I take inspiration from everyday dreams.

I love creating settings and scenes in which figures take different positions and shapes. They are subjected to a relentless search for balance. Often within themselves, but also in relation with others and their surroundings. They do not seem to be subjected to the forces of nature. The characters often float away or take off.  Other times they are exposed to a very strong and present gravity. They then fall down and seek support from each other, lean against each other to ultimately result in a stilled version of a memory, an alternative reality or a reflection.

In general, I work as much as possible straight from my memory, since I want it to be my main advisery. I make prelimenary sketches and try not to look too much to added images. That way I am getting as close as possible to a stilled version of an initial impression.

 

Michaël De Clercq
– Antwerp, Belgium –

Timeline:

Upcoming /


Solo show ‘Lean and Agile’
Kusseneers gallery, Menenstraat 10, Brussels

 

Opening on Saturday the 4th of December (3-7 pm)

exhibition until 15.01.2022
open on Thursday, Friday and Saturday 2-6 pm (or by appointment)

And from 20.01.2022 to 29.01.2022 only by appointment

the gallery is closed from 23.12.2021 to 5.01.2022

 

In my upcoming show ‘Lean and agile’ at Kusseneers Gallery I am exhibiting new work from the past year.
I continue to explore the infinite pull of gravity and the struggle of escaping it. Figures continue to look for support but more frequently lean on themselves. They are searching for an elusive balance , an unattainable stability, and are in a constant state of falling, stumbling and balancing.

LEAN AND AGILE

Flipping through my old sketchbooks previous year, I stumbled upon these words. Lean and Agile: this fits the figures I am currently working with, I thought. They are trying to break free from gravity but they keep failing.
I wrote them down years ago when I worked in a telecom company. The building with skyscraper aspirations had a large technical department and several floors of business people. Each one of them with their own conventions, terms and philosophy.
Groups and projects were given different titles such as Micro Maniacs, Ensi Ensi F and Lean and Agile. That last one sounded at the time very exotic to me and triggered my imagination. I immediately got images from the 80s with its fitness obsession, fluorescent aerobics suits and Phil Collins music on the background. The agile winding body as a lean – mean machine, constantly adapting to its environment.

It was only recently I discovered that lean and agile are well-known methodologies in the business world.
Lean is a business management style aiming to create value for the customer. Within business processes throughout a project, team members must consider whether they are adding customer value and whether their actions affect margin or revenue. Doesn’t it add anything? Then this is seen as ‘waste’ and the process is stopped. Removing this waste leads to short lead times and higher customer satisfaction. Agile and lean are two different things, but there are many similarities. Both focus on the end result and continuous improvement. Lean stands for improvement, increasingly better coordination of production steps.
Agile stands for change: continuously adapting products and services to the market situation and customer feedback.

These -newly discovered for me- methods, that are used from energy to trade, transport and logistics, till education, healthcare, government and banks, also reflect in my own working process.
I have always the need of efficiency and adaptivity in my work. This is the first exhibition where I show work that i developed using a new for me method and means. I now increasingly use the Ipad and drawing software for sketching and trying several digital solutions while i create a painting. What used to be a drawing or sketch on paper, is now a digital drawing, made on a screen. This on itself creates many new ways of work, inspiration and challenges: Previously I simply had a sketch on a paper, but now the same sketch becomes digital, images are digitally reworked and edited after which it is either printed back to paper where it is further worked on or it is straight added to the canvas that are still created without the control-z option.

As an unexpected outcome of this digital work is the fact that I can now share original work on the web rather than pictures of sketches or paintings. My followers on social media can experience the process of creating a work exactly the way it is done. They can view the exact, original digital sketches that I make on the tablet and follow the proces behind the end result. I find that extraordinary as everyone can now take a glance of the making of a work and how it shapes through time, through the challenges and inspiration that comes while creating a work. That is for me very important as it empowers the communication of the artist with his audience and gives the living perspective of the work and my own lean or agile approach.

However, the figures in my work are often intentionally not doing anything productive or being very efficient. Seemingly doing nothing or daydreaming is very important to me. I get ideas, shape them and work them out during such quiet, so-called lost moments. So in a sense I actually like to rummage in the bin where the above mentioned waste is thrown.

 

Michaël De Clercq, 2021, Antwerp

 

 

2020 /
Solo show, “Of Course I Still Love You”, Kusseneers gallery, Menenstraat 10, Brussels

2019 /
‘Meeting POINT Antwerp’, (during Antwerp Art Weekend) with me, Nils Verkaeren, Ermias Kifleyesus and Klaus Verscheure, by Kusseneers gallery, Hopland 10, Antwerp
Solo show, “My eyes got diverted again”, Kusseneers gallery, Menenstraat 10, Brussels
New Year’s drink and group show, Kusseneers gallery, Menenstraat 10, Brussels

2018 /
“The Human Condition”, Duo-expo with Tom Poelmans, Kusseneers gallery, Menenstraat 10, Brussels
“The Spring Art Salon”, Accessible Art Fair, L’Ancienne Nonciature, Rue des Sablons 7, Brussels

2017 /
Group expo, “You don’t need an app to experience the real thing”, Kusseneers gallery, Menenstraat 10, Brussels
Group expo, Kunst/Werk #4, Galerie Schoots + Van Duyse, Plein Public,  Van Craesbeeckstraat 33, Antwerp

2015 /
Solo expo, “Provoking the unreal”, SMK31, St-Michielskaai 31, Antwerp
Group expo, Nema Tog Podruma 5: Gramme Vrijdag, F44(sic), Borgerhout
Solo expo, “Oh Dear”, SMK31, St-Michielskaai, Antwerpen
Group expo, Bamaan, maanis, chamaan, komaan, factor 44, Borgerhout
Group expo, A belgian politician, marion de canniere art space, Antwerp
Solo expo, “The walk of giants”, SMK31, St-Michielskaai 31, Antwerp
Co founded SMK31

2014 /
Group expo, Nema Tog Podruma 4: Papa Bingo, F44(sic), Borgerhout
Group expo, Magma crowded, St-Michielskaai 31, Antwerp
Group expo, Nema Tog Podruma 3: F44(sic), Borgerhout

2013 /
Group expo, Time To Pretend, Diestsestraat 253, Leuven
Group expo, Magma 5, St-Michielskaai 31, Antwerp
Group expo, Magma 4, St-Michielskaai 31, Antwerp

2012 /
Group expo, Magma 3, Hardenvoort, Antwerp
Group expo, Magma 2, Hardenvoort, Antwerp

2011 /
Group expo, Magma 1, Hardenvoort, Antwerp
Co created Magma

2009 /
Price, Prijs voor Schilderkunst Burgemeester Camille Huysmans, Antwerp (selected)

2008 /
Price, Gaverprijs, CC De schakel,Waregem (selected)
Group expo, Expo Cartoon’s – Cinema, Antwerp
Solo expo, 1Expo, Campus Drie Eiken,Wilrijk

2007 /
Award, Horlait-Dapsens Foundations (laureaat)
Graduated in the Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Antwerp. Master degree Arts, Painting (Class Fred Bervoets)

1981 /
I am born in Borgerhout,  Antwerp