Niels Vaes

Brussels (BEL)

2015 / Photoshop collage / 21 x 29,7 cm

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“In his young but already broad corpus, Niels Vaes (°1987) shows us elegant approaches of different symbolic, historical and psychological themes. Vaes’ work  especially exists of sculptural interventions, experimental paintings and graphic research. Mostly he combines all these things to deliberated, multimedia and space filling installations in public spaces as well in private spaces. The work is very diverse but we can still frequently separate some ‘signature moves’.

Early works went on football hooliganism. The visual language and the anomalic aesthetic codes of this rather narrow-minded subculture became the source of inspiration for his creative process: he transformed stereotype violence, deconstruction and show to fuel for the autonomous creating, constructing and aestheticizing. From a world of emblems, winners and losers and hormonal triggering primal screaming, Vaes distilled isolated visual elements: often he chose for enlarged logos of words. (two concepts that share the same etymological origin.)

On the base of this whole process actually lies still an artistic study of aspects of behavior of men. Extremely interesting in this research is how the connection between the attractive language of marketing, the codes and marks from up and around the sports courts and the worship of the body come to a synthesis in the symmetric of semi-symmetric spatial constructions. Vaes makes the spectator think about conditioning and fundamental strategies in the game as well in existence generally. Vaes succeeds to, in the spirit of classical sculpture, (almost) clear violence of its ugliness.”    – Wim van der Celen 2015

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