2007

2007

After the success of the three projects on the Reeperbahn for JCDecaux, I was invited to represent them in another project in Hamburg, this time as part of the horse races. Ten (famous!) people from Hamburg were asked to do something with a life size statue of a horse, so they could be sold them in a charity auction. The eleventh person was me, the only artist of the group, not German, not famous and not rich. But because my horse was donated by JCDecaux and sponsored by BMW that didn't matter much.

2007

Actually the fact that my horse was sponsored by BMW, (how German can you get), gave me the idea what to do with that horse model. After all, in spite of that they said that horses were the real passion of the Germans (if you're rich maybe), I believed that it was the car that was Germany's favorite horse. That, and sex of course. Hence the idea of a Unicorn.
After the JCDecaux brothers gave their permission to attach a big penis on top of a horse's head, they also gave me the use of their facilities in Cologne and grated my wish to bring someone over from BMW to spry the horse in BMW White™, to become a sort of penis-horse-racecar kind of thing.

The “Unicorn” was shown for a month just in front of the Hamburger Hof at the old harbor and eventually got sold at the charity auction to a guy in Berlin.

2007

About this time I finished the series of fur-sculptures. Putting them all together you could call it the "City".

And then of course there was “The Turning of the Christs”. I didn't know why I made that piece. Or maybe I did but didn't want to think about it much.

2007

Sometimes an artist has to make a t-shirt from his favorite painting to make a point, I guess...

2007

Opening night at the "Hotel Polaris", a sort of wild exhibition in an abandoned hotel organised by a private collector, with on the ground level a series of big ink drawings, on the second level enamel paintings and on the third level fur-paintings, divided over several rooms on each level.

2007

On the ground level at the "Hotel Polaris" show (Ostend) I installed a new series of big ink drawings (75 x 110 cm) in what use to be the restaurant of the hotel.
I blinded the street windows to make the space completely dark en hung above each drawing a single light, just enough to make them visible. The setup was to create an atmospheric series that hint at the forgotten stories from in and around the hotel.

2007

"Hotel" (black ink on paper, 75 x 110 cm).

2007

"Hotel" (black ink on paper, 75 x 110 cm).

2007

"Hotel" (black ink on paper, 75 x 110 cm).

2007

"Hotel Polaris" - first floor, one enamel painting per room.

2007

"Hotel Polaris" - second floor, in every room one fur-painting.

There were several film crews who visited the “Hotel Polaris” show, this one is by Arte (part 1).

Arte (part 2).

There was one little exception hidden in the "Hotel Polaris" show. On the top floor at the end of the long corridor. Originally it was a key box in case of a fire. I liked it immediately, except for the fact that I switched the key for a painted flower.
I don't think anybody noticed.

2007

And sure enough, it happened (to me) again.
“Buy the loft and studio or prepare to move out!”
I would if I could, believe me.
I moved out of the loft but could use the studio for another year, mainly as storage because I needed to live in the same place as I was working.

2007

I found a small apartment on the other side of town, two floors up. The building was old and rundown with leaking windows, humid and cold. I had to build my so called kitchen myself.

2007

Believe or not, this was the entrance to the flat, not much more than a squat, but guarded by two Momo's.
The reason I went there was the big abandoned factory behind the house, although I had to wait another year before I could get my hands on this potential studio.

2007

But until then I had to be content with this unheated flat.

2007

You could say that I felt a bit like the guy in my painting...

2007

I even managed to paint some of my most minimal works in that awful space, like this series I called the graveyard shift.
Graveyard nr.1, oil on canvas, 100 x 150 cm.

2007

Graveyard nr.5 out of a series of five. (Oil on canvas, 100 x 150 cm.)

2007

But because I didn't want to use my old studio just as a storage, I did made some fur-paintings there, all about trees.

The Woodland series. (Oil on canvas, 130 x 150 cm.)

2007

There were also two commissions, both from the same collector. The first one was a Golden Last Supper. (Oil on fur, 130 x 240 cm.)

2007

The second commission was a big enamel painting on aluminium measuring 4x 100 x 200 cm, specially designed for an indoor pool adjacent the living room.

I found a piece of wood that really looked like a sculpture of some kind of God. I always wondered what would happen if I burned a God. Nothing apparently…

By the end of that year, a shop owner who was just leaving his shop in the center of Antwerp, asked me to do something with the empty space before it would be demolished the next year.

He liked it so much, I did another one the next week on the side window at his new shop a couple of streets further on.

2007

This was how the new studio used to look like in the old days.

2007

And finally on New Year's Eve the old factory in the back became available. So we ended the year with some good old fashion Smashing & Breaking.
And some champagne.
And a cigar.
Ave, morituri te salutant!