When I first started the blog, it was very important for me to offer a platform for emerging artists. To look for talent outside of the box, and mostly to look for originality.
Brussels, with its multiple art schools, count an impressive amount of youngsters putting themselves out there, and ready to show their artworks to the world.I meet one of them yesterday at the cool and highly recommended Dillens Bar. We talked about art, about Brussels, but mostly about “Chez Beng” a Brussels based art collective that you are going to follow and love very soon. This Saturday they open a new show at the White Art Gallery in collaboration with the collective Art By Friends. For it’s “Odyssée Tour”, Art By Friends joined its forces with some local artists to present a series of Skateboard decks, each design by a different artist.
I know Michal Boröwski for few years now, he is quiet the opposite of most of the artists I meet so far. He is authentic, not trying to follow the art trends or to please anyone with its work. What I liked the most about him was the fact that he is not a copycat, which is rare enough to be mention.
Let’s meet the guy :
Can you tell us more about your work?
I started by studying graphic design. My first idea was to enter the advertising world, but when I had to decide which school I was going to go for, I was torn between joining l’Académie des Beaux-Arts for their artistic focus, or by completing my education at St -Luc where the graphic design department was more mainstream and common. I chose les Beaux-Arts, there I discovered other sides of my creativity. I explored other medium, other way to approach art. I was naturally attracted by sculpture; when I was young that media already appealed me, especially the 3D aspect of that discipline. I didn’t take any classes, I learn on my own by doing a lot of researches and testing. It’s as a sculptor that I took part in the art collective “Chez Beng”.
What are your influences? Your inspirations?
I’m mostly inspired by Art Toys. I’m collecting them since forever. It’s always this idea of 3D, of being able to go around an object of art, and see it from different perspectives that always attracted me. I like artists like Kozik or Parra. For the rest, my inspirations are everywhere, it’s all about feeling. I’m looking for aesthetic, for something that appeals my eyes. At the moment I like the work of the sculptor Johnson Tsang, he is fascinating.
Internet is also a big source of inspiration (blogs, Tumbler, etc), but mostly to see what is already done to be sure to not do the same.
What about the art collective “Chez Beng”?
« Chez Beng » it’s six guys who meet in school while studying graphic design. Yoo Beng, one of the founders, was the only one who had some experience in the art field, and he motivated us to start exhibiting our works. We had our first show in Brussels in 2012, we showcased our work in an old shop in the city center. Yoo Beng convinced the owner of the shop (he was living above) to let us the space for a week. The name of our collective comes from there, the shop where we first shown of work was at Beng (Chez Beng) and it stayed that way. It’s a friendly name, it invited people to join us like at home for a fun moment.
There is no hierarchy in the group, everyone helps with what he is good at. We don’t have a studio but sometimes we work together. I like working on my own, putting some music, not getting distract but the opinion of the other members count of course. We don’t especially share a common aesthetic, but we share a same approach. We come from the same background, and share the same ideas. We are a multi-disciplines collective, so everyone can relate to our work.
Four words to describe yourself
Uncertain (in my work and in the way I’m “selling” myself), handyman, spontaneous and unique in my way of working. I like being different.
Is it difficult to be an upraising talent in Brussels ?
Not really honestly, It’s a small city, a village where it’s easy to have connections and helpful contacts. It’s an open minded city toward young artists, but of course it depends of your artworks. I like that there is a solidarity between people, the art collectives are working quiet well around here.
What are your favorites Belgian artists?
Oli-B, he is an illustrator, sometimes it’s work is a bite repetitive but it’s visually beautiful. I also like Dave Decat.
What are your favorites arty spots in Brussels?
I like Ixelles, I spend a lot of time around Flagey, it’s a place with a lot of culture and interesting spots. We meet a lot of cool people who introduces you and makes you discover new things. I also like the Wiels for its diversity.
Things you love about Brussels and things you would like to change about it?
I encourage galleries like the White and Art Gallery that is hosting our exhibition this Saturday, to take more risk, to expose more young talents instead of always going for the obvious and the safe artists.
What is the most important thing to know about you?
My art is popular, aesthetic and absolutely not pretentious, everyone can recognise him/herself in it. It’s authentic, I’m not following the trends. I’m constantly making researches and improving myself, so keep an eye on me.
To find a fix job in the graphic design field, something more creative than what the big firms are offering so far. Keep creating and evolve. Make contacts with people from the art business, in this area it’s very important to meet up with the right people.
WHEN | May 3 – May 24
VENUE | White and Art Gallery : 46 Rue de Stassart, 1050 Brussels.