me to be very free and to do very different things… I like when something is difficult; I get more excited.” – Wim Delvoye
Solo exhibitions include Centre Georges Pompidou (“Cement Truck”, Paris, France), Peggy Guggenheim Collection (“Wim Delvoye: Torre”, Venice, Italy, 2009), Musée Rodin (“Wim Delvoye”, Paris, France, 2010), Musée du Louvre (“Wim Delvoye au Louvre”, Paris, France, 2012).
SELECTED PUBLIC COLLECTIONS:
Museum of Modern Art (MuHKA), (Antwerp, Belgium)
Centre Georges Pompidou (Paris, France)
Fondation Cartier (Paris, France)
Musée du Louvre (Paris, France)
Collection Olbricht (Essen, Germany)
Stedelijk Museum (Amsterdam, Netherlands)
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (New York, USA)
Museum of Contemporary Art (San Diego, USA)