Serge Van De Put stands out as a remarkable individual in the Belgian artistic community. He settled in Berchem, near Antwerp, in an old house and adjoining workshop, that had previously been occupied by the well known animal sculptor, E. Peeters. It seems to be an inspiring place for artists. During my visit there I was surprised by the lack of penetrating daylight and was taken by the intimate atmosphere created by the artificial light and in harmony with dancing candlelight.
Almost nobody knows that Serge was a classmate of Jean Fabre and that he greatly admires artists like Wim Delvoye, Sam Dilleman, Roger Raveel, James Ensor, Fred Bervoets, and so many others. He started out as an entrepreneur running his own publicity company, before giving into his true calling, that of being an artist.
Every generation reinvents the past and writes its own history. In sculpting, exciting things have happened over the last few years. Sculpting traditionally still refers to the creation of a sculpture out of wood or stone using hammer and chisel. In this way, Serge is all but traditional. This artist, who was bon in Antwerp, introduced "rubber" into art. Most dictionaries describe this material as "a highly flexible product, extracted from Ficus Elastica, Herea Brasiliensis and some other varieties of tropical trees."
Serge has been using this material for several years, in a totally liberating way, breaking with traditional rules and guidelines. He wants to take it to another level ignoring all boundaries.
Serge realizes that artists also have a mission to innovate. They have to be free to create without restrictions and explore new materials. At a minimum, it can be said that his artistic language, is completely innovative. To him, art cannot and should not be the repetition of a find or an accomplishment. Year by year he is developing his own artistic vocabulary with great expertise.
He is not bothered by comments by reviewer or critics and succeeds over and over again to elevate "rubber" to an unknown artistic level. Sometimes the word "avant-garde in recycling", comes to mind when contemplating his art. This material he uses clearly had another life, another function. He recycles it to a thing of beauty. The choice to confront us with this used material is an expression of courage and also of artistic creativity. His work is "unique", "amusing" and "recognizable". Serge realizes that Oscar Wilde was right in stating "nothing is more dangerous than the need to be too modern, for there is a great to be perceived as too old-fashioned".
The themes chosen by Serge show his love for people and animals. His creative energy is bursting and he is living proof that there is no end to innovative art yet.
Art is often considered to be the mirror of society and Serge is a contemporary artist. What do we understand by contemporary? Is it an artist alive today, or someone using new materials? Is it both? These statements do not really define contemporary. It is probably more important to look at Serge's work, appreciate it for his originality, and appreciate the impact his sculptures make in a gallery or in your home.
Although most of his work concentrates on animal themes, he also creates human figures and always with a great sense of humor. To Serge art and humor work very well together. His work is alway generating expressions of amazement and it demonstrates that art is not, and can never be, an exact science. His sculptures amaze and move people; nobody is indifferent to his work.
Alberto Mucci was right in stating that "art always moves with changes in time. Today art can teach us to evaluate ourselves and it's no surprise that many people consider the art of creating as a way to self-discovery." Sculpting with rubber has become a way of life for Serge. The recognition for his work has grown since he is very active and has been able to exhibit his sculptures. Even the CEO of Ferrari, Mr. J. Toddt, calls his work fascinating.
Serge will continue to search for the ideal form and sculpture. The material he uses is indestructible and lasts for eternity."
Magistrate at Vilvoorde
Inspiration Technique Credits
- 53rd Venice Biennale (Monumental Sculpture)- Van Campen Rochtus Gallery - Antwerp, Belgium- Galérie Atelier - Geneva, Switzerland
- Salon du Design - Milan (Monumental Sculpture)- “Dumpig Art: from dump to recycling, art and environmental preotection”, Ducal Palace - Genoa, Italy- La Citée du Temps, Group Swatch - Geneva (Monumental Sculpture)- Van Campen Rochtus Gallery, Deelname Kunstubeurs Lieart - Gent, Anwerp, Belgium- First Prize “Art Foundation Clew Center for the Arts” - Chateau de la Napoule, Mandelieu Cannes (Monumental Sculpture)- “Live Art” - Montecarlo, Monaco Pricipality- “Physis” - Studio d'Arte Fioretti - Bergamo, Italy- Serge Van de Put, ZaionGallery - Biella, Italy- “Along the Road” - ArteCreativa 42 - Turin, Italy
2011- “FranchementArt" - Salon d’Art actuel - Villefranche s/mer, France- Genoa Municipality acquisition - “Rumentosauro Hugo” (Monumental Sculpture) - Genoa Ancient Harbour, Italy