Ever since 2001 Bart and I have been class mates, friends, neighbors, car sharers, colleagues and even competitors. I knew his work from e-mailed sketches, test prints, every now and then a single piece in his studio, found on my doormat, on his website or somewhere in public space. But I had never seen all his work at once. And neither did he.
The shelves of my living room cabinet are filled with 39 items by Bart de Baets. It's hard to tell whether a work is commissioned, self initiated or just a means of communications with students. A work can be a birthday announcement for his parents or a book for an artist. Bart will not only give it a shape, by his shape he will also give it a content.
I never understood what Bart was looking for. But I knew that he had a clear vision of it and was very precise in his approach. Now with all his work in the cabinet, I see a mix of wonderous color combinations, odd sizes, clever slogans, all combined into a new reality. Bart's world tries to tell me how to get rid of a body, that brown is a good color, how Mickey goes to art school, that there's never enough typefaces, you can write a book (or two), a postcard is a lot bigger than you thought, a business card can be a hit, there's even more you can do to photo books and a wish list can be a mission statement.
I think I understand Bart's work better now. His quest for ugliness resulted in a world of beauty, with a new shape and a new language for every single item. I'm proud that it's part of my living room these next three weeks. I hope to share it with a lot of people.
Schrank8 - The four shelves (click to enlarge)
All pictures for this post were taken by Charlott Markus.
Thank you so much for your time and effort, Charlott!