Chris Meulemans, werk aan de muur: Philip Aguirre y Otegui, Gery De Smet, Dirk Zoete, Sven ’t Jolle, Tina Berning, Samuel Vanderveken, David Noro, Marc Vanderleenen, Ante Timmermans, Johan De Wilde, Walter Swennen, Elly Strik.
What do art lovers like? Where do they buy their art and, most importantly, what do they buy? Every Monday an enthusiast tells about his love for art in this section. This week it’s Chris Meulemans (54), artist.
What does art mean to you?
To me, art is as necessary as the basic necessities of food and drink. It’s a refuge from the harshness of life.
, Untitled, 2014, Kristof De Clercq gallery.
Were you exposed to art while growing up?
At home I did not receive any cultural education at all. There was no attention for the beautiful, for wonder. Even sitting and reading a book was not appreciated. I liked to retire to my room, where I often sat drawing. I was the only one who wanted to continue studying, and luckily after much nagging I was allowed to rent a room in Antwerp and study at the art academy.
Thomas Renwart (Les Monseigneurs), Les rues murmurent encore ton nom, 2021, BruthausGallery.
Where do you read about the latest developments in the art world?
I find most of the information online. Also, art magazines and personal invitations by post or email.
Where do you prefer to look at art?
I prefer to view art in a gallery or museum. Preferably, you should see a work of art in real life. Then you are confronted with its dimensions, the coat of paint, the material, the spatial impact.
Denitsa Todorova, Stars of Foam, 2021, DMW Gallery.
How often do you buy art each year?
Sometimes I buy a few works a month, and sometimes nothing for a longer period of time. Buying art is addictive, it starts with one work and soon becomes more and more. I have a preference for small works.
Nadia Naveau, All Things Must Pass, 2019, Base-Alpha Gallery.
Where do you do your buying: in a gallery, at an art fair, at an auction or online?
Usually, we buy in a gallery. As an artist I also have the advantage that I can sometimes swap a work with another artist.
Peter Morrens, Point Blank Press | Ja mooi! Maak er nog maar één., 2019, Kristof De Clercq gallery.
Is it important that you and your partner always agree on a purchase?
We are often on the same wavelength. Sometimes I became so infatuated by a work that I bought it without showing it or asking my husband first. That should be fine too, occasionally…
Pieter Jennes, Vosseplein, 2021, Gallery Sofie Van de Velde.
Do you have a special relationship with any one gallery?
In Brussels we have bought several works at, among others, Schönfeld Galerie, Zwart Huis gallery, Rossi Contemporary, all in the well-known Rivoli building. Furthermore, Hopstreet, Xavier Hufkens, Galerie DYS. In Ghent I like to visit Tatjana Pieters, who often makes bold choices. In Antwerp I have a special relationship with Shoobil Gallery, where I had a solo exhibition in 2020 and Fred&Ferry, Everyday Gallery. A little further afield I also like to go to Emergent, De Ziener, Whitehouse Gallery, Galerie 10A, d'Aposttrof, Bruthausgallery.
Frederik Lizen (En plein public), Untitled with lavender, 2021, Geukens & De Vil.
If you had an unlimited budget, whose work would you buy?
I have a small drawing by Walter Swennen, but a painting would certainly be welcome too. I also like the work of Rose Wylie and Jockum Nordström, who create a very personal world in his picture stories/collages. The works of Rosemarie Trockel, full of humour and irony, use feminine techniques such as knitting, to respond to the mainly 'masculine' art world.
Ciarán Murphy, Exhale 2, 2021, GRIMM.
Wie zijn uw favoriete kunstenaars (op Gallery Viewer), en waarom?
Joris Ghekiere was once my teacher. You could have very interesting conversations about the content of art, and he’s also a very good artist. Too bad he left us so early.
Frederik Lizen is a young artist who works with enormous freedom, often on wooden fences of construction sites you see around town.
The eclectic sculptures of Nadia Naveau: very contemporary, full of references to art history. Now on display at De Warande in Turnhout.
Otobong Nkanga, Earthing, 2021, Lumen Travo Galerie.
On display until February 27 in De Warande in Turnhout: Completely in Command, a solo exhibition by Chris Meulemans
See the Instagram & Website of Chris Meulemans