Discover Benelux, Issue 31, July 2016

Page 62

Discover Benelux | Belgium | Top galleries & art exhibitions 2016

Antwerp art gallery breeds talent TEXT: KOEN GUIKING | PHOTOS: COURTESY TIM VAN LAERE GALLERY, ANTWERP

The charcoal drawings of Belgian artist Rinus Van de Velde are a fictional autobiography. Van de Velde is one the many talented artists represented by the Tim Van Laere Gallery in Antwerp. His unique work method is laborious and impressive. Van de Velde always starts by building a complete “film set” in his studio, takes a picture of that set, often with himself in it, and then meticulously draws that scene in charcoal on paper or canvas. “My art is an autobiography... of a life I do not have,” says Van de Velde. “I make up a story with myself in the lead role.” In his imaginary universe, confined within the walls of his studio, Van de Velde has lived many lives. He has captured an adventurous road trip with his girlfriend, but also a life with some friends in a shed in the woods. “That jungle in the road trip is in fact a cardboard jungle,” he says. The life-size decor pieces Van de Velde creates are often exhibited 62 | Issue 31 | July 2016

together with his charcoal drawings. His latest exhibition was in SMAK in Ghent, and a new chapter of his “life” will be on show in Gemeentemuseum Den Haag in December. Gallery owner Tim Van Laere plays quite a prominent role in Van de Velde’s artistic life, the artist reveals. “He is very involved and passionate about the artists he works with. He really understands us artists and at the same time he is business-minded and good at strategising our careers and always puts the artists in first place. I find that an amazing combination for a gallerist.” The group of artists that are represented by Tim Van Laere Gallery in Antwerp are a close-knit bunch. “Every six weeks another one of us has an exhibition at the gallery. At the opening we often speak with each other. That is very stimulating.” Van de Velde has a great deal of respect for his peers. “Be on the watch for Kati Heck, Ben Sledsens, Adrian Ghenie,

Tomasz Kowalski and Ryan Mosley. Their work is really amazing.” www.timvanlaeregallery.com