Open Studio’s 2014
Last Sunday, the public was allowed a peek in the workrooms of professional artists in Antwerp. I dragged my best friend out of his house to have a look at a couple.
Open Studio’s 2014 is a great initiative because it gives artists a platform to show their work, while other people can have a “backstage” view of the artistic process. There seems to be an artist in almost every street in Antwerp. Artists feel good anywhere, as long as they can create!
We started off at Extra City in our district Berchem, where we found a map of all the open studios of over 150 artists (!). Having heard so much about this expo space, I was a bit disappointed, because the exhibition room was not open and the building still looks very run-down. Yet, the studio on the ground level was pretty cool. Here, the handy guys from Atelier Volk make their versatile designs. They are carpenters, inventors, sculptors, and probably a lot more too.
Next, we rode to SKYBOX, which was again a dusty and unfinished place, but the studios were clean and sunny. We especially liked the paintings by Maryam Najd, who mostly portrays women whose features she then blurs.
Then our bicycle trip took us to Luc Tuymans, whose studio was very different to the first two. It almost looked like a gallery, yet in the middle of the room were two tables: one with brushes and paint tubes and the other full with little heaps of paint in all colours. The artist was just giving an interview when we walked in; we only eavesdropped for a little while ;).
In the Haantjeslei is SMASH, where the Indianenart crew resides. Here we could make our own graphic composition, which was a fun extra. These artists made the beautiful map for Open Studio’s 2014. I really liked this space and the Indianen’s fun vibe. I’ve heard that they even organize ping pong tournaments in this place (which explains where the name SMASH comes from).
Finally, we passed by Harry Heirmans’ studio back in Berchem. We quickly found out we saved the best for last! Harry’s art work is a collection of curiosities, which immediately made us think of strange films we’ve seen and strange films that should be made. I would love to have one of his pieces in my future home!
text and pics by Tine Van Den Poel