It is a well known fact: good art is deceptively simple, both in form and content, and therefore somewhat abrasive. This statement takes us straight to the heart of Kristel Van Ballaer’s art. Her style is invariably unadorned, but highly ‘layered’. Nothing is what it seems, and the viewer has to make an effort to see that the artist’s work takes an idea right to the bitter end. Anything that might distract from the essence is mercilessly cut out – a laborious process that proceeds in stages: planning, drawing and redrawing, composing, until the perfect form reveals itself. The final artwork, still and tactile, shows few signs of the fundamental doubts that accompany its creation, but they are there. Van Ballaer is the type of artist that allows the artwork to – at least partly – create itself.