"There are no tyrannies that would not try to limit art, because they can see the power of art. Art can tell the world things that cannot be shared otherwise. It is art that conveys feelings."

 - Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the President of Ukraine 

Jan Fabre

Born in Antwerp, BE
Works in Antwerp, BE
Lives in Antwerp, BE

The Antwerp visual artist and theatre maker Jan Fabre (b. 1958) is a multidisciplinary artistic phenomenon. He is an energetic performer who explores the limits of theatrical admissibility, and he is a dedicated visual artist who creates a universe with insects, scarabs and bic-drawings that abounds with mystical references, metamorphoses and personifications. Urges, desires, beauty and mortality are recurring themes, both on stage and in his visual work. The extent to which two blend together is already apparent in the 1978 performance "My body, my blood, my landscape": on stage, the artist carves into his own body and makes his first blood drawings on the spot. In the following years, he creates wedding dresses with green-blue beetles, inks night blue bic-drawings and makes gilded sculptures of animals and skulls. Fabre fantasises, glorifies and brandishes, yet hidden behind the dazzling beauty displayed, there is always a different world, a bloody and animalesque underworld. The figures that appear in his work are often angels, warriors, skeletons and animals. They are disguised messengers who emerge from the past to remind us of decay and destruction, of blood and suffering, of the animal in man and the human in the animal.

Text: Hans Willemse
Translations: Michael Meert